Friday, March 30, 2012

L.A. Animation Festival

If you've been reading my blog, you're aware of my special award at this California festival. Last year, the festival honoree was Will Vinton. This year I was selected.

The festival takes place in a charming old 30's Regent Showcase Cinema. The first night I was there was the special screening of "The Iron Giant" with Brad Bird and the crew in attendance. This is the 3rd time I've seen the film and it's still wonderful! Although I could complain about the character design, everything else was superb.

Brad told a wonderful story at his Q&A. When CalArts wanted to junk traditional 2D animation for computer animation, Ed Catmull and John Lasseter came in and forced them not to cancel old style animation. That says a lot about the guys at Pixar!

After that was a retrospective of Liquid Television. I got to say hello to my old friend Prudence Fenton, the producer of the show, and Peter Chung was there to talk about the early days of MTV.

They showed some clips from Aeon Flux -- that looked terrific as ever -- boy that guy can draw.

The next night was "Adventures in Plymptoons" and after I saw "A Monster in Paris", w wonderful French CG film full of great characters and terrific action. The next night was closing night -- I showed "The Tune" for its 20th Anniversary. It was introduced by Spongebob voice maestro Tom Kenny, and it got a good reaction. Although I see so many problems with the film now that I'd sure like to fix, there are also a lot of fun moments.

The next day I visited my old buddy Matt Groening at the Simpsons Bungalow on the Fox lot to talk about a couple of my projects, and then I hightailed it back to NYC to get back to drawing Cheatin'.

I believe that John Andrews is doing a terrific job with the L.A. Animation festival. Its an event that's sorely needed -- that the mecca of animation, L.A, hadn't had a major animation festival (except for the sporadic animation celebration) is criminal. Next year, every animator should send their animated shorts and features to the great L.A. Animation Festival.

I give the fest an A.

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