Daily post 27 Mar 2008 08:43 am


- I’ve become intrigued with websites devoted wholly to one film or studio. I’m not talking about studio paid sites that are designed to promote a film such as the Pixar sites or the Persepolis site (By the way, whatever happened to the English language version of this film? They recorded Sean Penn and Gena Rowlands acting the parts? Will it only be released as a dvd?)

I’m talking more of the sites established by fans or past employees who write about their collections and/or experiences.

Richard Williams‘ film, The Thief and the Cobbler has The Thief. This is a blog by four former artists who have worked on the film. Holger Leihe,
Dietmar Kremer, Andreas Wessel-Therhorn, and Michael Schlingmann have all animated on the film, and they all have lots to tell. It’s also open to others who have stories to share. Guests such as Producer, Carl Gover or cameraman, Brian Riley have contributed strong posts.___This photo of Ken Harris, Grim Natwick,
____________________________________Art Babbitt, Richard Purdum and Dick Williams
_____________________________________________comes from The Thief.
The end result is an informative site full of
interesting stories and technical details about this very complex movie. All of the animation seems to have created problems for its artists, and the stories on this blog really show how things were accomplished. From bipacking to static electricity to rotoscoping; technical achievements and problems are all detailed in a clear and entertaining way. It’s not only informative; it’s attractive, and it’s filled with photos and artwork that can’t be found elsewhere.


- Garrett Gilchrist has also devoted a lot of work in recreating this film to something close to Dick Williams’ original version. He’s taken the best quality copies of the rough cuts that were assembled – before they were taken away from Dick’s hands.

He’s posted a number of versions of this on YouTube and has an ongoing forum about the film. He recently posted The Little Island, an impossible-to-see film, on YouTube.

Garrett’s extensive and admirable reconstruction work on Dick’s films was probably the original inspiration for The Thief. I’d like to see a site by Garrett about Dick’s films.


- Chris Rushworth‘s site focuses on another British film, Animal Farm. The site, Animalfarmworld, is designed solely to feature some of the interesting cels and art that Mr. Rushworth has collected, and there’s quite a bit of it.

Since March 25th, he’s added more than 100 drawings to the site including many of the handsome horse, Boxer.

Somehow the flavor of the pencil drawings, for the most part, seems to accurately depict the flavor of the film, itself. There’s something tentative about them. Even in the loosest of drawings the dynamism of some of the great Disney animators is missing. They are beautiful in their own right and feel as though they are from another time.


Daniel Thomas MacInnes is the proprietor of the excellent site, Conversations on Ghibli. This is a site, as its title would indicate, devoted to all things Ghibli, which of course is the studio that produces the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Daniel Thomas not only gives advance notices of the work in production, but he actually posts entire features done by Miyazaki. There are quite a few comments and discussions of lesser known films by this brilliant film maker.

The site is quite a resource for all of us who are looking for information about the artist and his work. One would like more frequent posts, but that seems to be a problem with many of the best sites – you always want more. _______A still from the soundtrack of
____________________________________________Ponyo on the Cliff, an upcoming
_____________________________________________________Miyazaki film.


- Finally, let me change the subject. I’m overwhelmed by today’s post on Michael Barrier‘s site. There’s no greater example of pure history in its discovery. Mike hones in on the hiring of Rudy Ising at Disney’s Kay Cee studios in Kansas City, 1922. This is the premiere site out there for me. History is written and unique photos back it up.

6 Responses to “Singles”

  1. on 27 Mar 2008 at 1:34 pm 1.daniel thomas macinnes said …

    I know, I know, I have no excuses for not writing more often. I always offer my mea culpas for that. But right now I’m either busy with my other weblog (“Videogames of the Damned”) or the two book projects which are based on my online writings.

    As for those books, the first one, “Videogames of the Damned,” will focus on my writings and essays on video games, old and new. The second one, “Daniel Thomas Vol. 4″ (yes, I’m modeling them after a pair of classic Black Sabbath albums), will include my writings on music and politics and the movies. And that will include the film reviews on Studio Ghibli’s movies, the ones posted on my main website, DanielThomas.org.

    I still plan on publishing books from Conversations on Ghibli, but the thing that always holds me back is a lack of material. But I think what I might do here is issue a continuing series of books. Perhaps annual installments? I haven’t decided yet. In any case, I really do need to write more about Miyazaki and Takahata.

    In any case, I know just how it feels to want more from your favorite sites. There are far too few animation blogs in my view. You always want more, more more…

  2. on 28 Mar 2008 at 9:59 am 2.Doug said …

    That Thief site is a treasure trove! For a guy who just enjoys animation as an outsider (i’m no artist) there is much there that is way over my head, but still very interesting. Thanks so much for the link Michael!

  3. on 30 Mar 2008 at 9:29 am 3.Bas Waijers said …

    Thanks for sharing the link to Daniel’s blog, very inspirational.

  4. on 31 Mar 2008 at 1:27 pm 4.daniel thomas macinnes said …

    Aw, shucks. I’m just stopping by to let everyone know that I’ve posted a number of interesting items this weekend. We’ve got a number of Miyazaki-drawn comics you’ve likely never seen before, and the very first episode of Heidi (’74). I have a couple more Miyazaki comics I’d like to post as well – a short story called “The Return of Hans,” and last year’s comic which appeared in Westall’s “Blackham’s Wimpy.” That one especially is something to see.

    As always, feel free to share and steal and use to your content. I’m sure there’s a lot here for all us artists to pour over.

  5. on 05 Apr 2008 at 7:17 pm 5.Jordan S. said …

    My site was /supposed/ to be solely about Michel Ocelot, but I got greedy and it all splurged out every-which-way, like when you bite into an egg mayonnaise sandwich and most of it gets squished out the sides.

    And that last image you posted is the cover of the /image/ album, not the soundtrack (the details of which haven’t emerged yet and, considering that the image album has only just come out, won’t until much closer to the film’s release).

  6. on 05 Apr 2008 at 7:25 pm 6.Jordan S. said …

    And, of course, completely forgetting the reason I was commenting in the first place – Persepolis will be re-released in dubbed form on 11 April, and the English dub will probably also be used for some of the UK screenings when it’s released here on the same date.

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