Saturday, March 25, 2017

THE NOBLE APPROACH (2013, Tod Polson)

Tod Polson. The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design. San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2013.

/ PDF / English / 176 pages / 1452102945 / 978-1452102948

Nice book about the most influential animation designer of all time. There's also a bit of a bio here: his humble beginnings at the art school, working with Disney: he was the background painter in many of the Silly Symphonies, notably the Oscar winning The Old Mill (1937), eventually he became a background/layout artist working in Snow Whites, Bambi, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Dumbo... and then, he joined the strike against Disney! he was one of the very few "selected circle" artists to join, he had everything to lose but he did it anyways cause "it wasn't fair to the guys on the lower rungs". So he fought, won and... finally leave :(
During the war time period, started the first of many collaborations with Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Robert Mackimson.  
In 1951 he joined the Chuck Jones animation unit as layout designer and history was made, thus it begans his work at Warner Bros. Designing and creating background layouts for Duck Amuck, What's Opera Doc?, Kiss Me Cat. Then Working at MGM, retirement and coming out in the 90's. Etc. Etc.

But mainly this is an outline on the design philosophies of Maurice Noble, ilustrated with some of his designs: where to get inspiration from, how to choose color, how to break down the layout, etc. His logical approach to animation design: "Backgrounds and characters should work in harmony" and a simple line art style never interferes with a gag, design should always support a story not the other way around. (by pelida77)     

By the way, if you are any interested in background art take a peek at this amazing blog by Rob Richards:

"The real art of animation is filled with ideas and beauty and is never-ending joy"
(Maurice Noble)

Thursday, March 16, 2017


Don Peri. Working with Disney: Interviews with Animators, Producers, and Artists. Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 2011.

/ EPUB / English / 192 pages / 1604739401 / 978-1604739404

Frank Thomas reveal us a picture about Walt, and what exactly made him so great: couldn't actually animate or even draw, couldn't write, wasn't a designer... He just knew exactly which was the right way to go and what was good and what wasn't "He was always right" (Dave Hand) though he shares some of his regrets on how they weren't able to follow the path traced by Fantasia (1941) (seems to blame the war for that)
Ollie Johnston tell the story of the dark days of the strike... such an emotional episode, leaving a mark on everyone involved, almost 40 years later!
According to Marc Davis, Wilfred Jackson was pedantic as fuck and Le Clarc "way ahead of any of us"; seems that he hated a lot of persons in the studio but
"It was like being on a baseball team, and if a guy hits a Home Run, even if you don't like him you
love him at that moment because you win the game."
None of them try to hide the fact that Disney was a fucking pain in the ass (Lance Nolley remember multiple stories about the famous Disney's Wrath), but they all try to explain in awe his genius: like little children that cannot fully comprehend what just happened. 
And there's a lovely touching moment on the last time Marc saw an already very sick Walt, showing him his pictures and how he was very pleased laughing at them: if anyone has any doubts that Walt was an animator at heart, that's exactly how the Man spent the last days of his life... 
Any conversation with Walter Lantz is like diving on Animation History; he was in the business from the very first days of the William Randolph Heart and similar, he sort of gives the boss to boss perspective with Walt. 
Then you got some Inbetweeners, background artists and just good old simple animators interviews (which is great, cause gives a different perspective, ya'know?), TV shows, some park people... etc.

Friday, March 10, 2017

THE ART OF ZOOTOPIA (2016, Jessica Julius)

Jessica Julius. The Art of Zootopia. San Francisco, Chronicle Books, 2016.

/ PDF / English / 160 pages /  1452122237 / 978-1452122236

Some years ago Disney finally bought Pixar (and John Lasseter's soul muhahahaha). The idea was having them as a subsidiary separate studio releasing CGI animation features and to keep the Walt Disney Animation Studio making beautiful classic style "2D" animation... That didn't work, sigh... Classic animation is dead for the most part, sigh, sigh... But something odd happened... Disney did in fact absorb the Pixar style and business model (which is what they wanted), but, here is the weird part, they make it even better! like Wtf! And this days Disney is releasing super original, innovative work (like this feature Zootopia, a kids silly movie that is really about prejudices, stereotypes and racism!!!) and Pixar, or Disney-Pixar whatever you wanna call it, is stuck on safe cruiser mode: Nemo's sequel, Toy Story 11 (Woody should die already ok?: burn him alive), Cars Sequel again, The Incredibles sequel... Yeah they're still Top Notch film makers don't get me wrong, but something is not entirely there... Even Inside Out (beautiful and all...) but yeah: safe! Well, like 20th century's greatest poet used to say: Nothing Lasts Forever.

Ok, so another "Art Of" with all the usual stuff you find in this sort of books: fine... With a very minor look to what went into the making of the awesome film Zootopia (needs more words, interviews, the original script, some stupid production memo idk, something!...)

(by pelida77)

Or you could follow this...