Sunday, March 25, 2012

THE PIXAR STORY (2007, Leslie Iwerks)

The Pixar Story / DIR: Leslie Iwerks / WRITTEN: L. Iwerks / CINEMATOGRAPHY: Suki Mendencevic / EDIT: L. Iwerks; Stephen Myers / NARRATION: Stacy Keach / MUSIC: Jeff Beal / PRD: Leslie Iwerk Productions / 2007 / 1h 27 m.

NOTABLE INTERVIEWEES: John Lasseter; Steve Jobs; Edwin Catmull; Andrew Stanton; Pete Docter; Brad Bird; John Musker; Lee Unkrich; Jim Murphy; Ron Clements; Frank Thomas; Glen Keane; Joe Grant; Tom Hanks; Tim Allen; Billy Crystal; Roy Disney; Michael Eisner; Randy Newman; George Lucas; Dennis Muren.

This is a tale about three guys, an unemployed artist, a computer geek, and a cheated entrepreneur, coming together to form the most successful pioneering animation studio since Walt Disney days. Pixar has rocked our world, presenting us the legacy of 20th century animation under new creative forms. This documentary tell us the whole story right from its beginnings; exploring the careers of this three Key-man of the Studio.

You will get to know the inventiveness of Edwin Catmull, a Ph.D in Physics and Computer Science, and a passionate admirer of animations; Working for George Lucas Special Efects department and developing CG tools to assist the animators.

Also, the vision... the Balls really!... of Steve Jobs; investing for a decade more than 10 million dollars of his own money in a very risky - non profit at all - enterprise. Keeping the boat afloat with the financial assistance of The Walt Disney Company; and when that media mega-conglomerate threat on retiring that suport, planning the public offering of Pixar stocks for more than 100 million, forcing Disney to sign a 50/50 partnership.

But what this documentary is really about, is the will of an artist: John Lasseter. A story of determination, of keep struggling against all odds. You'll see him being elected as one of the young promising talents by "Disney's animation program" in CalArts; and winning two consecutive Student Awards. Applying for a job at Disney, working his way up from the theme park attractions to the animation studio: where he got to watch Tron (1982) and acknowledged the potential of CGI. And the birth of a dream: to make the first computer animated feature. But things at Disney weren't the way they used to. Many were afraid of losing their jobs because of this new technology, and so... He got fired! A very touching moment in the documentary. Can you imagine what was that like for John? Getting kicked out of the animation Mount Olympus to an exile land, the reality, where nobody cared about the virtual world?(... a little melodramatic, here)
In the darkest hour of his career, John would unite forces with Ed Catmull: Little he knew, that this was just the beginning... (by pelida77)

MP4 / 573 MB / 1h 28m / Audio: Eng
Video: MPEG-4 / 480x360 (16:9) / 767 Kbps / 23.976 fps / 0.185 Qf
Audio: AAC / 44.1 KHz / 132.3 Kbps

Part One...
Part Two...
Part Three...
Part Four...

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Bob Thomas, Maravillas de los Dibujos Animados, Valencia, Gaisa, 1968.

JPEG / 66 MB / Spanish - Espanol / 185 pp / (A scan made by Ernest Pfluger)

This is the spanish translation of The Art of Animation (1958, Bob Thomas) The original english book is no longer being published. (If you can't read spanish, you'll still be able to enjoy the art, and inside-studio photographs.)

Like the Thomas and Johnston Illusion of Life, this is an absolute classic of animation literature. This book inspired a whole generation to become animators. John Lasseter once said that through this book he realised that people made cartoons for living... and of course, that's what he wanted to do. The book was used as an advertising teaser for the upcoming release of Sleeping Beauty (1959); which is treated as the pinnacle of Disney's Art form, and so this movie serves as a unifying theme for the book. Each chapter focuses on a particular aspect of the animation process; explaining its history, with recurrent memories about the old days, how things were made in the 20's (or even before) and how far with Sleeping Beauty they've come.

This was the first Disney book that gave partial credit to the artist (though it's funny-awkward how Walt Disney is depicted as someone that would actually make the drawings; and every now and then we get a boss ass-kissing sentence). Of course the nine are credited Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Les Clark, Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery and Eric Larson; and other famous artist like: Ub Iwerks, Fred Spencer, Wilfred Jackson, Albert Hurter, Gerry Geronimi, Fred Moore, Norm Ferguson, Burt Gillett, David Hand, Ham Luske, Byll Tytla... And more. But also some forgotten figures, like: Don DaGradi (writer); Webb Smith, Ed penner and Joe Rinaldi (Storyboards); Tead Sears and Dick Huemer (ex Fleischers animators). A MUST in your collection. (by pelida77)

Do you want to read this book? You could follow this link...

Monday, March 12, 2012


John Culhane, Aladdin The Making of an Animated Film, New York, Hyperion, 1992

JPEG / 43 MB / 123 pp / ENG / 1562828924 / 156282757X / 9781562827571

What we have here is a book on one of the milestones of Disney Reinassance, the multiple awarded film Aladdin (1992, Clements-Musker, Disney). It has a peculiar organization: "Each chapter is devoted to a particular aspect of animation as illustrated by a character" (So we get to see each of this departments for separate, one character for each department..., frankly thats quite stupid; e.g.: to ilustrate the Layout he chooses Abu!)

Story: The changes and variations over the original folk-tale. The exclusion of the "mother of Al" character. The biggest theme: freedom. The meaning of Aladdin "just be yourself". Jasmine as an independent-minded woman (almost like an animated feminist, really). Most of the coments included are by Clements and Musker.
Design: There's a detailed description of the work made by Eric Goldberg (great animator; in this film a designer); there's no mention at all of Glen Keane here... at least he got his own chapter (animation)
Direction: In this chapter we have a rather messy biographical aproach to Ron Clements and John Musker.
Sound: "You start from the story, you start from the characters, and where the plot goes. You need to have a number that expresses what the character wants" Alan Menken (Music Composer).
Animation: An interesting summary of Glen keane's career. And a shocking discovery for me: Acording to Keane the major influence for Al was... TOM CRUISE!!! in Top Gun (the crew watch the film over and over) This book is filled with memorable quotes, interesting anecdotes, an valuable lessons, like "Think in terms of movement: not one drawing at a time." G.Keane

"Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck!"

Do you want to read this book? You could follow this link...