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Ze Glen Keane Est Très Bon, Non?

I’m sure Glen Keane shares lots of thought-provoking ideas in this interview, but who knows what since he decided to speak in some bizarre tongue. Thankfully, there’s also an English transcript.

(via Michael Barrier)

  • Waw, didn’t know he could speak french.
    Just goes to show what a bright person the man is.
    Going to see the whole thing soon..

  • snip2345

    Did we know Glen Keane can speak French? Anyone?

    • Tim Hodge


  • Aaaaand now I really feel awful for never completing second language studies. -_-

  • Damn! And, the guy can draw.

  • It’s probably a bad indicator for my French that I can only understand it when it’s spoken by an American.

  • Paul N

    Loved the cut from Belle’s skirt to Ariel’s tail. Inspired!

  • Jenny

    What a treat this is! Superbe.

  • That’s a wonderful interview, thanks for posting.

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    What an intelligent insightful dialogue. Kudos to the interviewer. Who is the interviewer? I like it where he sums up the differences between Pixar by the phrases “wouldn’t it be cool if…” and Disney Films by “Once upon a time…”

    “the computer is like a used car salesman”, haha, very good.

  • Paul

    Monsieur Keane a un assez bon francais. I love his distinction
    of Disney and Pixar. In answer to the last question about Lasseter.

  • Jim

    The most interesting part of the interview is when he admits that if you know the animators, you can tell exactly who animated which shot (even though it’s CG animation). Many of us knew this already, of course, but for years we were forced to listen to traditional animators criticizing CG for lacking individuality.

    The irony is that if this were true, computer animation would actually be closer to achieving what should be a goal for all animation teams — consistent character animation from shot-to-shot. The assumption that recognizing individual animators is “a good thing” was implicit within past criticism, but I think more of us should have questioned that assumption. Is it really that desirable for the character to be so different from shot to shot that close observers could recognize the hand of each animator?

    In any case, I suppose it’s a moot point now because both traditional and computer animation reveal their creators, and I suspect it will always be that way. Animation requires too much unconscious embedding of our own expressions and motions, and I think rather than striving for complete consistency (like an actor can bring to a performance) we should embrace that imperfection, regardless of what technique is used to bring something to life.

  • His French is spectacularly good!
    Makes me wish I was in France right now… I want to see this show.

  • AdrianC

    Well, if I recall correctly, he did live in France for at least a year when working on “Tarzan.” I don’t know how proficient he became in the language though.

  • NR

    I assumed he could speak a bit of French since he went out to Disney Paris to animate on Tarzan…

  • Sat

    As a native french speaker I can say he’s really good. The part about CGI animation is really interesting, too.

  • John

    No animator I can think of has had this much creative control over his own work.

    • djm

      Have you ever heard of Bill Plympton, Nina Paley, or Don Hertzfeldt?

      • John

        At disney, I meant at disney or any studio not a freelancer.

  • Hermes

    I remember when they were giving French lessons at the Disney studio around ’95 for those who were going to Paris to work on Tarzan. I’m glad Glen kept up with it. He sounds good. There are still a lot of great French artists– fortunately for me most of them speak English.

  • Good interview, though it covers a lot of the same material as another one I read recently. This is the second time I’ve heard Glen Keane comment on how what you see up on the screen isn’t his drawing so much as it is a collaborative effort. (In the other interview, he mentions the one exception: that charcoal animated bit from “Colors of the Wind” in “Pocahontas.”) So now I’m wishing with all my heart that someone at Disney with the power to make it happen would give Glen Keane carte blanche to do a short to run with a future animated feature that actually will look like his drawings. I’d be first in line, no matter what the feature was.

  • Thanks a lot for linking the interview.
    The interviewer is a member of our team who loves Disney and Pixar.

    Glen Keane told us he still comes in Paris once or twice a year, maybe to improve his excellent French

    – Marc / CloneWeb.net

  • The “some bizarre tongue” you wrote is the French language.
    In one period in European history it was THE primary language that people spoke. It is still considered the international diplomatic language, now along with English. There is NOTHING bizarre about it. Congratulations to Glenn Keane for speaking French, and being highly skilled at it. Many Americans today don’t even speak ONE language well, let alone two, three, or four, as many of my European friends do. Ghetto English is cool to some people now: try that nonsense at a job interview, any. They’ll laugh you out of the room. It is a dead-end road.
    We are so embarassingly undereducated here in the US. We are definitely NOT # 1 in languages spoken. We are FAR behind the rest of the world in that subject.

  • Wow! I didn’t know Glen spoke French! I was transfixed the whole time! Wish I could remember the French I took in school……Way to go, Maestro!!!