Sunday, July 23, 2006

Glen Keane

So if you're into animation like me you likely know who Glen Keane is. And if you know who he is you've probably already seen the Art Of Glen Keane blog, as it's been linked in plenty of other places. This is a fan site, mind you, not his personal site. Anyhow, his art has always blown me away (see above image) and he's a great animator to boot. I referenced some of his animation of Ratigan for my work on Syndrome in The Incredibles. And he seemed really nice the one time I met him, but I digress.

Recently I had to drive from San Diego to Oakland alone, which is about 500 miles, and thank Jobs for the iPod and, by result, podcasts. Listening to podcasts made the trip a lot easier, especially the wonderful Animation Podcasts by Clay Kaytis, in which he interviews working animators and directors. My favorite so far is the Glen Keane interview (back on topic!) where he talks very frankly about his animation experience and process. He's very inspiring to listen to. One of the things he said that I really latched onto was that when you come across an animation problem that you can't solve, it's not because you're not good enough, it's because you've reached the limit of your knowledge. The solution, therefore, is to seek that knowledge outside of yourself. For him this meant going to art museums and being inspired by classical works. It's reassuring to hear that even someone of his stature hits the wall once in a while and has to work through it and keep learning.

So that's my post about Glen Keane. I hope I don't come off like a fan-boy, but... He rules!


  1. Man, I feel like a little girl listening to that Glen Keane talk. He's so passionate and accomplished that I just can't help but be mesmerized. So yeah, huge helpless fanboy here. I imagine working with him on Rapunzel has to be an experience the likes of working with John or Brad.

    Anyway, I'm thrilled the guy's got a directing job and wish him the best of luck. I can't wait to see what he does on that film. And hopefully we can get loads more of his drawings in a Rapunzel artbook/dvd.

  2. What to do when you see Glen Keane's artwork - right click 'save as'.

    A-freakin-mazing! I've listened to that interview so many times.

    Have you seen that video of him speaking on youtube? It's pretty cool. I watched him talk on the extras on the Spirited Away DVD and it was cool to hear him praise Miyazaki. I listen to him speak where ever I can.

    Good post!

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  4. I too am a huge helpless fanboy of Glean Keane. Very good post.

  5. Hey Man...

    I'm glad you've found goodness in the Animation Podcast as much as I have (and most likely a lot more out there). I do like the Eammon Butler one a lot, but like you, my fave are definitely the Glen Keane ones. Definitely hats-off to Clay for that (oh, and Jobs for the iPod)...Great post.


  6. I know Glen Keane since Tarzan. I love this Man behind the Animator... Once a while a saw an Interview with him here on German-TV as Tarzan was coming new to the cinemas.

    Man, he knocked me down with his love in Animation.He talked about the scene where Tarzan met Jane the first time. He described that this was an very difficult Scene where he has to make it believable that Tarzan met a other Human being the first time. He remind the birth of his daughter and how he has feel the moment where he touched "this little human being" the first time. After this interview i fall in love in Animation because animation became more for me than just flipping papers with tiny just like you draw your essence of life on paper.

    I hope it isnt to silly for your ears ;D

  7. It's good to know that pros like yourself are fanboys too! That podcast in particular is so inspiring to me. It was comforting to hear that even he feels like he's not good enough sometimes, and that it is something that can be overcome. Now whenever I've hit a wall I tend to think of that ^_^

  8. Hello guys I must say seeing you guys just talk about Glen and he's work and passion for animation just motivates me more to learn about he's philosophy of art and animation and to challenge my self to go further beyond my limits. Because I only fell in love with animation when I saw his work on the little Mermaid after that I new that animation is what I wanted to do.