youngeric youngeric

Meet 17-year-old animator, Eric Goldberg

Doug Post of Woodbury University saves everything and recently found this article in a newsletter he used to get as a child. It’s a section of the November 1973 issue of General Motors American Youth magazine. It features an article on teenage filmmakers – and highlights future animator/director Eric Goldberg discussing how he got interested in animation and his afternoon visiting the Disney studio. Eric gave us permission to post the pages below (click thumbnails to enlarge), with this comment:

Okay, you can post it, complete with my use of top pegs (the horror!) and my somewhat less than modest credit crawl (not untrue, however!). Just as a side note, two years after that article appeared, I won the Grand Prize in that contest, and my roommate at the Plaza Hotel in New York (where the ceremonies were held) won First Prize. His name was David Silverman, of later Simpsons fame. We’ve been good friends ever since. We fondly recall the days when he had a “Jew-fro” and I had hair.

(Thanks, Doug Post, Dori Littell-Herrick and Eric Goldberg)

  • Little did young Eric know that 37 years later he would be an animation icon!!

  • Great bit of history, and not just for animation.

    A GM teen magazine! I guess this venture should be unsurprising given that this is about the same time that they were losing their focus on their core goal of building good cars.

    This is an artifact of the GM that thought itself to be “America” and imagined itself to be invincible. This is a sign of a company that has peaked and knows not where to go.

    Not that any of that is Eric Goldberg’s fault. Plotted against GM’s, his career arc obviously turned out better.

  • Chris Pepin
    • Thanks for the Boys Life article. Just curious, if anyone knows, was Eric a boy scout in his youth? Great to hear about his early work as a teenager.

    • Funkybat

      That “Boys Life” was a real pleasant surprise. Lots of old-school stuff that was once familiar but I hadn’t thought about in years (Olympic Sales Club, Pee Wee Harris, “Sell GRIT,”) as well as interesting stories about “the future of cars” and that up-and-coming young basketball star Bill Walton. Made me simultaneously smile with nostalgia and wince at how much time has passed.

      The story featuring Eric Goldberg seemed to be about a Kodak contest where 1st prize winner happened to be a Scout. Don’t think the contestants *had to* be in the Scouts, but it’s certainly possible, given that Scouting was a lot more popular 40 years ago than now.

  • Awesome!!

    I have to ask, though, what’s wrong with top pegs?

    • Yeah! Nothing! I bloody love top pegs.

      Disney indoctrinated that top-pegs is animation sacrilege if you want to be taken seriously. It doesn’t affect quality, and great animators such as Richard Williams and Miyazaki don’t let it hinder their work. In fact, Williams works on both, proving that either is fine.

    • Dutchie

      Yeah, same here. There’s nothing wrong with top pegs, I find drawing much more comfortable with pegs on top and flipping still works well enough

  • I would love to see that Jew-fro on David Silverman.

  • Tedzey

    i’m always inspired to draw some cartoons when I read an article from Eric! Character animation crash course is one of my favorite guides next to the animation survival kit and the illusion of life!

  • David Silverman

    GREAT HORNY TOADS! I remember that little magazine. And yes, as Eric says, we met later and have been pals ever since! Though meeting Eric, who was a masterful animator at that early age was a little daunting! Intimidating! I was still in my clay animating phase, and had yet to try cartoon animation. (That started at UCLA, in 1977.) And no Jew-fro photos exist now, all destroyed in the Chicago Fire. A pity.

  • I was lucky enough to not only go to high school with Eric, but to sit across from hm in study hall (wish I could remember which grade, but those brain cells have all collapsed) :). He was SO talented he would make little movies there and draw, and it was SO awesome to watch.
    When he’d give them to me I would take them home and make my mom swear she’d save them cause it was so obvious he’d be famous… and they were so darn good! All my gal pals who knew him, we all claim that we were the first to know that he’d be famous and we all saved his work. I rarely see those peeps, but Eric’s name always comes up cuz we thought he was so cool… and lord knows I so wasn’t!
    Eric, if you get to read this just know that all of us loved you and thought you were such fun and so talented… my mom still calls me to let me know when you’ve gotten a credit or if she sees an article.
    We’re still cheering for you!