Archive for the ‘Animation’ Category

Catmull Likes Pencil and Paper

February 9, 2007

image_disneypixar7.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter has an article today with the headline, “Disney getting back to hand-drawn animation.” Unfortunately, it offers no specifics about The Frog Princess or anything else. Just that Ed Catmull, speaking at Disney’s annual Investors Conference in Orlando yesterday, said he and Lasseter intend to bring traditional animation back, “provided a worthy story is being told.”

Other news from the conference: Disney intends to build a few mini theme parks around the country, and the made-for-TV movie, High School Musical made a $100 million profit.

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Boys’ Night Out

January 23, 2007

I spent Saturday night camping out with my son (and 200 other dads & lads) on the U.S.S. Massachusetts.

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What’s not to like about running free through an enourmous indoor-outdoor playground/maze, bristling with guns of all sizes? We took a knot-tying class, did Q & A with WWII vets, listened to a storyteller, and watched the classic 1964 Warner Brothers film, The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

Yes, the 16-inch guns were memorable. But what stuck with me was the movie. The Incredible Mr. Limpet stars Don Knotts as the sad loser whose dreams come true when he magically turns into a fish and helps the US Navy win World War II. I loved this movie as a child. Seeing it again, I was surprised by a certain plot element that must have been lost on my pre-adolescent mind. Limpet’s wife Bessie is clearly attracted to another man—Limpet’s best friend George. Bessie and George would much rather be out dancing together than dealing with the boring Limpet. Then, when Limpet turns into a fish, he meets the beautiful Ladyfish, who wants to go with him to the spawning grounds. Limpet resists until he has a chance to talk it over with his wife and to get her blessing. Limpet and Bessie agree that a union between a woman and a fish is not practical, and they run off happily with their more compatible mates.

Is it a child’s primer on divorce? Or is it a metaphor for another kind of identity crisis? In any case, it is beautifully nuanced—not at all the heavy-handed style you might see in a modern movie.

Frog Princess Buzz

December 15, 2006

Animation fans have been buzzing since July about The Frog Princess, a 2D feature film rumored to be in development at Walt Disney Feature Animation. A casting call went out in November, but Disney still won’t officially comment.

Disney Returns to Shorts

December 3, 2006

There is an interesting article in today’s New York Times about Disney’s move (a few years ago) to resume development of short animated films. Disney has a long, illustrious history of making shorts, and the company has tried unsuccessfully to revive the old format before. Now, under John Lasseter’s leadership, there is no requirement or expectation that short films be profitable. The express purposes of the projects are to experiment with new techniques and to develop the next generation of talent.

Buried near the end of the article is the momentous news that one of the new shorts will be the first animated film in Disney’s history to be directed by a woman (Stevie Wermers).

Communist Manifesto Set to Animated Greats

November 16, 2006


This has been making the rounds. It is now on the technorati home page. See it while you can—I’m sure the copyright holders will have it off YouTube in no time.

Omar Tells Canadian TV, “I’m an Idiot!”

November 8, 2006

We just received a copy of this spot that aired September 23 on Canada’s Global National TV network (posted with permission):

After I said this, Brenda body-slammed me and told the reporter I was the crazy janitor who thinks he is President. Apparently, he didn’t buy it.