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Why For did Walt Disney pull the plug on “Pinocchio”?
DonkeyBoy writes with a question related to Wednesday’s “ The Art of Shrek Forever After ” review . He wants to know about … … that image of teenage Shrek you included with your article. You mentioned that this was a storyline that Mike Mitchell and his team developed for this Dreamworks film and then...
21 May 2010
When you work in animation, there’s just no avoiding those Pink Slip Blues
It was late summer 1958 and things had been going well. The mad rush to wrap the animated feature film, “ Sleeping Beauty ” was finally succeeding, and the film was well on its way to completion. Taking a break from the drawing board, I headed up to the second floor of the Animation Building...
1 Mar 2010
CalArts celebrates the 100th birthday of animation pioneer Jules Engel
Todd James Pierce
This past Saturday, film directors and animators gathered to pay tribute to Hungarian-born artist Jules Engel , a man whose work combined a modernist orientation of serious art with the commercial leanings of animated films. This year marks the 100-year anniversary of his birth. A small man, usually...
20 Apr 2009
"I can go to Disney and be a director, or I can stay here and make history"
"It was 20 years ago today ..." Well, it was tomorrow actually. August 2, 1988 to be precise. That was the date when an incomplete version of " Tin Toy " first screened at SIGGRAPH and truly wowed the crowd in Atlanta. Given the overwhelmingly positive response that this John Lasseter film received ...
31 Jul 2008
"Walt & El Grupo" looks back at Disney's Latin American adventure
Leo N. Holzer
The loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and the birth of Mickey Mouse in 1928. The creation and release of “ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ” in 1937. The development of Disneyland and its opening in 1955. All of these were important and challenging periods for Walt Disney and his company. But there was...
24 Apr 2008
Animation fans prematurely shoot off their mouths about "Bolt"
How many of you know the story of the blind men and the elephant ? I bring up this ancient Indian fable because ... Well ... I have to admit that I was highly amused by what happened last Wednesday. When the on-line animation community went completely bananas over those "Bolt" pre-release images . Copyright...
1 Jan 2008
"To Infinity and Beyond!" is an entertaining look back at Pixar's first two decades
There's this genuinely eerie passage in Karen Paik 's " To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios " ( Chronicle Books , November 2007), which talks about how a single book basically changed the course of John Lasseter 's life. In ninth grade, Lasseter was searching the art section...
28 Nov 2007
A special "Toon Much of a Good Thing" edition of Why For
First up, Danny writes in to ask: Jim, Any reason that you know of why Pixar started skimping on their DVD packages? Up to and including " The Incredibles ," no company did the medium justice better than Pixar. But the discs for " Cars " and " Rataouille " (which I have an advanced copy of) are pathetic...
2 Nov 2007
Toon Tuesday : The Failure Factor
A couple weeks ago, we had a visit from John Lasseter and two hundred of his wizards from Pixar Animation Studios . The Pixar team was getting a special tour of both the Burbank and Glendale facilities of the Walt Disney Company. It was good to see so many old friends & colleagues again. And I couldn...
30 Oct 2007
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