Commentary 08 Jan 2013 06:41 am

Some Movies I’ve Thought About

Cobbling

- The feature length cut of The Cobbler and the Thief as was assembled by the remarkable Garrett Gilchrist can be found on line:

here.


A beautiful copy of the workprint.

Let me tell you some thoughts I have about this incredible movie.

It’s sad watching it again. I had only the slightest of involvement on the film. It touched my life more than I touched it. I’d seen the documentary on PBS back in the early sixties. The Creative Person: Richard WIlliams. I was impressed. I scoured the newspapers and any other media searching for words about this film or its mad director, Dick Williams. His London studio had sent me a packet they produced full of publicity articles on papers slightly larger than 8 1/2 x 11. I read and reread all those non-bound pages, and they grew dog eared. Williams, his studio and his film was my obsession for a while. It seemed to be the only place where real animation was being done anymore, back in the sixties,.

John Hubley was my hero, and his studio hired me in NYC. It was supposed to be a three day line of employment, but the job ended up lasting the last six years of John’s life.

On the second day there, I met Tissa David. During our first conversation, maybe 15 minutes long, I told her that it was my intention to eventually leave New York to work in London for Dick Williams. (We’d written, and Dick said that he’d see me the next time he came through NY.) On telling Tissa this story, after she had just introduced herself by saying I had done the worst inbetweens she’d ever seen, she – in the most sincere and pleading voice I’d heard – said, “Please don’t leave America. We need you here, animation needs you here.” Or it was certainly something very much to that effect.

The story never quite worked, the Cobbler’s story never quite worked. I remember once reading the script and thinking it’s a feature length Road Runner cartoon. There was too much madcap humor at the Thief’s expense. I may have been wrong. The film seems to have been made to challenge animators. It’s difficult to animate the old Holy, Mad witch, but if you put her on a swinging basket while she talks, it’s even more difficult. Two uneven and oddly attached ropes makes it an extraordinarily difficult challenge. The weight and balance become everything. That’s what’s been done. It’s that way with every scene or character or motion in the film. If the challenge to the character in the scene can be made more difficult, then do it. Grim Natwick loved the challenge, helped develop the character, and Dick accomplished it.

This, of course, is not only fine, it’s fun for the very talented animator – animators such as Dick Williams – but the problem is that it doesn’t really advance the story. The animation for this film is beyond complicated and done so extraordinarily well. The more you know about it, the more you realize how hard it was to do and how well it was done.


A couple of Roy Naisbit War Machines


Roy was one of the great Artists Dick introduced to animation.

Today, of course, we have computers that could animate most of the objects in this film. I’m not sure the “War Machine” would be any better, but it would have taken fewer man-hours. All that glorious drawing, Ink & Pt coloring and design was dependent on the perfect timing. The animation. Perhaps in time a computer would’ve gotten it.

In the first third of the film, there are two lovely scenes animated by Tissa David. Both are pencil tests of the princess, Princess Yum-Yum, in the bath. We’re looking over her shoulder and she looks back toward us, where we are off screen. The hair is up in her scenes, appropriate to a bath. In between there’s another pencil test scene of the princess with her hair down, and it no longer looks like the same character. The art is flatter. Tissa’s princess was voluptuous. As a matter of fact, her princess was two. Two mirroring twins who echoed each other in animation (anything to challenge the animator). Princesses Yum Yum and Mee-Mee. At the suggestion of the brilliant Jake Eberts, one of the two princesses was dropped. Mee Mee.

Tissa in working for Dick out of her NY apartment had purchased a Lyon-Lamb machine. Large and a bit cumbersome, this video machine came in the pre-computer days and was wholly a video tape machine. It employed reel to reel tape and was rather large. It had the distinction of being able to shoot something at 24 frames per second and also play back at that speed. After buying the machine, Tissa had built for herself a piece of furniture which acted as an animation stand that could sit alongside her desk. She saved all those video tapes (reel to reel, remember). She intermixed commercial animation she did for R.O. Blechman at the same time. (She needed the commercial work to be able to afford working for Dick Williams. He was self-financing his movie then, and Tissa loved working on his project. It was her only passion for several years.) This occurred for the years immediately following Raggedy Ann & Andy. Tissa had supervised Ann and Andy. I saw it all, I watched Yum Yum and Mee Mee grow. I heard all the stories first from Tissa’s side, then from Dick’s side. I was in a wonderful place in the world.

I also got to see several screenings of Dick’s developing workprint. Just prior to Dick’s making the Ziggy’s Gift TV special, he’d had a screening of 40 minutes of the feature. Many key people were there, and I can remember a few of them. Tom Wilson (Ziggy’s creator) was there with Lena Tabori. They were a couple, though I don’t think romantically. She was an editor who had developed many big Disney art books for Abrams before forming her own company, Stewart, Tabori & Chang and Welcome Books. She was the daughter of actress, Viveca Landfors. She, Wilson and Williams were the producers of Ziggy’s Gift, though ultimately Dick Williams was pushed out when the budget continued to rise as it did on most Williams films. Midway through production, Eric Goldberg got the chance to take the directorial reins and complete the film in a make-shift studio in LA. It was a packed screening. I sat next to Chuck Jones with Sidney Lumet sitting on my left. We three had great things to say about what we’d seen afterwards. How could you not? The animation, coloring, graphics, everything was extraordinary. There was no hint of a story in the 40 minute presentation; I was starting to notice that. I can’t remember many animation people there, though Willis Pyle was one. Tissa, of course, was there. She was getting to see her pencil tests projected.

In time, things broke somehow between Dick and Tissa, and she was pulled from the project. It broke her heart, but she never once mentioned how or why to me. Dick was like that. He loved an animator (or any craftsman/artist) to death until he didn’t. Eventually, he’d worked up enough venom to decide, finally to split from the person. Things might right themselves again, but most people didn’t even know what was wrong. (The same happened between me and Dick. I know why he stopped caring for me, and I know when we split. I didn’t stop loving him or what he was doing. He came close to animation “Art”, there in the seventies.)

_____________________________________

- As long as we’re posting Richard Williams‘ remarkable movies available on-line thanks to the work of Garrett Gilchrist, let me direct you to this one movie title sequence.



Prudence and the Pill
was an comedy done in the sixties starring David Niven. It got its share of attention thanks to the title. The “Pill” was in the headlines and had made its way onto many newscasts when Congress legalized the contraceptive for women. Richard Williams studio did the titles and credits for this movie, and one thing stands out about them. Sharing the title with Dick Williams is the incredibly talented artist, Errol LeCain. He is credited as “animator”. The only other “animator” credit listed for this genius of an artist was for the Sailor and the Devil.

_____________________________________

Pi

Honestly, I’ve been hooked on The Life of Pi. I saw the film in a theater twice, once for myself and the second time I went back to see it for Heidi’s sake. On the second viewing she seemed to love it more than I did. I found some things that bothered me, but I couldn’t really respond properly to them. Then this past week I got a new DVD player, and I tried it out, once the basic part of it was hooked up. The Life of Pi, a screener copy, was played to test run the machine. I was hooked up. I couldn’t stop watching it. All the faults I’d found on the second screening melted away, and I loved it again.

The Mychael Danna music played in my head over and over and over. I watched those opening credits at least another half dozen times. They’re beautiful and magic. It’s still playing in my head while I write this.

I wrote to the Effx house Rhythm & Hues saying I’d like to write about the film and its Effx. I haven’t heard back from them. I’ve been annoying enough about this subject that I received a comment from James Nethery saying he’d contacted a Rhythm & Hues animator asking if he’d be interested in being interviewed by me about PI. Thank you, James. That’d be fun.

For me, this year, the best animated scenes were many of those of Richard Parker, the tiger, in Pi. I was also equally astounded by most of the work of the Gollum in The Hobbit. One is straight cgi; the other is what used to be called “motion capture” and is now something much much more. There’s real feeling in both those films, and in both those films those characters exist. There can be no question of it. In essence I have a theory that this – the work in these two films and others like it – is the real purpose of computer crafted animation. Some people have learned how to make a living by faking little dolls talking, but that work – to me – doesn’t have far to go. It’s all in the writing for those films, and writing lately, especially for animation, is poor. Anmation, itself,
is stunned, stultified, unable to advance given the short sidedness of the “Producers”. This would seem to be the era of its greatest potential growth, but then some of our finest animators are forced into an early retirement. Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas and some others were afraid to retire for fear of animation dying. Perhaps it has.

26 Responses to “Some Movies I’ve Thought About”

  1. on 08 Jan 2013 at 6:57 am 1.Brian said …

    Imagine if they could have been making “The Cobbler and the Thief” now in the age of crowd-funding and internet connectivity (not even counting digital animation techniques), I wonder how different it would have turned out.

    Thanks for the insightful post, I always enjoy reading your blog.

  2. on 08 Jan 2013 at 8:31 am 2.Garrett Gilchrist said …

    Cheers Michael. For those not aware, we are working on a new, much improved restoration of The Thief and the Cobbler which will be released this year via the thethiefarchive Youtube channel.

  3. on 08 Jan 2013 at 10:23 am 3.James Nethery said …

    “I’ve been annoying enough about this subject that I received a comment from James Nethery saying he’d contacted a Rhythm & Hues animator asking if he’d be interested in being interviewed by me about PI.”

    Did I? 0_o I don’t remember that haha… maybe it was David Nethery who contacted you? People get us confused quite often haha.

  4. on 08 Jan 2013 at 10:35 am 4.Michael said …

    Sorry, James. It was my over-scattered memory. It was a comment by someone just prior to yours. I should have given “Justin” credit for making the connection. The point is that I’ve been annoying, as I’ve just proven. My apologies.

  5. on 08 Jan 2013 at 1:10 pm 5.James Nethery said …

    Got it. No problem.

    Btw, I know I promised to send you some CG animator names and I’ll get to that soon. Is the follow up post to the “Animator Names” one going to be on Saturday?

  6. on 08 Jan 2013 at 2:48 pm 6.Eddie Fitzgerald said …

    The Prudence titles looked great and I’m glad you included a little of the live action because that’s worth commenting on, too.

    It seems like a good idea for a film, and the director seems competent and funny. Oddly it doesn’t quite work and it’s hard to figure out why.

    On a storyboard the live action probably looked great, but that shows you the limits of storyboards. In this case the pre-existing house overwhelmed the actors and the camera couldn’t get the distance it needed to flatten out the interiors a little more.

    If the director had the opportunity to reshoot some scenes after seeing a rough cut he probably could have fixed it. Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.

    About animation possibly dying: the comment you made about about Frank and Ollie hanging on to save the industry was chilling. Even so, I’m not so sure animation is dying. I see it as morphing.

    Anime influenced a whole generation of American kids. They dress and wear their hair like anime characters, they play anime influenced video games, and they watch live action adventure that’s influenced by anime. Steam Punk is influenced by anime and if that catches on it’ll change the course of architecture, car design and fashion. You could argue that in some respects 2D animation has never had a bigger influence, it’s just not the type of animation that you and I believe in.

    As an article of faith I believe that cartooning and funny artistic animation will prevail, but it’ll have to be recast in a new sensibility. It looks like the emerging marketplace for animation will eventually favor independents, and technology will make it easier for animators to learn their craft more quickly, so I’m optimistic. I just wish things would turn around faster.

  7. on 08 Jan 2013 at 4:32 pm 7.Bill Benzon said …

    As an article of faith I believe that cartooning and funny artistic animation will prevail, but it’ll have to be recast in a new sensibility.

    Makes sense to me. The anime influence really is strong and it is extending into the culture in various ways. And there’s a very strong “do it yourself” vibe in anime culture and it’s cousin, manga culture. I don’t think those impulses will die out.

  8. on 08 Jan 2013 at 7:24 pm 8.Fraser MacLean said …

    Eddie makes a really interesting point here, I reckon. You guys may already have seen Lesean Thomas’s three short documentaries, the “Seoul Sessions”, but if not – I heartily recommend them, particularly when it comes to that whole area of East/West cross-fertilisation in design and animation, not to mention the great “leap in the dark” that Lesean Thomas himself made in going out to South Korea to live and work, to find out more about the relationship between the U.S. and the various Korean companies and artists: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvGqAanK0FI

  9. on 08 Jan 2013 at 7:31 pm 9.Bill Benzon said …

    I should also say that I bumped into The Cobbler and the Thief quite by accident. I was watching TV one Saturday afternoon back in, I believe, the late 1990s (after I’d moved to Jersey City), and it came on. Some version of it. So I watched it. And I was stunned. Yeah, the story wasn’t much. But the animation was absolutely stunning. And THEN some time in the last 10 years I managed somehow to bump into it on the web, etc. It’s really a shame that the project more or less fell apart. At the same time, it’s not clear what would have happened if Williams had found a sugar daddy willing to fund it, and fund it, and fund it, and fund it.

    But the imagery and the animation, stunning. That may not add up to a story, but still, stunning.

    As for Richard Parker, if I didn’t know it/he was animated I’m not sure I’d have guessed. I certainly would have wondered how they managed to train a tiger to act like that and how they managed to get it to lose weight, etc. Quite a remarkable achievement. And the names of the people who did it deserve to be widely known.

    But, just how is it the we managed to find out that Vladimir Tytla did Chernobog? His name wasn’t in the credits for Fantasia nor in the original road show program. Walt’s was the only name there. Walt gave us some wonderful films, but he also set in motion some terrible corporate practices, though the terror was no doubt vastly amplified by his corporate successors. The idea that such a large swath of by now our collective culture should be the private property of a mega-corporation….

  10. on 08 Jan 2013 at 11:11 pm 10.the Gee said …

    “he idea that such a large swath of by now our collective culture should be the private property of a mega-corporation….

    I don’t get it either. For a while now, I’ve been in a discussion partially about just that. Suffice it to say, we’re missing out on some things. No matter how minor those things may seem, added together, it is a lot that is missing. But, time passes, I guess.

    On the titles that are above: I like the way Williams approached those movie title work he did. The guy probably always gets an A for effort, especially on things like that elaborate designs he used in titles for those 60s films.

    About the clip from the movie: weird. the use of stairs better play out in the film beyond the opening because that was a lot of action on stairs.

  11. on 08 Jan 2013 at 11:15 pm 11.the Gee said …

    About the point of identifying CG animators:
    I don’t know. In the previous thread, it seems to point out what I guess is the “easiest” way to identify who did what: poses, gestures and the other acting bits. I’m definitely curious to see a breakdown that compares the differences in at least a couple of animators.

    Finally, I brought this up on Cartoon Brew but I’m sure it was ignored. Perhaps my wording/writing was bad. Or, maybe the question I have is pointless. Dunno.

    Using this “”Life of Pi” Richard Parker character example,

    is it possible that CG animated features could be less or more diverse since live action is being plussed with CG animation (superhero movies, fantasy flicks) that may not only bring to life realistic looking characters (I guess like “The Hobbit”) but which may be like the live action/animation hybrids that include cartoony elements, say, like “The Smurfs” movies and others?

    For a possibly good example, would “Titan AE” be done at all or made the way
    it was given the advancements in CG? Why not mo-cap the actors and green screen most of it if it were done today? So, will genres that are tackled in full CG animation become limited or remain wide open for such films? You know, why settle for the celebrity just providing voice-over?

  12. on 09 Jan 2013 at 6:18 am 12.Michael said …

    In a sense, Gee, don’t we already have a MoCap “star” with the rise of Andy Serkis? The guy who performs so amazingly as the Gollum, then becomes King Kong in that cg film, then Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. There is something special about the way he does it, isn’t there? The cg animators are treated as almost irrelevant when this actor comes to the set. Take a look at this video. It shows Jamie Bell talking about how special Serkis’ work in this medium is. They did TinTin together. There is definitely something afoot. And I do think that this MoCap – cg hybrid will eventually rise to overtake much of other animation. Especially if they’re ever able to get the costs manageable.

  13. on 09 Jan 2013 at 6:56 am 13.Bill Benzon said …

    …this MoCap – cg hybrid will eventually rise to overtake much of other animation.

    Isn’t that the message of Avatar? I know Cameron objected when people pointed out that the film is as much animation as live action, but, it really was, no?

  14. on 09 Jan 2013 at 10:31 am 14.Luke said …

    I’ve seen just about every version of Thief, including a screening of the intended reels put together by Richard Williams he showed to Roy Disney (Roy was there) in hopes of getting funding to release a high quality “work” reel of his film in 2001.

    Let me say first that I love Richard Williams’ commercial work (including his movie titles).

    But outside of brilliant illustration and design, only in short bits do I find his animation “brilliant” or even very good (and the film roger rabbit is a mess altogether). His larger works are often remarkably well drawn and inbetweened, but always comes across as an exercise in visual masturbation rather than CHARACTER ANIMATION. It’s technically interesting, but lacking character and contrast. Everything moves the same. And his storytelling skills are those of someone who’s more interested in technique than film making or storytelling. Williams’ should have hired a strong director.

    This is of course, why Williams’ himself couldn’t complete the film–remembering the fact that it was his own fault the film had to be completed by the bond company.

    I don’t find the animation in it “brilliant.” I find it tiresome, repetitive, and characterless. I’m not amazed because I just don’t care. Animation for animation’s sake is just dumb–not that the craft can’t be admired–it is, even by me. But this film is better seen hanging on a wall than in a cinema. And anyone who believe’s the myth that it was taken from Williams’ for reasons any other than his own fault is sadly mistaken.

  15. on 09 Jan 2013 at 8:53 pm 15.Michael said …

    Hi Luke,

    I both agree and disagree with your assessment of Richard Williams’ animation. I once broke animators into two categories: Art Babbitt and Grim Natwick. Babbitt was the brilliant technocrat who alwas got the perfect drawings technically just right. Natwick was the emotional animator who dug through his drawings to find the character’s heart and pull it through to the surface of the scene.

    Williams is definitely in the Babbitt mode.Yet you can’t say everything moves the same. It’s not true or exact. He did some balloons in the credits of Raggedy Ann that were the most perfectly animated balloons. The timing was just impeccable and the movement was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Were they characters? No, they were balloons. But he did these so quickly and so well.

    The War Machine moves incredibly well, but it’s a machine and works hypnotically to capture our eyes while we really don’t feel much. The old witch was interesting when Grim had worked on it, but then Dick assisted and did all he could to hide her heart. Dick goes crazy to get his hands on the emotional animators’ work. He assists them all, to tame them. Ken Harris or Abe Levitow or Tissa David or Grim Natwick. Dick has to get to those scenes. Maybe he recognizes they have something he doesn’t have. Or maybe he is immune to their emotion.

    This is why he likes Milt Kahl. A perfect invocation of a slightly younger Art Babbitt. The drawings are perfect. The emotion is on the surface.

  16. on 10 Jan 2013 at 12:33 am 16.Luke said …

    Agree with you about those things, but far less so with the characters. Milt was a far better actor, though!

  17. on 10 Jan 2013 at 8:47 am 17.Michael said …

    I agree with you that Milt Kahl is an extraordinary actor. I also think Art Babbitt was an exceptional actor (his Three Little Pigs took three identical-looking characters, and for the first time in history, was able to make his interpretation of their “characters” be self evident to the audience. It was a masterful stroke, very early on. I could name a dozen other equally brilliant scenes he did (not to name the “mushrooms” in Fantasia would be a cardinal sin, but I don’t have to.

    Babbitt and Kahl and others in that group, in my eye, belong to the Laurence Olivier school of acting. The Grim Natwick, Bill Tytla tpe belong to the Marlon Brando/Paul Muni style. Emotion is on their sleeve and all over their character.

    I will write another complete post about this; it’s too important. I did write here about this, years ago.

  18. on 13 Jan 2013 at 11:58 am 18.Garrett Gilchrist said …

    There is more character in one Dick Williams storyboard for The Thief and the Cobbler than in a hundred Shreks. Dick Williams was constantly creating sequences of huge technical complexity that would break the minds of lesser talents, but the animation in The Thief is just as notable for its subtlety and believability.

    It is ridiculous how much hate Richard Williams received and continues to receive from those in the industry. I sometimes try to explain this to the fans of his work – that no, Roger Rabbit actually got quite a bit of hate, and people came out of the woodwork when Arabian Knight was released, and so on. And they simply can’t believe it, that people could be so judgemental and petty about what are clearly huge achievements in the art of animation.

    The same people hating on Richard Williams can often be seen praising, let’s say, lesser talents, like Ralph Bakshi and television animation of the 60s. Let’s call a spade a spade here. You’re welcome to your opinion, but it is garbage.

  19. on 13 Jan 2013 at 3:27 pm 19.Luke said …

    There is no “hate” for Williams. And the only “garbage” around here is the ignorance which your lack of critical thinking has exposed. Typical of a fanboy, though.

    Williams is a brilliant technician. But when it comes to CHARACTER animation, let’s just admit to the irrefutable fact he’s proven time and time again that he’s more interested in movement than true character. Not the biggest Bakshi fan, but even HE understood Character more, and the best of his work at least strives for that.

    I, for one , and an enormous fan of Williams’ commercial work and some of his short films. I think the short form suits him better.

  20. on 13 Jan 2013 at 3:33 pm 20.Michael said …

    Garrett, I think you do not know how to read criticism.

    Dick Williams literally changed the face of animation. Everyone in 2D animation knows that.

    There is also room for criticism from those in the business who love Richard and all his foibles. I’ve known Dick Williams, personally, since 1974. I do not have anything bad to say about the man or his abilities. He is a good friend, and I try to be a good friend to him. I would give the man anything he asks of me. He is a genius, and if you would put away your knives and read carefully and properly, you might have seen that in what I wrote.

    Williams has more talent than most of those who worked for him, and lord knows how low I put myself on that totem pole. But there is room for criticism, and Dick and I have had MANY conversations about this and his work and my work.

    He is my friend. You are someone who loves his work but to the point where you will denigrate everyone else thinking you’re defending him. As if Dick or his work needs that. It doesn’t. It, the work, stands by itself tall, regardless of any criticism.

    Shrek is not even animation, so I don’t see how that should be brought into your conversation except to win without trying. Criticism isn’t about winning. Certainly, at this point in the game any criticism of Dick’s work should be about everyone in animation getting better.

    The problem is that to get better is near impossible. So much has been lost since the last pencil worked on The Thief, that it would be hard getting back to that point.

    The only one working in animation today who seems to stand near the challenge, as far as I’m concerned, is Sylvain Chomet. I look forward to seeing his next work. It is beautiful, beautifully animated and intelligent.

    I also hope to see Dick again before he or I can’t. The last time I saw him was about a year ago and the man is wonderful and as brilliant as ever.

  21. on 14 Jan 2013 at 1:18 am 21.Garrett Gilchrist said …

    I wasn’t addressing you specifically, Michael. I take no issue with your opinion of Dick’s work.

    It happens that I disagree with nearly everything Luke said in his first post here, but more to the point it reflects an attitude toward Dick’s work I’ve seen time and time again from people, often far less informed than Luke is.

    Roger Rabbit got a lot of stick at the time – people saying it was overanimated, lacked character, was noisy obnoxious rubbish, etc. That film works because Dick made it work … as a character and as a vocal performance Roger is on the edge of obnoxious, and it is specifically the layered character work present in the animation that holds the character together and makes him likeable and work at all.

    And the amount of misinformation about The Thief and the Cobbler approaches 100%, as I’ve almost never read an article or post about the film that isn’t full of inaccuracies. Certainly Fred Calvert got to have his say when Arabian Knight was released, spreading misinformation quite happily, and any number of people were willing to believe anything as long as it pointed to Dick Williams being absolutely unable to finish this film.

    People point to Dick’s work being cold or technical as if that invalidates everything about him as a director, and despite your high opinion of him Michael, most of his best work has been consigned to the dustbin of history and is not available to buy. While he was and is a complex and flawed artist and man, he still does not have the reputation he deserves. And posts essentially dismissing his work – which have popped up constantly since the internet began – are a constant annoyance to most people who care about his work, if the emails I get are anything to go by.

    And personally I find that the animation in The Thief explodes with humor, character, and joy, of a great animator working at the peak of his skills.

    As you say, at this point hand-drawn animation is not given any place at the box office and we keep regressing farther and farther back. So yes, more than ever I’m sick of hearing this same old tune.

    You can discuss technical versus emotive animators and animation, fine. But show a little respect. If that makes me a “fanboy” then so be it. I would rather consider myself an artist and filmmaker and someone who knows what he likes. And someone with a sense of when enough is enough.

  22. on 14 Jan 2013 at 1:21 am 22.Garrett Gilchrist said …

    I do, at least, have one question I can ask Luke, which is what format the Thief material was in back in 2001, and what sort of shape it was in ….

  23. on 14 Jan 2013 at 6:35 am 23.Michael said …

    Garrett, I understand your anger at the dustbins of animation’s hell to which Dick Williams will ultimately be relegated. My hero, who I believe is far more important, John Hubley, has long ago been pushed there. For god sake, all of animation’s design would likely not have reached the state it’s in had he not altered the history of the medium back in the forties.

    He not only railed against the 19th century illustration style but the look UPA adapted redesigning textiles rather than ART for the medium. It’s a battle he lost, and today it’s impossible to get many of their most important films – despite all the Oscars behind them. To boot, no one cares. (You as well, I would guess.)

    By the way, you kill your own argument when you ask what format any piece of film originated in. It’s irrelevant to the work. Ask Dick that one!

  24. on 14 Jan 2013 at 10:47 am 24.Garrett Gilchrist said …

    What I mean by that question is, did Richard Williams project the entire Thief and the Cobbler workprint on 35mm film back in 2001? Does he own The Thief and the Cobbler workprint on 35mm film?

    I don’t know Richard Williams, and I’m not sure he’d answer that if I did. But the archive status of the Thief, and who actually has a copy of it, is something worth knowing.

    We do have access to some Thief workprint material in 35mm film, about a half hour’s worth, which will appear in the new restoration and also as its own piece in full restored HD.

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