While I’m waiting for VTS23 to compress (a long, dull process of me watching a progress bar creep across the screen for a for a couple of hours) I did some rummaging about online. Getting caught up with Michael Barrier’s site I see he linked to a really neat read from David Bordwell’s Observations on Film Art blog about Neil Gabler’s Disney book. I haven’t read the book and I probably won’t, either. Besides the fact that the reviews tend to portray it as a big blob of literary cold fish soup, Disney-ana and the history and personal/psychological mechanizations of Uncle Walt rarely interest me much for some reason. I love to read history for sure, but I like to do a little spelunking when I dig through history. I’m more interested in those who worked for him than the man himself. He’s an important figure as an employer and an industry driver, but I’m not usually all worked up to shower more lauds and praise on a figure who has had more than his share. Maybe because growing up I wasn’t a huge Disney fan overall. My childhood isn’t one that was overly touched by the Disney product. Being a steel town blue collar sort the Schlesigner/WB and MGM stuff always seemed to hold more currency in our world of grey skies, brown snow, dirty brick buildings bellowing smoke that smelled like crap. Besides I prefer to look under rocks and behind the curtains to see the small stories about the men and women who did the real work of making Disney into a cultural icon. After all that’s where I spent most of my career, down under the rocks with the little people who had more talent and skill than entrepreneurial interest. Tom Sito’s Drawing the Line is probably a book more my speed. Plus anybody who’s listened to him knows that Tom spins a great yarn.
Anyhow, I liked the article on the Film Art blog because the authors (Kristen Thompson and David Bordwell) show a very keen appreciation and a good eye for observing some of the subtler aspects of character animation as practiced by the Disney studio. For non-animators this is usually kinda rare “out there”. With so many ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the latest mo-cap driven craze in the MSM it’s a refreshing thing to see someone have a deeper level of appreciation for the craft and art of animation beyond the basic “I like it” level. Anyhow, when you have some progress bars of your own to watch crawl across your screen, go pass some time and read the post.
Oh yeah, VTS23 later tonight, too. Email links to come for those on the subscriber bandwagon.