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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Animators, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 494
1. Glenn Beck Praises Walt Disney and Ward Kimball

It's perhaps a mixed blessing that the only public personality who talks frequently about Walt Disney nowadays is the right-wing political commentator/conspiracy theorist Glenn Beck.

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2. GALLERY: Figure and Animal Drawings of Animation Legend Jesse Marsh

A collection of rarely seen drawings by former Disney artist Jesse Marsh, who drew the "Tarzan" comic books for nearly twenty years.

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3. Paramount Snatches ‘Frozen’ Head of Animation Lino DiSalvo

Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo, the head of animation on "Frozen" who gained notoriety for comments about animating women, has left Disney to join Paramount Animation as its creative director. He is also slated to direct an upcoming animated feature at the studio.

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4. Will Hayao Miyazaki Reject the Academy’s Invitation Again?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the stodgy group of film industry workers who hand out the Oscars, has revealed a list of the 271 people it has invited to become members of its organization this year.

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5. Watch John Lasseter’s Raucous CalArts Commencement Speech

John Lasseter, who became a doctor for the second time last week, delivered the commencement speech to this year's graduating CalArts class. Lasseter's speech is a cross between a revival meeting and a rock concert, complete with rowdy audience members chiming in, like in this exchange.

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6. John Lasseter Becomes A Doctor…Again

This evening John Lasseter received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater California Institute of the Arts. He also delivered the commencement address to the graduating class. Five years ago, Lasseter received his first honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University, the school that he dropped out of to attend CalArts. So, does this mean we have to call him Dr.² Lasseter now?

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7. Watch This New Mini-Doc About Joy Batchelor on Her 100th Birthday

Today is the 100th birthday anniversary of one of the most important women who ever worked in animation: Joy Batchelor. With her husband, she ran the studio Halas & Batchelor, which was the largest English animation outfit for a good part of the 20th century and made that country's first feature-length animated film, "Animal Farm."

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8. Kelly Asbury’s All-CG ‘Smurfs’ Feature Pushed Back To 2016

Sony announced today that their all-CGI "Smurfs" pic, directed by animation veteran Kelly Asbury ("Shrek 2," "Gnomeo & Juliet"), will be pushed back from its original 2015 release date to 2016.

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9. What It Was Like Working At A 1980s Taiwanese Animation Factory

Animation artist Jamie Baker ("UP," "WALL·E," "Finding Nemo") has written a hilarious and detailed account of what it was like to work as an artist in Taiwan in the mid-1980s. Spoiler—it was weird:

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10. Can You Identify These Famous Animation Artists As Children?

We're entertaining ourselves on Cartoon Brew's Instagram account this afternoon with a series of childhood photos of famous animation folk. How many can you identify? Click on the images for the answers.

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11. Looking for Con Pederson

I don’t typically do this, but I’m in a bit of a rush on a project so I’m going to put this out there: does anybody know how to get in touch with visual effects/computer graphics legend Con Pederson (2001: A Space Odyssey, Robert Abel & Associates)? If you do, please drop me a line. Thanks!

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12. BREAKING: “Paperman” Director John Kahrs Leaves Disney

Per the official Twitter account of Walt Disney Feature Animation, Academy Award-winning animation director John Kahrs, of Paperman fame, has left Disney. Good luck wherever you’re headed, John!

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13. Say It Ain’t Sayonara, Miyazaki

Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki, 72, has retired, say reports from the Venice Film Festival. The announcement was made by Koji Hoshino, the president of Studio Ghibli. “Miyazaki has decided that Kaze Tachinu will be his last film and he will now retire,” Hoshino said.

As industry observers know, this is not the first time that Miyazaki or someone from his camp has announced his retirement. We posed the question on Twitter, and most people seem to believe that Miyazaki has announced his retirement at least three times.

Hoshino promised that more details would be revealed at a press conference next week in Tokyo.

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14. Interview with “Uncle Grandpa” Creator Pete Browngardt

Uncle Grandpa premieres this evening at 8 p.m. (ET, PT) on Cartoon Network. The show was created by Peter Browngardt, 34, who also voices the handlebar-mustachioed star of the show. Uncle Grandpa has been gestating since 2008 when it was part of Cartoon Network’s Cartoonstitute program. The original pilot gained a following online after it was posted on YouTube in 2010, the same year in which the pilot was nominated for an Emmy.

The show revolves around Uncle Grandpa, a fanny pack-adorned, propeller beanie-bedecked gentleman of uncertain origin who travels in a magical RV dispensing ‘Good mornins’ while helping children achieve their dreams. If it sounds like an unconventional setup for a children’s cartoon, the show’s style of humor is even more unique.

Surrealist visual humor, the type of which was practiced by cartooning giants like VIP Partch, Tex Avery, and Don Martin, went out of fashion sometime in the late-Eighties. Uncle Grandpa rejuvenates this strand of comedy with gusto: bodies disassemble and reassemble on command, random human limbs parts pop out of unlikely places, and parallel worlds exist in fanny packs (or belly bags, per the show’s lingo). Browngardt’s new show dispenses with the polite verbal banter of other animated TV series; it is visually vulgar and aesthetically abrasive, and because of its sheer audacity, it’s laugh-out-loud funny.

Cartoon Brew spoke to Browngardt about the show. We accompany the chat with a gallery of production and pre-production artwork from the series.

Cartoon Brew: Did you have an Uncle Grandpa-like figure when you were growing up or is it something that you wish you had?

Pete Browngardt: Actually, I think it’s sort of a combination. Growing up, I had uncles, but the funny thing is that neither one of them were actually blood-relatives. They were just my father’s really good friends. I think a lot of people have that, where you just call them Uncle Bob or Uncle Dan or whatever. And these guys were larger-than-life characters. Whenever they came to hang out, it was a nutty time. They let me drive when I was seven years old just to see me drive. We’d build potato cannons and all kinds of stuff that you probably shouldn’t be doing with kids. They were kids at heart as well and they had crazy stories of their life. Like, one of them fought in World War II and hid in a cave, and then got captured and escaped from a POW camp. It was always something adventurous or a good time when they showed up. And then also, I did have a lot of imaginary friends as a kid and I’d go out in the woods and play out scenarios, wishing I could get away.

Cartoon Brew: How many ideas had you pitched before you pitched Uncle Grandpa to Cartoon Network?

Pete Browngardt: It was my first time ever pitching to a studio. A friend, Stephen DeStefano, had a connection to pitch at the studio. I was living in New York at the time. We flew out, and said, ‘Let’s pitch three ideas each.’ I just did quick pitch bible things for three ideas, and pitched to Craig McCracken and Rob Renzetti. Craig and Rob really responded to Uncle Grandpa. And while I was out there, Carl Greenblatt from Chowder had seen my work and he hired me to board on that. I actually moved out to LA to work on that, and through that time period, Cartoonstitute started.

Cartoon Brew: This might be a good moment to talk about your background. I heard you started in animation when you were 19?

Pete Browngardt: I started making animated films when I was seven years old. My older brothers were into making films, they used to make Super 8 horror movies, so I was basically born into a household that liked filmmaking, acting and drawing and all these arts…it was odd to me that other families didn’t do it.

My brothers explained to me at an early age how animation works, and I was like, ‘Wow, you can actually do this.’ My dad and my brother helped me build a lighttable from the back of the Preston Blair animation book, and one of the first things I ever animated was a character swallowing a bee. I animated dog food falling on a dog. I always drew, and I started making animated films all through elementary school. In high school I made stop motion films and some live-action films, and also took a lot of drawing classes.

Got into CalArts and then made films there. After my second year at CalArts, they had that job fair and Producers’ Show, and one of the directors at Futurama saw my second-year film and offered me a job. Basically it was a summer job, and they wanted me to stay, but my parents and myself, I wanted to finish school and get a degree. I ended up going back to school. But yes, when I was 19 I did that. The following summer I got picked for an apprenticeship at Industrial Light and Magic, and I tried doing CG animation which wasn’t a good fit for me. Really missed drawing, but it was a great experience and it was amazing to be in an environment like that. Then, after that I moved back to New York, which is where I’m from, and worked at Augenblick Studios, MTV, World Leaders when they were doing Venture Bros. Then, when I was there, I ended up coming back and pitching to Cartoon Network.

Cartoon Brew: The original Uncle Grandpa pilot was one of the funniest and most original pilots I’d seen. But then you made the series Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, which was based on a gag in the pilot. Was that another one of the pitches? How did it work out that you made a pilot for one thing and got a show for something else.

Pete Browngardt: Well, it was kind of a thing where they weren’t sure about Uncle Grandpa for filling out a whole show. So they asked me to come up with some other things that spun off of it and Secret Mountain was one of those. It was an amazing learning experience for the whole process—of pitching something and then seeing how it can manipulate and change while you’re working on it.

Cartoon Brew: You used a lot of metal and thrash music in Secret Mountain. Can we expect Uncle Grandpa to contain the same?

Pete Browngardt: That music was really for that show. I love that music and when we were doing the animatics for Secret Mountain, I would throw in that music in the temp scores, and it blended really well with the imagery and what I was going for with the design. Now with Uncle Grandpa, there are aspects of that in the music, but we’ve tried to lighten the tone. This new Uncle Grandpa has evolved to be more light-hearted in the sense of a broad kids show, which I’m really excited about. It’s more like Pee-wee’s Playhouse with an expanded cast and expanded world, and I wanted to have more variety in the music and be able to go sort of a happier place, though it does go dark and heavy at times.

We’re actually breaking format on the shows, where within the eleven-minute episodes, we have two stories plus bumpers. We have a seven-to-eight minute story and a two-to-three minute story. Ren and Stimpy used to do that, and even Dexter’s Lab did it, and I really love it because we’re able to experiment. One of the shorts we’re doing is “Uncle Grandpa Sings the Classics,” and it’s Uncle Grandpa singing all the different genres of music. One of them is black metal, and it’s amazing. I was, like, they’re never going to let us put black metal into a kids’ cartoon, but they did.

Cartoon Brew: This is one of the few shows Cartoon Network has ever done, if not the only one, where the lead character is over the age of thirty. Usually, the stars of their shows are either kids or teens or in early-20s, but here you’ve got some older dude. I’m curious, within the studio, was that ever a point of contention or awareness that the show was different from everything else they’re doing?

He’s a magical guy who shows up and takes kids on adventures, so we always say he’s like Santa Claus with a GED.

Pete Browngardt: It definitely was talked about. The way I approached writing him, and we all do on the show, is that he may look like an old man but he’s basically a man-child. Once you see what he does, how he acts and talks, you’ll be like, ‘Oh he’s kind of a child.’ It never was a major concern. The [network would] want to veer us towards writing him like a kid because it is a kids’ cartoon and that’s what I wanted to do the whole time so it never was in contention.

Cartoon Brew: It’s funny that you say man-child because I looked at some of the YouTube comments and the most common adjective use d to describe him is ‘retarded.’ That’s not what he is, but that’s kind of another way of saying man-child.

Pete Browngardt: He’s a magical guy who shows up and takes kids on adventures, so we always say he’s like Santa Claus with a GED. And also, there’s this running theme that when he helps kids and stuff, we tell the story in a way where at the end, you don’t know if he’s an idiot or a genius. And I think that busts that whole thinking that he’s just an idiot because you’re wondering, ‘Did he have all this figured out from the beginning or is it all by chance?’

Uncle Grandpa Art Gallery
Artist: Thaddeus Couldron Artist: Nick Edwards Artist: Nick Edwards Artist: Nick Edwards Artist: Nick Edwards Artist: Carey Yost

Cartoon Brew: I want to talk a little bit about the visual style of the show. I read MAD when I was a kid, and I see a lot of Don Martin influence in the show. Was that an influence at all, and what are your other visual influences?

Pete Browngardt: Definitely MAD magazine. I had older brothers and they had Seventies and early-Eighties MAD magazines around the house. I used to draw from them constantly when I was a kid. At a certain age, my mom was like, ‘I don’t know if you should be looking at these things,’ so I’d sneak in and check them out. But definitely MAD magazine overall, and Don Martin, and then I got into [Harvey] Kurtzman later when I discovered who he was and how he’s the genius behind the whole thing.

Loved Gary Larson’s Far Side as a kid. Really big influence. I had certain breakthroughs as an artist when I was a kid. Like, MAD was one of them. And then in junior high, the Crumb documentary came out. I’d never heard of R. Crumb and when I saw that and got into his work, he was a huge influence. Garbage Pail Kids was huge with me too, John Pound and all those guys. And then, I got exposed to Tex Avery at a really early age. I had a Screwball Classics VHS that I memorized every cartoon on, and old Warner Bros. too. I would say it’s a blending of all of that stuff. I’m also influenced by contemporaries around me, other artists like Pen [Ward] and Aaron Springer, Carl Greenblatt, lot of people. We all sort of feed off each other.

Cartoon Brew: It’s funny because we have a very similar set of influences because we’re so close in age. When I see your show,, I can understand a lot more where the influences are coming from as opposed to a show created by someone who’s in their mid-to-late 20s. That person will have a completely different set of influences that they’re using, not better or worse, but different.

Pete Browngardt: Absolutely. When I see some of the other creators at the studio and just in animation in general, I’m like, wow. It might not be that huge of a span of years, but it is what you grew up on. I don’t even know if I realized it at the time, but a lot of our crew were all around the same age, and it’s funny because it’s like a second language. You go, ‘Make that look like this or that,’ and everybody knows because we’re all around the same age. We do have some young people starting out, and some people that might be a little older, but especially around the board artists and writers, we’re all around the same age. We all watched the same stuff and we’re influenced by pop culture the same way.

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15. “Paperman” Director John Kahrs Breaks Silence About Leaving Disney

Oscar-winning Paperman director John Kahrs, who quit Walt Disney Animation Studios last week, gave the following statement to The Wrap about his decision to leave the company:

“I will miss working with them, and feel lucky to have played a part in the revitalization of the studio. They have an abundance of projects; an incredible development slate, but I’ve decided to develop my own projects and pursue directing elsewhere. It was very amicable — they were very gracious about that — and I believe we all left the door open.”

A Disney studio spokesperson also issued a response:

“John is an incredibly talented filmmaker and artist and all of us here at Walt Disney Animation Studios are proud of his vision for the stunning and innovative ‘Paperman. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

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16. Watch A Video of Hayao Miyazaki Announcing His Retirement From Feature Animation

Earlier today in Tokyo, Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki held a press conference attended by over 600 journalists to formally announce his retirement. He acknowledged that he has said he would quit before: “I’ve mentioned that I would retire many times in the past, so a lot of you must be thinking ‘Oh, not again.’ But this time I am quite serious.”

Miyazaki explained his reasons for why he no longer wants to direct animated features:

I’m not sure you all know exactly what an animation director does. And even if you say ‘animation director’ everyone has their own way of working. I started as an animator, so I have to draw. If I don’t draw, I can’t express myself.

So what happens is, I have to take my glasses off and draw like this. I would have to do that forever. No matter how physically fit and healthy you are, it’s a fact that year after year the amount of time you’re able to concentrate on that decreases. I have experienced this personally, so I know. So, for example I leave my desk 30 minutes earlier compared to during Ponyo. Next I guess it’ll be one hour earlier than that.

Those physical issues that occur with age, there’s nothing you can do about them, and hating them doesn’t make a difference. There’s the opinion that i should just do things a different way, but if I could do that I would have already done a long time ago, so I can’t. Therefore, all I can do is persist in doing things on my terms, and I made the call that feature films would be impossible.

Miyazaki is leaving feature animation on a high note. His new film Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) is Japan’s top-grossing film of 2013. At the conference, Miyazaki said that he will continue going into the studio “as long as I can drive and commute back and forth between my home and the studio.” He expects to work for at least another ten years on projects of his choosing, but refused to divulge what those might be, other than hinting that he would become more involved with organizing exhibitions at the Ghibli Museum.

In a self-effacing moment, one of many during the conference, he related what happened when he told his wife that he was retiring:

So, this is the way the conversation about my retirement with my wife went—I said, “Please keep making my bento,” and she said, “Hmph…at your age it’s unheard of to have someone still making your lunch everyday.” So I said, “I am terribly sorry, but I’ll still leave it to you.” I don’t know if I said it that politely.

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17. Jin Kim Caricatures His Disney Co-Workers

Disney character designer Jin Kim drew this suite of twenty-five caricatures of co-workers for Disney’s annual in-house caricature show. Like the rest of Kim’s work, these drawings are distinguished by their expressive line and confident shapes. His prodigious abilities make it look far too easy. Above, from left to right, Lino DiSalbo, Don Hall, and Shiyoon Kim.

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18. Who Are The Oldest Living Animation Artists?

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 99th birthday party of animator Willis Pyle. Pyle has had a cartoon career for the ages. On Pinocchio, he cleaned up Milt Kahl’s scene of Jiminy Cricket getting dressed while running to work. He was a key animator during the early days of UPA and animated on the studio’s first theatrical short for Columbia, Robin Hoodlum, as well as the first Mister Magoo short Ragtime Bear. In the classic UPA film Gerald McBoing Boing, Pyle animated the climactic scene of Gerald performing sound effects at the radio station.

I’m incredibly grateful that we still have living links to the Golden Age of animation like Willy, and attending his party made me wonder who else is still around. The list below is every animation industry veteran I can think of who is 85 years or older. I’m sure there are plenty of others too, and I invite you to help fill out the list. The growth and development of our art form owes much to these men and women.

  • Bob Balser – 86 years old
  • Dean Spille – 86 years old

  • Rudy Cataldi – 86 years old
  • Sam Clayberger – 87 years old
  • Stan Freberg – 87 years old
  • Ken Mundie – 87 years old (?)
  • Walt Peregoy – 88 years old (?)
  • Ray Favata – 89 years old
  • Gene Deitch – 89 years old
  • Charles Csuri – 91 years old
  • David Weidman – 92 years old (?)
  • X. Atencio (pictured right) – 94 years old
  • Martha Sigall – 95 years old (?)
  • June Foray – 95 years old
  • Bob Givens – 95 years old
  • Stan Spohn – 98 years old
  • Willis Pyle – 99 years old
  • Don Lusk – 99 years old

  • Tyrus Wong – 102 years old
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    19. Blue Sky Director Carlos Saldanha Wants to Try Live-Action

    Veteran Blue Sky director Carlos Saldanha (Rio, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Rio 2) is currently in negotiations to take over the direction of 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi picture Rust. The film’s original director, Joe Cornish, recently left the production for unspecified reasons.

    The E.T.-esque film, based on a recent graphic novel by Royden Lepp, is described by the Wrap as the story of “a family of farmers struggling in the wake of a devastating world war [whose] lives are changed when Jet Jones, a young boy with a jetpack, crashes into their barn while being pursued by a giant decommissioned war robot.”

    Saldanha has been with Blue Sky since its earliest features. He co-directed the studio’s first two films—Ice Age and Robots. As animation fans, we can only hope that this is a mid-life crisis of the kind experienced by Andrew Stanton and Rob Minkoff, and that Saldanha will return to animation after getting the live-action bug out of his system. Because, seriously, what sane person would give up the opportunity to direct Ice Age 6?

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    20. ‘The Hero of Color City’ Brings Crayons to Life

    If LEGO can have its own movie, so can crayons. At least that's the thinking behind "The Hero of Color City," an animated feature being distributed in the U.S. by Magnolia Pictures, which also distributes the Oscar-nominated short films as well as documentaries like "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and "Blackfish."

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    21. A fun animator mash-up with “Scrambled Ink”

    Hollywood’s hardest working animators bring their blockbuster talent to comics to tell stories too big for the silver screen in this jam-packed, jaw-dropping, just-plain-fun compendium of illustrated awesomeness! Hilarious and moving, undeniably innovative, and stunningly beautiful, each tale transforms the page into a lushly realized world of imagination – a surefire prize for any fan of illustration or anyone looking for a great yarn spun in a whole new way.

    Get Scrambled Ink on Amazon.com

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    22. The Meditative and Mysterious Films of Tatsuhiro Ariyoshi

    Born in 1984 in Aichi Prefecture Japan, Tatsuhiro Ariyoshi is an independent animator who lives and works in Tokyo. He graduated from the Musashino Art University (Department of Imaging Arts & Sciences) in 2009, followed by a graduate degree from the animation department at the Tokyo University of the Arts.

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    23. Watch: Bruce Timm’s New Short ‘Batman: Strange Days’

    DC Comics has posted online the new Bruce Timm short "Batman: Strange Days" that was created in honor of the character's 75th anniversary.

    0 Comments on Watch: Bruce Timm’s New Short ‘Batman: Strange Days’ as of 4/10/2014 9:39:00 PM
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    24. John Kricfalusi Accepts Texas Avery Award in Dallas [Video]

    "Ren & Stimpy" creator John Kricfalusi attended the Dallas International Film Festival this weekend to accept the Texas Avery Award.

    0 Comments on John Kricfalusi Accepts Texas Avery Award in Dallas [Video] as of 4/13/2014 5:19:00 AM
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    25. Can You Identify These Legendary Animators?

    Tonight, just for fun, I posted a series of photos of legendary animators from the Golden Age of theatrical animation. We owe them a great deal. Without the pioneering efforts of these artists (and hundreds of others like them), animation would not be nearly so advanced as it is today. How many of these animators can you identify? You can click through to Instagram for the identifications.

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