Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Is it animation or performance art? Or is it just weird? From poster "notblu":
2 loops from walking animated wall painting.
the video is stretched horizontally. It was filmed with a camera in vertical position but youtube doesn't accept that format.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Latest Short Films From Gobelins

The French animation school Gobelins, has just posted their latest student clips created for the Annecy festival. These guys consistently produce great work, and really push the medium. My favorites are La Grande Arche and Chronos 1.0. Enjoy!


Here's a nice piece of hand-drawn animation from 1974. Great use of line and a sense of weight, and also note the amount of variation in what would otherwise be a repetitive action. My advice for enjoying this clip: turn off the sound!

Monday, June 18, 2007

For the record...

There are some early reviews of Ratatouille on Ain'tItCoolNews right now, including one where a viewer compares the Pixar short film "Lifted" unfavorably to my own "Alien Song". To quote:
Another thing that bugged me was the Lifted short, the main alien reminded me to much of the “I Will Survive” animation that was everywhere online about five years ago where the alien was singing “I Will Survive” and then at the end a disco ball falls on it and flattens it. There were some funny parts in the short, but not great.
First of all, don't believe this guy. Lifted is hilarious! But beyond that I don't see much similarity between it and my film, other than that there are green aliens involved, and some violence. I don't even think director Gary Rydstrom had seen my film before he started to develop Lifted. The alien designs are a lot more interesting than mine, and they have TWO eyes! Take that! This reminds me of some similar conjecture years back when people were saying that Mike Wizowski of "Monsters, Inc." was a rip-off of my alien as well. Well, maybe there's a hair of truth to that...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Football Vs. Rabbit

This is a really cool example of using CG to emulate claymation. Nice squishy-stretchy feel!

Friday, June 15, 2007

WALL-E Teaser...

Tune in to Entertainment Tonight at 7:30pm PDT for a first look at the teaser trailer for Pixar's 2008 feature, "WALL-E". It's on KRON Channel 4 in the Bay Area. Check your local listings. You'll get a little taste of what I've been working on for the past year or so. Sorry for the late notice, I just found out about this myself!

UPDATE: the teaser in now online, in HD, even! Thanks to Alexiss for the tip.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some thoughts on "Ratatouille"

A couple weekends ago (June 2) I had the pleasure of seeing Ratatouille with my fellow Pixarians at its wrap party. Now, we had all had a few drinks, and the crew was pretty exhausted, so we weren't the most objective audience, but I think it turned out fantastic. I'll admit, the premise of a rat who wants to be a chef never excited me that much, but when the story is in the hands of Brad Bird, you know you're in for something special. The story was funny and entertaining, the characters memorable, and the production values are off the charts. This is by far the best looking film Pixar has ever done, and probably the best looking animated film to date. The lighting is sumptuous, and the detail in the sets and characters is downright compulsive. Then there's the animation... There is acting in this film the likes of which has never been seen before in animation (at least not since the Golden Age of Disney), and the performances are more consistent throughout the film than ever before. This is partly because the Pixar animatosrs are at the top of their game, and partly because Brad Bird has written scenes that demand great animation. This film has definitely raised the bar on all levels, from story to cinematography to animation to shading to effects. It's such a dense and layered film, too, so I look forward to seeing it again (with a REAL audience) to pick up more of the details.

I only contributed one shot to this film, so I have the more distance from it than previous films, which makes it even more special to me. I don't know if this film will make a lot of money. How do you market cooking to kids and dads, and rats to moms? I just know that if people get to the theater, they will enjoy it. I expect this movie will be very well-reviewed, and hopefully that buzz will translate into some good revenues. Not that Pixar is in danger of extinction, or that if we don't break opening day records there will be layoffs or famine in the crew. But a movie with so much love and craftsmanship doesn't come along very often, and it deserves to be enjoyed by the masses. These movies we make are gifts to the world, so help us share the gift.

If you're reading this blog then you're probably already an animation fan and were likely going to see this movie anyway. But if you like it, see if you can't drag along someone else to see it who maybe isn't a fan. Tell your mom or the guy in the Starbuck's line. I bet they'll thank you later. And so will I.