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Women in Animation Meeting: Walt Disney Animation Studios

April 20th, 2008

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On Thursday, April 17th, I attended the “WIA’s Got Short Shorts” meeting at the Walt Disney Studios. It was a great event.

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There was an incredible turn out for the event, with many more attendees than any other WIA meeting I know of. The food and drink were delicious. Here you can see Walt and Mickey (and Rachel Illowsky) near the food circle which was set up in the Disney Legends Plaza.

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There was a very nice wreath in front of Ollie Johnston’s bronze plaque.

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Over in the theater, Sue Kroyer was awarded the WIA Award of Inspiration. It was great to hear her talk about her early career, and how she has continued to do great things in the animation industry.

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We got a sneak peek at “Glago’s Guest”, a short film by Disney which will premiere this year at Annecy. The version we saw did not have final audio. It really does a great job of pushing hair and cloth technology.

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We saw “How To Hook Up Your Home Theater”, complete with a brief introduction and behind the scenes look with co-director Stevie Wermers-Skelton. It’s a great short, and really fits with the Goofy “How To” shorts of the 1940’s.

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We saw some concept art and got a short story overview of “The Frog Princess”. I can see his film being a huge success, and the New Orleans Square at Disneyland being over run with frog stuff in the next few years.

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“The Ballad of Nessie” was only presented with a title card and a few images of concept art. If you can imagine Mary Blair working with plaid, then you have a pretty good feel for what this short looks like. I’m anxious to see this one!

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The biggest treat in the theater was the 10 minute segment of “Bolt”. There were some black & white shots, and some boards mixed in, but for the most part it was a complete sequence. If you are looking for anything resembling the Chris Sanders art from “American Dog”, you’ll be disappointed, but this film looks great on it’s own. Disney has filed no less than 15 patents for various production processes used in the creation of the film. The results are stunning. I think audiences will enjoy “Bolt” when it strikes theaters on November 26th.

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On the way out of the theater, I noticed some hand prints on the ground. We swung back around after the end of the dessert and raffle portion of the meeting for a better look. There on the ground were several hand prints from the Disney Legends. I got down to see how I measured up to Ollie Johnston’s hand size. To my surprise, it was a pretty close match.

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I only used my left hand, as I’m not anywhere near a level as to assume my drawing hand would measure up to his.

Overall, it was a great meeting, and an incredible presentation. Walt Disney Animation Studios has a strong slate of both shorts and features headed your way. If there was any doubt about their place in the world of animation, the next few years should make things crystal clear.

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photo by Lisa Illowsky

A quick stop off at the Denny’s in San Clemente for some cheese floss, and it was back to San Diego.
-Floyd Bishop

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Touching and endearing…right up til the cheese up the nose image….
Hopefully you got something good out of the claw machine at the Denny’s!

 
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