Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Rubbing elbows...

...with Angela Lansbury last night during a panel at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We celebrated the 25th anniversary of Beauty & the Beast.
It was wonderful to see everybody again after so many years. From left to right:

The Academy's Randy Habercamp, Angela Lansbury, yours truly, Richard White (voice of Gaston),
David Ogden Stiers (narrator and voice of Cogsworth), Robby Benson (voice of the Beast), Glen Kean, Mark Henn, Page O'Hara (voice of Belle),  Brenda Chapman (story), Roger Allers (story), Gary Trousdale (co-director) and Don Hahn (producer).

I told the story of how my first scene with Gaston (above) was met with criticism by Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said that the acting was ok, but Gaston didn't look handsome enough. In the original pencil test I had drawn him with a large jaw and a mustache...much cartoonier looking.

I remember enjoying animating this scene, in which Gaston puts down Belle's love for books.
Here Belle was animated by Ken Duncan.

It was important to me that the character -despite the demand for realism- had moments when we could exaggerate his poses. Story material and voice recordings just called for that kind of an approach.