The wonderful website Den of Geek scored an interview with Disney Animator Glen Keane. In it he talks about his art, how he doesn’t feel like a Disney Animator, and his tutoring under Frank and Ollie, the last of Walt’s nine old men.
And I showed Ollie a scene of Tangled. I was pointing it out. I said “Ollie, look”, and it was a little scene of her holding a squirrel, that was in the movie at this point. I said “look, freckles!” We’ve never had freckles on a character before! “Look at the satin on her dress, we’ve never been able to do that, the light reflecting on it”.
Ollie said, “Well, Glen. What I was wondering is, what is she thinking about?”
It was like, gah, yes. Who cares about all of the icing on the cake, if the cake isn’t tasty, if it doesn’t have butter and eggs? No one’s going to want to eat it. That was the drive throughout this whole process. Have a goal that’s worth fighting for. If you don’t, the computer is like a used car salesman. It’ll always make you walk off the lot with something you don’t want.
Keane also talks about learning to draw with computers and his 2008 heart attack. I can’t help but feel like Disney Animators are on the cusp of finding whatever magic the Nine Old Men once possessed. Make sure to read the whole thing, then head to the theater this week to see Tangled and insure Keane and his team a job for the foreseeable future.