Monday, February 27, 2012

Disney is looking.....

Eric Larson sent me this terrific brochure in the late seventies, while I was still studying Graphic Design in Germany.
My jaw dropped, and my eyes popped out of my head when I browsed through the pages.
This was Disney NOW, people working on a variety of projects and looking toward the future of Disney animation. There was no way I was not going to try to be part of this…whatever it would take.
I was dead serious about this. I remember being a little intimidated by the sample sketchbook pages toward the end. They looked pretty awesome to me. I don't think I draw THAT well, was my thinking.
Mel Shaw's artwork for "The Hero from Otherwhere" and "The Black Cauldron" blew me away.
I had always been excited about Disney, but this brochure set me on fire.

I won't write captions for every photo, but you find talented folks like effects animator Ted Kierscey, story man Pete Young, animator Gary Goldman, Glen Keane, writer Steve Hulett, Disney CEO Ron Miller, Tad Stones, director/animator Don Bluth, Lorna Cook, Ed Gombert, John Pomeroy, Emily Juliano, Dave Spafford, Don Griffith (couldn't do a bad layout to save his life) with Dan Hansen, Eric Larson with Rebecca Reese, Frank Thomas with Ron Husband and a few others.

It takes my breath away just remembering and writing about this.









37 comments:

  1. Gorgeous and nice collector's piece and it obviously has special significance for you. Things like these are so nice to bring back memories -
    is this when you submitted your portfolio and got accepted/asked to come to the studios then?

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    1. I had written to Eric, and submitted my portfolio after he sent me
      this brochure.

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    2. Love this! It is a very inspiring brochure; Andreas, would you be so kind to be a guest on our web Animation talk show in the near future?

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  2. Must have been a real exciting period, as probably is for anyone told they're coming to Disney - and big change too moving continent! Course, how could you refuse!

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  3. What a post. Full of emetion and excitement ! I love it. I can totally imagine how excited you was ! This is truly exciting and entertaining. It's a good thing that you received this brochure. =) Thank you for sharing !

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  4. Greate post!!! Thanks for sharing Andreas! :)

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  5. Wow, I wished it was still exciting like that time. This is so great to see and makes me feel like going back to my desk and draw.
    How can we get that kind of excitement back?
    Thanks for sharing these, Andreas.

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    1. Sandro,
      we have to create that kind of excitement ourselves.
      It used to exist within a few studios. Now it's our turn.
      But I know you can do it, I can, and many others, too.

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    2. I must say, it is very exciting to be at the studio right now. There is an energy in the halls and everyone is excited about Ralph, the new short, as well as future projects. Being relatively new, I really get a sense that, while Disney has a deep affinity for it's legacy, we are really trying to push forward & advance this art form.

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  6. Wow amazing! I want to work for Disney now! (as if i didn't for the past 20 something years)hahah

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  7. Terrific post! I can imagine your excitement when you got this!! I wish it was just as exciting now as it was back then. Why don't we get more brochures like that these days??
    Reading this has made me want to improve my drawing skills even more. Thanks for sharing, Andreas! :)

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  8. In the 5th picture, there is an image of a boy and a donkey. Does anyone know the name of the film that this scene is from?

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    1. It says in the paragraphs underneath the drawings on that page that one of the films being worked on was "The Hero From Everwhere". Obviously that never became a Disney feature film. Maybe those characters were from that film and were never finished, because I certainly have never seen then anywhere else. The donkey is adorable though, I almost wish that film had come to fruition just on him alone!

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    2. You guys, the donkey and the boy are designs for "The Small One"

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  9. Heh, remember you talking about this on the animation podcast, really cool to actually see the brochure.

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  10. Great post thanks so much for sharing this Andreas. Andreas would it be possible to scan DCB-4.jpg a little higher? I couldn't quite read the text.

    Phil: that's Don Bluth's "The Small One."

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    Replies
    1. Owen, that image is high res, too. Just download it to your computer and enlarge it.

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  11. Exciting to see where it all began. Great post!!!

    I don't remember if you mentioned this or not but how did you come to know Eric Larson before you worked at Disney?

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  12. Thanks for posting this! Things like this make me really excited about animation! I'm sure when you received this you really were in awe of the talent.

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  13. ...And this is why we all want to work at Disney! :D

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  14. I've got the feeling that today there are more artists/creative people than jobs for them, lucky you that you are talented enough to be part of these awesome stuff!

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  15. That's all the motivation you needed. Reading that. A simple little brochure, and the deal was done.

    I received a Don Bluth newsletter while in college, very early 1980's. I cant tell you how many times I looked over and over those few pages of information regarding Nimh, Space Ace and Dragons Lair. As a student I never even dreamed I would one day meet these artists let alone work with them.

    Great post Andreas :-)

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  16. I've been interested in animation history since my early teens, and I can only imagine what it must have been like to receive that in the mail, and ponder the future.

    I was watching "Dream On Silly Dreamer" today, and saw you in it, and lo and behold I find your blog here! Nice to see that CG hasn't obliterated from the earth severely talented people such as yourself.

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  17. Oh the good old times, when I was first time allowed to go without parents to cinema.
    May I asc a question..as fan of bedknobs and broomsticks...i like the beach of naboombu.

    http://michaelfriemel.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/traumstrand-naboombu/

    does anyone know who drew this background, I've found a lot of names: al dempster, peter ellenshaw, bill layne, ralph hulett.

    Thanks for checking, and thanks for this wonderful looks behind the scenes and in the past.

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  18. I had a sample portfolio sent to me back in the late 90's when I was much younger that had many of your life drawings in it. I thought to myself, "THIS is what I have to draw like to be a Disney animator??" You set a very high bar, but your drawings WERE the bar to reach. I was intimidated and in awe and still to this day. Haven't reached that bar or even come close yet, but funny how it has come full circle for you since then. Thanks for sharing :)

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  19. "My jaw dropped, and my eyes popped out of my head"
    This is what always happens to me while seeing YOUR works or other Disney's Legends !
    Thanks for posting this !
    Your story about entering Disney is totally inspiring ! :)

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  20. Should I either show my reel or portfolio to get the job a clean-up?

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    1. Matthew, at Disney animation there are no jobs for clean up at the moment.
      But you could send your reel and portfolio anyway to get feed back.

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  21. Thats so cool to see that brochure, wow imagine if they were still looking for talent now. Are there any hand drawn films still in production at the moment?

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  22. Probably a stupid question, but did Flit/Flick from Pocahontas come from the Black Cauldron hummingbird?

    It's really sad that there's no one out recruiting hand-drawn animation talent like this anymore. It's hard not to give up hope, but not so many years ago I would have thought claymation was on it's death rattle and it's still going strong.

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    1. That hummingbird had nothing to do with "Cauldron", don't really know what project it relates to.
      And Flit arrived so many years later without influences from older movies.

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    2. D'oh! Sorry, I read it as part of a spread about The Black Cauldron.

      That makes sense. It just struck me as quite similar to his design.

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  23. I had kinda forgotten about this brochure. Pretty slick. And all those young faces: Ted Kierscey, Jim George, Gary Goldman, Fujiko Miller, Lynn McClish ( now married to Dale Alexander) a hirsute Steve Hulett, Pete Young, Mel Shaw, Eric Larson with Rebecca Rees, Glen Keane gesturing in the shadows, Spaff, Ron Miller!, and on and on...I have this brochure buried away someplace...

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  24. I remember this as a very exciting time although I had already been booted out of Disney by "Fast Eddie" because I was too slow and "too old." I was in my thirties.

    I spent several years at Hanna-Barbera working on Saturday Morning crap before returning to Disney and new management in the eighties.

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  25. In the 70's there was a magazine called, PRINT and they ran an extensive article on the new intake with many of the same pics. Also Funnyworld ran a back cover ad with the first page image, (above). On my way from NZ to England in 79, I wrote a letter to Disney's saying Id be in LA for 3 days and could I come out to the studio with my porfolio. I got a letter back saying there probably wouldn't be anyone available to look at my work. So I didn't go, plus I'm not sure how I thought I was going to get from my downtown hotel out to Burbank and back... Not knowing how the public transport system work in LA.

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