Sunday, November 9, 2008

Housekeeping and Items of Interest

I've updated the template to this blog so that "older posts" appears at the bottom of each page. This has also allowed me to add links to the mosaics of 101 Dalmatians and Pinocchio. Previously, only a portion of those entries was accessible through the tags and now all of them are. Thanks to Alan Cook for pointing me in the right direction, even though it took me weeks to finally get to this.

I've also added a category called "Favourite Entries." Right now, the only thing there is the major research paper I wrote for my Masters degree. Other items will eventually be added. I regret that Blogger puts the most recent entries first. If you're interested in following the feature mosaics or my paper, you've got to start at the bottom and work your way to the top.

I've added all my old links and tested them, but if you note any problems with the new set-up, please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to correct them.

Clay Kaytis at The Animation Podcast has added the second part of his interview with Eric Goldberg. Most interesting to me were Eric describing the making of Pocahontas and his feelings about computer animation. All of the interviews that Clay has done are worth listening to. They are a major resource for artists and historians and I wish that this technology had been around in the 1930s and '40s so that we could be listening to Fred Moore, Norm Ferguson, Emery Hawkins, Rod Scribner, etc. As we're now in a period where studios are less interested in publicizing artists than they were in the '90s, we're lucky that Kaytis and others are doing their part to put faces and voices to the work that we see on screen.

Kevin Langley has published some emails that he received from the son of Lantz and UPA animator Pat Matthews. Matthews is one of dozens of animators whose work deserves greater recognition and study. Though his animation is broad and vigorous, his drawings are solid and controlled. He was the Preston Blair of the Lantz studio in that he was the animator the studio turned to whenever sexy girl animation was needed. Matthews' anonymity is due to working for two studios whose work has been under-represented on DVD and his early death. He also worked at studios farther off the beaten path, such as Mexico City, at a time when animation appreciation was even more United States-centric than it is now. Kevin's entry includes embedded videos of the UPA cartoons Robin Hoodlum and Rooty Toot Toot, both of which Matthews animated on, as well as a compilation of Matthews' animation at the Lantz studio.

Will Finn has written an interesting entry on story and the role of villains within them. As a professional story artist himself, he offers some alternate ways to look at the story structures of some very well-known films. We are in a period when far too many studio features are being made according to formula and Will argues that there are possibilities that are being ignored.

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