Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Genius of Milt Kahl



Another example of the immense creativity of Milt Kahl during the production of Lady and the Tramp. Milt was able to animate just about any situation with a four legged animal at this point.
He knew a dog's anatomy like nobody's business, and he could animate any scene believably in a masterful way. Milt liked this movie, he thought this film represented some of the studio's better efforts.

More on Tramp here:

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2019/03/a-lady-tramp-masterpiece.html

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2012/06/one-year-anniversary.html

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2011/07/tramp.html

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Father Daughter Story



I remember animating this sequence from The Little Mermaid. 
King Triton is having a serious conversation with his daughter, who has disobeyed the rules by going up to the ocean's surface. 
His tone of voice has concern, anger, frustration and disbelief. I was in the middle of animating this, when suddenly it dawned on me that all of his feels too familiar. My older sister Christa had started dating way back, and she would go out to have a good time at a nearby disco. 
My dad told her to be back home by 11pm, but of course Christa had a habit of being late. My father would wait in the living room until she returned in order to face her and read her the riot act.
He was very loud in his rants, and he got close to my sister, pointing at her, but never touching her. 
My sister held her ground. 
How could I not reference my dad when animating this? It was a case of art imitating life.

Years later I told my father that his personality and demeanor made it into a Disney animated film.
He wasn't sure if this was a good or a bad thing.

More on King Triton in this sequence here:
https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2016/03/king-triton-stuff.html
https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2015/12/king-triton.html


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Mystery Video Tape



This item is currently being offered on Ebay.
The year is 1994, and Disney Art Editions invited Marc and me to have a conversation about our careers and animation in general. The video would be distributed to animation art dealers in the mid 1990s.
Disney Art Editions in those days produced re-created cels of Disney characters from the films' memorable moments.
This is 25 years ago, and I remember vividly what a hot afternoon it was. And also what an amazing honor to spend time with Marc on camera in front of the original Burbank animation studios. What I don't recall is what we talked about specifically.

I actually owned a VHS copy of this, hopefully I will find it and have it transferred to a digital file.
And then post it!





Update: Found it!

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Princess and the Frog at the Academy




Great night at the Academy last Thursday. A 10th anniversary screening of the film and a panel.
So nice to see everybody again. I was asked: "Does it feel like 10 years ago to you?"
Heck yes! So much has happened since we made that film. 

After Frog Disney  gave us one more shot at pencil animation with Winnie the Pooh.
As soon as it was announced that that film's release date had changed to go head to head with the last Harry Potter film, we knew...

Anyway I had fun working on both films, Mama Odie was a blast to animate (she should have had one more sequence in the film though, perhaps the at the ending)

Here are a few Vis Dev pieces by various artists from the movie.



















Saturday, September 7, 2019

Mickey Mouse at 20

In 1948 members of the National Cartoonists' Society congratulated Walt Disney on the occasion of Mickey's 20th birthday. Quite the line up of who is who in American comic strips.




Which reminds me to remind you all that the exhibition MICKEY MOUSE, FROM WALT TO THE WORLD at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco will run until early January. 
Go visit the wonderful museum and the Mickey exhibit next door. 

For more Infos:


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Richard Williams



Just like all of you I was saddened to hear about the passing of Dick Williams.
This is how I remember him most, working on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. We had met before this, in LA at Academy events and film festivals. I shared Dick's profound enthusiasm for animation, and we enjoyed just talking about Disney, Warner Brothers, or the medium in general.
One day he called me and said that he might work for Disney after all. There was this high level project in development at Disney and Amblin, a combination of animation and live action. But it would have to be done in a way never attempted before.
I recall him coming to my house for dinner and telling me a little bit about the film whose main character would be an animated rabbit. Before leaving, Dick pulled out of his car's trunk a model sheet of Roger filled with his drawings. 
A few weeks later he phoned me and asked if I was interested in joining the animation crew in London to work on the film. Of course I would still be employed by Disney. Here's the thing: I said no, I had just been in LA for a few years, and that I wasn't ready to return to Europe.
I think another couple of weeks passed and animation producer Don Hahn and Dick asked me out for a Mexican dinner. I believe it was Don Cuco in Burbank. 
Anyway we had dinner and margaritas... and I signed on.
One of the best decisions I ever made regarding my professional career.

After my flight to Heathrow I was picked up by a driver, not to my new apartment, but straight to the studio in Camden. There was no time for jet lag...here is your first scene...GO!!!
It had the ostrich from Fantasia in it, interacting with Eddie Valiant. Photostats and all.
It really was the beginning of a terrific year, there was a buzz around the studio I'd never experienced before. We really were doing things that had never been done.

Here is the link to a post about that first ostrich scene: