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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A New Disney Documentary and some Books

I spoke with Frank Thomas' son Ted yesterday. Ted's company 'Theodore Thomas Productions' produced the delightful documentary FRANK AND OLLIE and has just completed work on a fascinating new one about the Disney studio artists' trip to South America in 1942.
Apparently new, raw footage has been found and this, along with some animation from SALUDOS AMIGOS, is used in the film.
I'll write more when I hear about the distribution and release dates.

Work continues on the book, which is dedicated to Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and Shamus Culhane. I chose these three dedicatees because of their writing--not their animation! Frank and Ollie's book THE ILLUSION OF LIFE is the first important study of character animation, and Shamus Culhane's ANIMATION FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN was the first important animation textbook. All three men were my friends, and I hope the new book won't be too shabby. Lynn Johnston has agreed to write the Foreword, or Backward as it will probably turn out.

Speaking of books, I've just provided a blurb for the updated TIMING FOR ANIMATION by John Halas; Tom Sito wrote some excellent additions bringing the book into the digital age. (Hey, we still time the same way; a second is a second, whatever program or technique you use to measure it!) There will also be illustrations from some CGI and Flash sources in addition to the originals, which may be difficult to view today. This update is one that everyone should get...I recommend it highly.

I've ordered the two Walt Stanchfield drawing books and will write a review when they arrive. I studied with Stanchfield and Glen Vilppu at Disney's and actually preferred Stanchfield as a teacher, though both were of course excellent.

So that's all the news that I'm allowed to print. I have more, but can't print it!


Pandalope said...

As far as timing goes, I read in the Illusion of Life that Disney Animators would plan their shots with a metronome. Is that something that you do as well?

Nancy said...

No, as a matter of fact they didn't. Art Babbitt told me there was no such thing as 'set timing' at Disney's.
Metronomes are used to set 12 beats, et cetera, but when you are experienced you know what they are like, and don't need a metronome to set beats. They are, or were, for beginning animators.

Nancy said...

Frank and Ollie were of course writing about the early days of the Disney studio when they did use metronomes...I can assure you that they certainly did not do this when I knew them.

Gordon said...

Is the documentary FRANK AND OLLIE avaible on dvd?

Nancy said...

Yes, it is.