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  • Blog Post: Why it's dangerous for animation studios to get fat & happy

    Several years ago a group of young artists were griping about things at their studio. Their behavior amused and annoyed me. I scolded the kids and informed them that one day they would look back and remember this time as the good old days and wonder why they ever complained about anything. Every studio...
  • Blog Post: "Two Guys Named Joe" celebrates the creative legacy of two Disney Legends

    So why exactly should you buy " Two Guys Named Joe: Master Animation Storytellers Joe Grant & Joe Ranft " (Disney Editions, August 2010)? Because this new John Canemaker book not only does a brilliant job of paying tribute to these animation legends, this 192-page hardcover contains one...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: The Wow Factor

    I’ve often been asked this goofy question. “How would you run an animation studio if you were in charge?” Questions like this come from young people who assume I have answers. The truth is, I’m not in that position, and I don’t expect to be. However, I once ran my own business...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : My Luncheon with Roy

    I don’t know who came up with the bright idea, but it was a darn good one. What about spending our noon hour with the Vice Chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation ? Would Roy Edward Disney accept our invitation, we wondered? The only way to find out was to simply ask. The early 1980s proved to...
  • Blog Post: Going gallery-by-gallery through the Walt Disney Family Museum: Part I

    Walt Disney acknowledged that the name “Disney” had become a thing, a genre, an entity separate from himself. By Walt’s design, he had become was a character, a front man for a grander idea. Many of you remember seeing Mr. Disney on television pitching some amazing story about Disneyland , that latest...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: What was it like to work at the Mouse Factory back in the 1950s?

    A group of young guys and gals gathered in the office of a Disney veteran on the third floor of the Animation Building. “Boy, you missed it,” the old timer rhapsodized as he spoke about the good old days of the late 1930s and early 1940s. “This used to be a great place to work, but the strike ended all...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Virginia Davis (1918 - 2009)

    When talking about the Walt Disney Company’s origins, the cliché that people usually default to is “It all started with a Mouse.” Which isn’t exactly true. A full five years before Mickey came on the scene, Walt was trying to get his “Alice Comedies” series off the ground. And the little girl that Disney...
  • Blog Post: “Milt Kahl : Animation’s Michelangelo” paid tribute to a true Disney Legend

    Known for both his temper and his stunning draftsmanship, Milt Kahl has been described as Disney’s “Jekyll and Hyde” figure, a man who defined animation and defied his fellow animators. More than any other artists, Freddy Moore and Milt Kahl defined the Disney style. Freddy Moore designed the studio...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Jim Fletcher, Disney Artist and the Ultimate Hollywood Fan

    I hope that you’ll allow me to indulge myself here with a new series that I’m going to call “The Disney Artists You Never Knew.” Only this time, it’s personal. Because I’m now going to write about my old pal & colleague, Jim Fletcher . James Lawrence Fletcher was born in Des Plains, Illinois, and...
  • Blog Post: CalArts celebrates the 100th birthday of animation pioneer Jules Engel

    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...
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