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Students & Teachers: Sherie Pollack’s Awesome Lecture! Part 2 - The Talk!

May 8th, 2009

sheriepfred.jpg

Recently I had a sit down with one of my favorite people, multi-talented animator and director Sherie Pollack, whose body of work ranges from edgy primetime programming animating and timing on “The Simpsons” to directing “God, The Devil, & Bob” to the pre-K “Dora the Explorer” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” I took the opportunity to discuss her journey into animation success and her upcoming lecture “My Career in Cartoons”. Here, in the second half of her interview, Sherie goes in depth about her lecture.

BD: In your lecture, what kind of things do you cover for aspiring pro animators?

SP: I basically want to share everything I wish I knew when I started. You know, how to get a union job. What is a union all about. What do I do if I’m not doing well on a job - how do I get my groove back? Carpal tunnel. Everyone gets it. Eye strain. How to [Read more…]

Students & Teachers: Sherie Pollack’s Awesome Lecture Part 1 - A Little Background!

May 6th, 2009

sheriepfred.jpg

Recently I had a sit down with one of my favorite people, multi-talented animator and director Sherie Pollack, whose body of work ranges from edgy primetime programming (like animating and timing on “The Simpsons” and directing “God, The Devil, & Bob”) to pre-K entertainment like“Dora the Explorer” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” I took the opportunity to discuss her journey into animation success and her upcoming lecture “My Career in Cartoons”.

Bailee DesRocher: What got you started in animation?:

Sherie Pollack: I was 17 when I first started thinking about colleges, I flipped a coin - it was either going to be theatre, or fine arts. That’s when my mother pulled me into the pantry and said,”Do ya have to do this? Isn’t there anything else?”

Going forward, I combined the two. I didn’t know I wanted to be an animator. As a kid I was always drawing and I was very lucky - my parents would [Read more…]

“Princess and the Frog” release moves up

March 11th, 2009

1018tiana.jpg
via Animation Magazine

The Walt Disney Co. has moved up the release date for its 2D animated musical feature The Princess and the Frog to Dec. 11. Previously set to open on Christmas Day, the movie also will get an exclusive run in Los Angeles and New York starting Nov. 25, Variety reports.The movie now opens opposite the Peter Jackson film The Lovely Bones, leaving the Christmas Day family market to Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

It would appear that the mouse is afraid of Chipmunks? Things have changed quite a bit since the 90’s, when Disney put The Little Mermaid re release directly up against Fox Animation’s Anastasia. So did Fox films get better, maybe too good to compete with directly, or did Disney lose its nerve in the current economic climate?

-Floyd Bishop

Make Mine Martians

February 4th, 2009

This excerpt from Mars and Beyond is one of the oddest cartoon sequences ever produced by Disney. A bizarre bevy of fantastic and imaginative Martians cavort in a speculative exploration of what might lurk on Mars. Too bad it didn’t turn out that way; I’d be first in line to visit if these silly creatures were actually in residence. The animation was aired in 1957 and directed by Ward Kimball.

The entire program is available on the DVD set Walt Disney Treasures - Tomorrowland: Disney in Space and Beyond.

And for a timely connection: check out this great piece of Ward Kimball Martian art which is up for auction in February at Heritage Auction.

Anne D. Bernstein

Superbowl is a super time for animation

January 30th, 2009

Up poster

The Superbowl is going to be on TV this Sunday. While the Superbowl is usually not an event that is considered a “must see” for many artist types, there are many animated reasons to watch this year.

First of all, there are the commercials. Even in such an economically depressed times, there should be many animated commercials. In other years, the Superbowl commercials have been like a mini film festival, with many different styles and techniques on display.

Secondly, we should be seeing a new trailer for the Disney/Pixar film “Up”. I would love to see something along the lines of the Mike & Sully through the closet door type of thing, where the trailer is not made up of content from the film. I think that tends to give away too much.

Another great reason to watch is the 3D trailer for the Dreamworks film “Monsters Vs Aliens”. Before the game, be sure [Read more…]

S’No White

January 12th, 2009

disney.jpg

Let her down easy. It’s not like she knew that gals don’t do “creative work”. An interesting item, not from official Disney vaults. Cool stationery, I will give them points for that! From Sim Sandwich’s photostream on Flickr. His grandmother is the Mary V. Ford who didn’t get a job. Thanks to the Rocketboom blog for making me aware of this.

Anne D. Bernstein

“Pinocchio” and others on Blu-Ray in 2009

January 11th, 2009


Disney has announced their 2009 release slate of films. These include Pinocchio: 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition (March 10) and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Platinum Edition in October. Pixar will be releasing Monsters Inc. and A Bug’s Life.

Pinocchio

Hopefully these Blu-Ray releases will be a better release than that of Sleeping Beauty last year, which received mixed reviews, mostly due to picture quality issues such as DVNR, oversaturated colors, and color timing. There was a post about these issues and the release back in November on Cartoon Brew.

I don’t know if Walt Disney Home Entertainment has learned anything (or changed anything) since their last classic on BluRay release, but I hope they did. The issues listed here are what kept me from buying the Blu Ray release of Sleeping Beauty.

-Floyd Bishop

Golden Globe nominees announced

December 11th, 2008

golden globes

The Golden Globe nominees for Best Animated Feature Film are Disney’s Bolt, DreamWorks Animation’s Kung-Fu Panda and Disney/Pixar’s WALL•E. Both Bolt and WALL•E have songs nominated for Best Original Song. “Down to Earth” from WALL•E features music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman, with lyrics by Peter Gabriel, and “I thought I Lost You” from Bolt has music and lyrics by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele.

The animated documentary Waltz with Bashir from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman is up for Best Foreign Language Film.

-Floyd Bishop

Tex does Tex: Remakes of cartoons

November 26th, 2008

In 1952, the Tex Avery directed a short Rock-A-Bye Bear premiered. The short, written by Heck Allen and Rich Hogan featured a simple premise: Spike has a job running a house for a hibernating bear, who insists on quiet. Tex was strained by the amount of work, so he left MGM shortly after completing the piece (the film was actually completed in 1950, but not released until two years later due to the backlog of cartoon shorts).  In Tex’s absence, his unit was directed by former Walter Lantz director, Dick Lundy.

Tex returned to MGM in 1951,  where he took back his animation unit. He went on to direct eleven more cartoons. Most of these had a similar look to the UPA cartoons that were gaining popularity at the time. In March 1953, MGM closed down Tex’s unit, believing that 3D films that were quickly taking theaters by storm would end the [Read more…]

The 7 Most Terrifying Disney Movie Deaths

November 21st, 2008

Clayton

Cracked has posted their list of the 7 most terrifying Disney movie deaths. The list does not include their live action films. If it did, Old Yeller should be somewhere near the top.

I would move Clayton from Tarzan up to the #1 spot from #4. I half expect to see him hanging from the Tarzan Treehouse (formerly the Swiss Family Robinson tree house) at Disneyland each time I go.

I also wouldn’t have listed Syndrome, and instead filled that spot with the witch/queen from Snow White. That was pretty terrifying. The storm is building, the lightning is crashing all around, and then the cliff edge crumbles, sending the witch down… then the rock falls after her. The scene ends with her two vultures smiling as they descend and the shot dissolves away. Very creepy stuff.

What’s your favorite?

-Floyd Bishop