Saturday, January 26, 2013

Eighty-Five Year Influence

Some guy who made theatrical shorts in the 1920s is still a major influence in Movieland?

Oscar is smiling on the Mouse House this season, bestowing no fewer than four nominations on Disney-branded animated films. ...

Tim Burton and Wreck-It Ralph's director Rich Moore's other fellow nominees Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman of "Brave" are CalArts grads. That school's founder, Walt Disney, really started something ...

Walt Disney founded Cal Arts in the early sixties, so (in a manner of speaking) John Lasseter, Burton, Joe Ranft, Brad Bird, John Musker, Brian McEntee, Henry Selick, Genndy Tartakovsky and hosts of others are his kids.

Disney has been dead for half a century, yet the most profitable sector of the movie industry leads directly back to him: Storyboards, story reels, sound, color, and animated features. One Cal Arts grad told me the reason students at the institute have been forces in the entertainment business is because of Cal Arts instructors:

I think the quality of the teachers who taught us back in the early days made a big difference. They'd worked in the industry, at Disney. They knew color, design, animation and story. Guys like T. Hee and Ken O'Connor. They gave students good training and a great foundation to go out and push boundaries. ...

Jack Warner didn't found a school. Darryl Zanuck and Harry Cohn didn't create colleges. It was the junior mogul Disney, the man who made cartoon shorts in the '20s.


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