isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Disney Dreamworks Trip: Inside Disney Animation Studios

I still have so much to write about from my trip to LA for the CARS 2 premiere, like for instance, the Winnie the Pooh screening and The Help screening, both of which I am sworn to secrecy about until it gets closer to the release date (Winnie the Pooh hits theaters July 15th and The Help hits theaters August 12!)

However, there are a few things I can talk about that I am super excited about and for those things I will break them up into several installations and I do this mostly for my own insanity because there is just so much cool stuff to write!

When I was in LA, I went quickly through what Day One was like, but here I'll go a little further and break the trip down a little:

  • Part one: Inside Disney Animation
  • Part two: Inside the Animation Research and Archives
  • Part three: Cool CARS 2 STUFF!!
  • My interviews with the cast and directors are mostly posting at 5 Minutes for Mom but I will include them at the bottom of these posts.
So here we go:

Inside Disney Animation Studios
Disney Animation Studios

The first full morning we were there, we headed to Disney Animation Studios where they gave us some breakfast (and coffee!) and we went in and immediately saw the screening of Winnie the Pooh. On the way out, we saw a Jonas brother. It was unmistakably a Jonas, although I can't tell you which one. I had to tweet that I saw a Jonas.

Working at Disney Animation must be a dream come true, honestly. It makes me want to know how to
draw something other than square houses with the chimney with the little loopy line of smoke twirling out of it.

It turns out that there are two pods in which the writers and artists, directors, producers, etc work.
Winnie the Pooh pod
Each pod is set up to look like a set out of the movie they are working on. They change it for every movie they are doing. They decorate the walls, they literally bring the movie into the office and the movie is the office and vice versa.

It's awesome.

If I could change my office to reflect every project I am working on, inspiration would seep from my pores for sure. I was able to take pictures of the Winnie the Pooh area but had to put my camera away for the other area because it's a super-secret project. Below is the live-set within their work area that looks just like Christopher Robin's bedroom.
Winnie the Pooh Live Set
Fun fact: We also learned that "Piglet" is wearing a onesy. Who knew?
Honey Pot
Giant Hunny Pot
After the movie and interviews with the producer and director, we got to try our hand at drawing Piglet, which I already wrote about, and then we got to see how they make the watercolor looks for the movie.

They don't paint anymore. They use Photoshop and how close it is. Down to making it look like paint has seeped into the grain of the paper, like a watercolor would.
Disney Animation Water color
That was a demonstration we got to see with one of the artists who worked on the movie. I can't believe how few pictures I took of that. I must have been captivated.

Then we got to meet Burny Mattinson, one of the original Disney animation artists who actually worked with Walt Disney. He's holding an original Winnie the Pooh that his wife made for the classic featurettes, but it never made it in.
Burnie Mattinson Winnie the Pooh
Winnie finally gets his shot though, in this movie. Hooray for Winnie!
That was an amazing interview (more to come on that). After the interview with him, we got to talk to the voices behind Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Rabbit (Jim Cummings and Tom Kenny, also more to come on those interviews, which were HILARIOUS!)

Then we were off to go have some lunch. Yes, there was even a pretty menu for it.
Disney Animation Menu
The cupcakes and shortribs were to die for. I could not work here permanently because of this.
Honey Cupcakes
See? I told you.
Lunch was in sort of a common area and Spongebob, er, Rabbit, er, Tom Kenny came out and chatted with all us mom bloggers (and observed how much influence mom bloggers have! Very insightful that was indeed!) until it was time for me to put down the short ribs and go voice Piglet, which I wrote about in previous Winnie the Pooh post too. They will be sharing that clip of animation of us voicing Piglet and I'll post it here too when they do. (In sum, I had trouble finding my inner Piglet.)

After we were finished at Disney Animation, we headed over to the Animation Research Library, a little-known, very valuable gem of Disney... That's coming up next in Part II! Day one was a PACKED DAY as you can see.

* * *
You catch some of my other posts here:
My official CARS 2 Review
Interview with John Lasseter (Insight on CARS 2, the plot, family life and thoughts on violence)
Summer Craft or Birthday Party Fun with Cars 2
Pictures from the Red Carpet
One Thing I Learned at Disney
The Help: Now THIS MOVIE Looks Good

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I tri because one day I didn't believe in myself. And then one day I did.

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