Does hand-drawn (2D) animation need “saving” ?

Song of the Sea

Read the whole article here:

It’s Time To Admit That 2-D Animation Does Not Need ‘Saving’ .

“Once Pixar proved that CGI was viable, its prevalence increased, and while it currently dominates, that doesn’t mean that 2-D is dying. The potential contenders for the Best Animated Feature Oscars contains two traditional films  (‘Song of the Sea’ from Cartoon Saloon , and ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’ from Studio Ghibli ) in addition to the stop-motion ‘The Boxtrolls” from Laika.  While they are the minority, they are they ones that are pushing the artistic boundaries of animation these days.”

(see earlier blog posts about ‘The Tale of Princess Kaguya’  , and  ‘The Boxtrolls’ )


From the L.A. Times:

Gold Standard – TIFF 2014: ‘Song of the Sea’ will make waves in Oscar animation race

“Slam-dunk best picture Oscar contenders have been in short supply at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival,  but one premiere here does look like a strong contender on the animation side:
“Song of the Sea,” Tomm Moore’s lovely follow-up to 2009′s Oscar-nominated “
The Secret of Kells,” is, like its predecessor, rooted in Irish folklore and haunted by the idea that the country’s storytelling traditions will soon be forgotten.   The hand-drawn animated film tells the story of 10-year-old Ben and his younger sister Saoirse, a Selkie, a being who lives as a seal in the sea and a human on land. Sent to live with their grandmother after their mother disappears, the children engage in a race against time to recover a coat that’s the key to Saoirse’s power as well as her very survival.”


Now with ADD ON:    “The Prophet”  -

The article linked above , did not mention “The Prophet” , but this is another recent animated film made with (mostly) traditional animation techniques , including hand-drawn and clay animation , combined with some CG animation.   The director of “Song of the Sea” and “The Secret of Kells” ,  Tomm Moore , also contributed a sequence to “The Prophet” -



TIFF 2014 Review:“Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’

“The movie version of Gibran’s work takes his simple words and transforms them into a colourful, stunning, visceral animation. These images are his words made visible.”

“Some sections are abstract and painterly, others are flat and pop-arty. Against Khalil Gibran’s words they are all, unquestionably, extraordinary.”

Directed by: Roger Allers , with sequence directors  Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan C. Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar, Michal Socha
Produced by: Salma Hayek



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All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains


The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, on view from November 13, 2014 through February 9, 2015. This comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world. with more than 200 artifacts, firsthand accounts, archival videos, images of Walt and his trains, and actual model trains running throughout the show, All Aboard highlights Walt’s early passion for trains and how it manifested itself in Disney short cartoons, feature films, and in Walt’s personal life at home.

Guest curator Michael Campbell, president of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, constructed the exhibition to reflect Walt’s railroad journey as told through multiple chapters: Lighting the Fire, Building Steam, Gaining Speed, Full Throttle, Switching Tracks, Branching Out, A Grand Circle Tour Around The World, and Coming Full Circle. The exhibition’s conclusion reminds us that, even over a century later, Walt’s railroading influence remains as a vibrant and relevant force.

Members enjoy an exclusive viewing of the exhibition on Wednesday, November 12. Walt’s Circle donors and Friend and Supporter members will be invited to our VIP opening reception on Tuesday, November 11. Become a member today to access these exclusive benefits.

For more information, click here.

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How to Pass Your Midpoint For Dummies on September 30th (Tuesday)

How to Pass Your Midpoint for Dummies 9:30:14

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Disney, DreamWorks, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Sony Are Sued in Wage Theft Scandal

From Cartoon Brew:

Pixar, Dreamworks, Lucas, Disney

For the past few years, the Silicon Valley wage-theft scandal has focused mostly on tech companies like Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe, but as the story has played out, it’s been revealed through deposition testimony that competing feature animation studios worked together to collectively suppress their employees’ earnings potential and that Pixar’s co-founder Ed Catmull played a major role in orchestrating an industry-wide conspiracy against animation employees.

This evidence has led to a new class action lawsuit filed yesterday in San Jose that alleges “visual effects and animation companies have conspired to systematically suppress the wages and salaries of those who they claim to prize as their greatest assets—their own workers.” The defendants named are DreamWorks Animation, the Walt Disney Company, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Digital Domain 3.0, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks and ImageMovers. According to the suit, these companies made secret agreements to deprive thousands of their workers of better wages and opportunities to advance their careers at other companies.

For the full article, click here.

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Nickelodeon 2014 Student Animated Shorts Program: DEADLINE EXTENDED to September 30th, 2014

Nickelodeon’s 2014 Student Animated Shorts Program
We’re looking for shorts that make preschoolers laugh out loud!
For more details and to submit your concept, please visit:
Deadline for submissions extended to Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Nickelodeon 2014 Student Animated Shorts Program- DEADLINE EXTENDED to September 30th, 2014

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RIOT is coming to AAU on September 25th!

RIOT Fall 2014

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Why every serious film student and independent filmmaker who dreams of creating successful works for the global market should attend David Wachtenheim and Robert Marianetti program


Wednesday, September 10, 7 Pm
At SF State
Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts Bldg. room 101, free

Learn how as heads of story on the multi-million dollar feature Hotel Transylvania 2, what they must do (and avoid) to create scripts, gags, etc. that will be successful in Asia as well as Europe, Australia and the Americas.  Is creating a feature that is expected to make most of its money overseas different than creating domestic products?

Much of their career has dealt with controversial subject matter.  They recently directed the hit musical comedy My Depression: The Up And Down And Up Of It for HBO.  Learn how they dealt with a once taboo subject.

Also learn why the Disney Corporation and the Disney family didn’t sue Saturday Night Live and Wachtenheim and Marianetti for billions of dollars for creating and airing the outrageous Journey To The Disney Vault.  This comedy is at times shocking and embarrassing, at least to Disney.  In it Mickey Mouse reveals what may or may not be some of Walt’s darkest secrets!  See a racist clip from Walt’s personal copy of Song of the South, see what happened to Walt’s head after he died and see cartoon proof about other Disney myths.

If you want to learn how to work successfully in the international marketplace and/or with controversial subject matter, don’t miss this free program.

Ron Diamond is the curator of this program, produced the HBO half-hour show  and will also be present to answer your questions.


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Fall 2014 Town Hall Meeting on October 2


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New AAU Job Board for Students & Alumni!

AAU logo

AAU is pleased to announce a New & Improved Job Board* to better serve students and alumni!

Please direct Students to their LMS dashboard for a direct link to the site. Students and Alumni can also access the board directly at:

They can create a password by entering their student ID number as their Username and hitting “Forgot Password.”

For companies looking to hire your talent, please direct them to

Questions can be directed to

*The old AAU job board is now inactive

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Disney Imagineering – Competition – Design City Transportation

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.48.12 AM

Project Submission

For the 2015 competition, teams are asked to address the following project challenge:

Disney has world class theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment venues that are highly popular with families from all around the world. We challenge you to take what Disney does best today and apply it to transportation within a major city. Your uniquely Disney transportation experience should include station/stops and vehicle designs that reflect the diversity of the city, and are accessible, energy-friendly, and fun!

Upon qualification, your team will be provided a Microsoft PowerPoint® template to submit its project:

  • Submission must include:
    • Overview of your project
    • Story behind your design
    • Description of the Guest experience
    • Project images, photos and/or video
    • Team members’ roles and project contributions
  • Submission may not exceed eight slides.
  • Submission may include only one video, not to exceed one minute in length.
  • All images and photos should include a description.
  • Do not include the name of your college/university or any team member on any page, image or video.
  • You may create your own characters or use existing Disney characters for the purpose of the Imaginations Competition only.
  • Your project submission must be sent by mail on a CD-ROM or flash drive and received by the project submission deadline. Project submission must not exceed 10MB in size.
  • If selected as a finalist team, you may bring artwork, illustrations, storyboards, story treatments, models, building designs and any other materials you have developed to the final competition.
  • Projects, entries and/or ideas may not be posted or displayed online until the culmination of the competition. Doing so will automatically disqualify the team.
  • All materials submitted to Walt Disney Imagineering will become the property of Walt Disney Imagineering and will not be returned.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 10.48.18 AM

For more information and details, click here.

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