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Looking back on the early, early days of the “Toy Story” franchise
With “Toy Story 3” earning over $365 million worldwide since this Lee Unkrich film was released on June 18 th (More importantly, with the “Toy Story” franchise having produced over $8 billion in global retail sales to date), it is sometime hard to remember that – just 15 years ago – there weren’t a whole...
2 Jul 2010
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...
1 Jun 2010
How do you carve “Snow White” ‘s Hag and Evil Queen out of clay?
David Kracov remembers the night that he decided to quit working in animation. “A bunch of my friends took me out to Astroburger . And while we were eating, Brad Bird tried to talk me out of quitting. Brad said that he wanted me to come work with him on this new movie he wanted to make. Which was about...
4 May 2010
New Orleans-style blowout planned for final weekend of Disney’s “Dreams Come True”
Why are all these people racing through the streets of New Orleans? * Photo by Nancy Stadler Because “ Dreams Come True: Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from Walt Disney Studios ” is closing on March 14 th . Which means that you now only have six short days to catch this acclaimed exhibition. Photo by...
8 Mar 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
Mary Blair concept art showcased in “Walt Disney’s Peter Pan”
It’s always been one of the great what-ifs of Disney history. What if … All of the Studio’s overseas markets hadn’t been cut off by the start of World War II? It’s well known that – as of the late 1930s -- Walt was well into development of full-length animated versions of “ Alice in Wonderland ,” “ Peter...
30 Dec 2009
“Walt Disney and the Good Neighbor Program” book is a really great read
Do you have a Disney fanatic in your family? Then this must be the time of year that you dread most. When you’re expected to come up with a suitable holiday gift for this problematic family member. Not to worry, though. Jim Hill Media is here to help. Over the first four Wednesdays in December, we’ll...
2 Dec 2009
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...
6 Oct 2009
Toon Tuesday: Remembering 2-C
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Disney’s old Animation Building recently. A visit to the second floor always provokes a flood of memories. The structure has been renovated, and yet things look pretty much the same. At least enough remains to remind this Disney veteran of a time long gone...
14 Jul 2009
Lots of entertaining tails ... er ... tales were told at "The Little Mermaid" 20th anniversary event
I'll tell you a tale of the bottomless blue And it's hey to the starboard, heave-ho Look out, lad, a mermaid be waiting for you In mysterious fathoms belo w ... Twenty or so years ago, I gathered with a small group in a Walt Disney Animation Studios screening room in Glendale, CA. Directors John Musker...
25 May 2009
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