StoryBots

Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew on StoryBots:

The show was set up “in a way that individual artists can make big contributions,” Spiridellis says. “There isn’t a style that runs through the whole show.” The show has “anchors”—for example, when the Storybots enter the human world, they always appear in cg, while at Storybots headquarters, they have an outline-less 2D look.

But other sequences are open to the interpretation of the artists. “That really enables us to let the team do what they do best,” explains Spiridellis. “Which means, ‘Hey you like painting this way?’ ‘Well, paint that way.’ ‘You like making puppets?’ ‘Go make a puppet.’” Link

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Lotte Reiniger

Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (2 June 1899 – 19 June 1981) was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation. Reiniger made more than 40 films over her career, all using her invention.Her best known films are The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) – the oldest surviving feature-length animated film, preceding Walt Disney’s feature-length Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) by over ten years – and Papageno (1935), featuring music by Mozart. Reiniger is also noted for devising a predecessor to the first multi-plane camera.

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Ward Kimball’s Ludwig Von Drake Thumbnails

Animator Andreas Deja on Ward Kimball’s prep work for animating a scene of Ludwig Von Drake in 1961:

It is amazing to see how detailed and thorough Kimball’s thumbnails were, Those are all the key drawings necessary…just add inbetweens. He went straight ahead and figured the complete scene out on one 16 field sheet of animation paper.

Open the full post here to see the full image of Kimball’s thumbnails:

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3D Printed Zoetrope by Shaun Rogers

3D Printed Zoetrope from Shaun Rogers on Vimeo.

Yesterday we took a look at The Story of the Animated Drawing, a 1955 episode of the ABC television show Disneyland. At one point in the episode Walt Disney demonstrated a handful of 19th century novelty devices that paved the way for the development of animation. One of these devices, the zoetrope, has had a 21st century revival in the form of 3D printed variations like the one featured at the top of this post by animator Shaun Rogers (no relation).

The Story of the Animated Drawing (1955)

Notes on The Story of the Animated Drawing (1955):

On Tuesday we watched an episode of the 1950s television show, Disneyland. The ABC Television network was an early investor in the construction of the Anaheim amusement park; along with that funding ABC got Disney to produce and host a weekly show that highlighted different aspects of the park in addition to other subjects pertaining to the studio. This particular episode is a concise overview of the early history of animation.

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Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

I’m looking forward to checking out this documentary:

Animator. Storyman. Troublemaker. Take an intimate journey through the life and career of the ‘Forrest Gump’ of the animation industry — Floyd Norman. At 80 years old, see how this Disney Legend, the first African American artist and storyman at Disney, continues to impact animation and stir up his own brand of “trouble”.

For more information, please visit: FloydNormanMovie.com

The 75th Anniversary of the 1941 Disney Strike

Amid Amidi marks the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the first Disney labor strike, which started on May 29th, 1941:

…tensions had been building at the studio since the runaway success of the studio’s first film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, and employees of the studio had a litany of grievances from low wages and salary cuts to arbitrary layoffs, arcane bonus distribution systems, and oppressively long hours (including mandatory work on Saturdays).

Check out the full piece here.  Amidi offers a quick overview of what lead up to the strike, a gallery of images, and a connection to the working and wage condition of animation artists today.

Artist Spotlight: Maurice Noble

Patrick A. Reed on Maurice Noble:

Maurice Noble is a name that draws blank stares from most people, but he’s a legend among animators and cartoon buffs – he art-directed and laid out many classic Merry Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons, including the legendary What’s Opera, Doc?, Duck Amuck, and Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century; he defined the abstract-modernist style of the Road Runner series; and he mentored a number of creators who have gone on to great acclaim in animation, cartooning, and other fields.

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The A.V. Club Interviews Stop-motion Animator Kirsten Lepore

Adventure Time debuts its first stop motion-animated episode, “Bad Jubies,” this week, and Cartoon Network has brought on filmmaker Kirsten Lepore to take the show into three dimensions. An award-winning animator known for her gorgeous, whimsical independent short films about community and nature, Lepore has established herself as a major talent in the field of stop motion animation, and she does remarkable things with the support of a network behind her. She recently spoke with The A.V. Club about the rewards and challenges of stop motion, translating a 2-D cartoon for a new medium, and why stop motion animation has endured when computer technology has presented less labor-intensive alternatives for creating a similar look.

Oliver Sava interviews Kirsten Lepore at The A.V. Club