Friday, February 22, 2013


"Bambi meets Cruella DeVil" is a tag line I thought would appeal to publishers. But the reaction I’m getting from the industry is that the writing is strong, the book is funny but there’s not enough conflict and intrigue in animation to sustain interest and nobody wants to read a book on the subject.  
This surprises me quite a bit because so many people from all professions have expressed interest in animation over the years and I’ve busted my chops creating an opinionated protagonist, twisted villains and colorful characters who are dealing with life’s harsh realities as well as studio dramas while animating at crunch time speed.
     Can this be true? Are people interested in watching animation but not reading about it? “Oh, what fun!” they always say. But do they really secretly think animation is childish and silly and beneath them? This is the impression I get from a few haughty folks, but ANIMATED isn’t a book for intellectuals, it’s a fun look through the eyes of an animator at a wonderful, complex art that most people love.
Those of us in the business know how much conflict and drama there is in animation so I’m wondering if this is a biased view based on ignorance or if readers really don’t want to read about animation. If so, there's a lot more disdain for animation than I thought.
    An animation studio is no less compelling than the fashion industry, baseball, love in the mountains, sparkly vampires or the journals of a fat girl. But I know some publishers, afraid to take a chance on an unknown subject, will wait for an author to self-publish so they can see if the book sells or not. If it does, they'll snap it up ├á la "Fifty Shades of Grey". Understandable, I suppose in these precarious times.   
      So Many people have asked where they can buy ANIMATED I'm wondering how many people haven't asked but might like to read the book.
    Here's the question, dear readers: would you read a novel set in the animation industry? If so, why? And if not, why not? Please post a comment to this effect if you'd be so kind.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


ADAM and a DOG  (The trailer was hand-drawn, the film made in “digital 2D” with “some work on paper”). Written and directed by Minkyu Lee. Consultant Glen Keane. Remarkably, this is an independent production (budget between $10-20,000) with no studio involvement. This is the way fresh new content is going to get back into animation. I hope it wins.
FRESH GUACOMOLE (Stop-motion) Written and directed by PES,
born Adam Pesapane, who was influenced by the work of Czech surrealist Jan Švankmajer. (PES Productions)
HEAD OVER HEELS (Stop-motion) Written and directed by Timothy Reckart (NFTS, UK)
MAGGIE SIMPSON in “THE LONGEST DAYCARE” (CGI) Directed by David Silverman, written by James Brooks, Matt Groening and 5 others (Gracie Films)
PAPERMAN (2D and CGI combined) Directed by John Kahrs, written by Clio Chiang and Kendelle Hoyer (Walt Disney Animation Studios) If Adam and a Dog doesn't win, this might. Oscar winner 2013

BRAVE (CGI) Directed by Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Written by  Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell (Pixar) Also nominated for a Bafta and winner of a Goden Gobe. I think this flawed but dazzling film will win. Oscar winner 2013
FRANKENWEENIE (3D stop-motion) Directed by Tim Burton. Written by
Tim Burton, Leonard Ripps, John August (Walt Disney Pictures) Also nominated for a Bafta.
PARANORMAN (3D stop-motion, using 3D printing) Directed by Chris Butler, Sam Fell. Written by Chris Butler. (LAIKA) Also nominated for a Bafta.
The PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (Stop-motion) Directed by Peter Lord, Jeff Newitt. Written by Gideon Defoe. (Aardman Animations)
WRECK-IT RALPH (CGI) Directed by Rich Moore.  Written by Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, Jim Reardon, Jennifer Lee. (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


When did LOVE get replaced by the ghastly soulless word RELATIONSHIP? Surely "the way in which things and people are connected" is not how we feel.
Are we so afraid of the power behind the word LOVE that we feel the need to dilute and distance it? 
Are we so worried about wanting and needing LOVE that we’re even afraid to mention its name?
LOVE, the-thing-that-shall-not-be-named.
According to TV and movies, just saying “I love you” has become a phrase to be avoided like a landmine.
Perhaps we’re afraid of the passion involved in love. When we’re swept off our feet by a force stronger than logic, is it the lack of control that scares us? 

But shouldn’t we welcome being overwhelmed by superior forces of delight and wonder? Shouldn’t we be thrilled to float down the street emiting beams of bliss
Or to feel the quieter, deeper satisfaction of long-term love?
Why not throw caution to the winds when it comes to love?

And why the coy: "I've met someone"?  We don't dare say "I'm in love."
How odd that love should be taboo
How sad to hear: "The person I'm in a relationship with" instead of "My lover."
Why not be happy for the privilege of that rare and wonderful state and celebrate it out loud all over the place?
Valentine’s day is a celebration of LOVE not relationship.
Let’s celebrate the heart-pounding, hand-trembling, throat-constricting breathlessness of something that sounds like a medical emergency but is, by far, the best feeling in the world.

Let’s stop pussyfooting around with clinical words like RELATIONSHIP and say what we really mean.