Day Two: CTN Expo with Don & Gary

And on the Second Day, the CTN Expo became Comic Con for animators.

Day 2 at CTN-X was wall-to-wall with attendees, standing room only panels, exhibits, demonstrations, screenings and parties. Andreas Deja drawing in the lobby surrounded by hundreds of students and pro’s; talks by Roger Allers, Bill Kroyer, Peter De Seve, Rob Minkoff and Simon Wells; a screening of The Secret of Kells and a preview of Don Hahn’s Waking Sleeping Beauty; a party hosted by Disney Animation… and that’s not the half of it.

I moderated an interview with Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (photo above: Goldman at left, Don in center and yours truly pointing to screen at right). We only had 45 minutes, but we covered an awful lot of their history and gained new insight as to why and how they left Disney thirty years ago (in 1979). Don and Gary inspired the SRO crowd with their love of, and enthusiasm for, the future of hand drawn character animation.

In an instant, a new major animation event has emerged. The CTN Expo has turned out to be a huge success. If you are reading this in Los Angeles and have a few hours to spare today, I highly recommend dropping by the Burbank Marriott on Hollywood Way between 10am and 7pm. A few of today’s highlights include Charles Solomon interviewing the creators of The Secret of Kells, Yvette Kaplan moderating a panel on comedy writing in animated cartoons, Harald Siepermann discussing character design and Ed Gombert on The World of Appeal. See you there.


  • http://daryl-rhystaylor.blogspot.com Daryl T

    This is killing me that no-one ouside of California can go. Curses, curses, curses, why did the event have to look this good!

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    Man, I hope that inteview you did with Bluth and Goldman was recorded, and gets put on YouTube or some DVD. I’m a big Don Bluth fan and always like to hear what kind of stuff he has to say.

  • Jonah Sidhom

    Is this an annual event?
    Because I will seriously consider flying in from Tennessee next year. That is where I need to be!

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com Jerry Beck

    Brandon – Yes, both the Expo and Don Bluth himself taped yesterday’s panel. I’m sure one way or another they will be available to view. I believe CTN will make podcasts of many of the panels available on their website in the months to come.

    Jonah – Yes, CTN-X is an annual event. The next one is already set for the same location, the Burbank Marriott, next year November 19-21, 2010.

    Daryl – Anyone can attend CTN-X. You’ll just have to make plans to get here next year.

  • http://www.bishopanimation.com Floyd Bishop

    In that photo, you look like you’re kicking them off stage. :)

  • Michael E

    Is Don still working on the Dragon’s Lair movie?

  • http://cheekyentertainment.blogspot.com Craig Clark

    Wonderful, event! Hats off to the planners and participants!

  • Pedro Nakama

    For someone who is stuck in bed with the flu this weekend(fingers crossed it’s swine), why did Don leave Disney in 1979? Ron Miller?

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon

    The reason Bluth has often given as to why he, Goldman and others left Disney was because they felt nobody else was serious anymore about doing GOOD animated films, like they were treating it as “work”, and nobody was enthusiastic about making animated films anymore.

    Bluth also had several ideas for animated films (such as adapting “The Rats of NIMH”), but the ideas were turned down, because it was believed film versions of those stories would not appeal to a general audience.

  • Grayson

    I honestly don’t have much respect or love for Don Bluth and his work. I admire the desire to make good animated films but I don’t think it’s an excuse for weak acting, creepy mystical messages, and some not-so-good film making. Also I will never forgive him for what he did to Eric Larson.

  • http://www.wardjenkins.com Ward

    I’m happy to hear that CTN-Expo will be an annual event. I’ll start saving to go next year!

  • Tony Bancroft

    I couldn’t agree more that CTN_X was a huge success! My hats off to Tina Price and her crew for all their hard work! As an old pro myself, it was awesome to hang out with and see people I haven’t seen in years and also meet the next generation of very excited young artists. I spoke on a opanel on Indy animation Producers on Sunday that was filled with people excited to learn about whgat it takes to break away from the norm. Things like this will help propel our industry to new levels. And it was right here in Burbank!! It was truly an artist driven and artist run event. I will be there next year for sure!

  • http://Mrfunsblog Floyd Norman

    Animation returned to life in the eighties, and a good deal of that was due to the Bluth studio and the films they created. Kudos to both Don and Gary for their accomplishments.

    However, their departure from the “mouse house” is another story altogether. I was able to sit down over a bottle of wine with the former Disney CEO, Ron Miller and hear his side of the story.

    Maybe I’ll tell it one day.

  • Sara H.

    Really amazing event, I went all three days and can’t wait for next year!

    Highlights of the event for me:

    Watching demos by Andreas Deja and Eric Goldberg! I sat right behind them for these and was even lucky enough to get to keep some of their drawings from the day (and get them autographed!)

    Meeting Don Bluth and telling him how much his films have ment to me.. he then asked to see my portfolio and gave me a full critique!

    and of course meeting Jerry Beck! haha I tried to track him down all weekend and finally got to say a nervous ‘hi’ on sunday evening :D

  • Paul N

    I didn’t see the Bluth and Goldman panel, but I can vouch for its inspirational quality. A group of my students went, and afterward they were huddling together, discussing how to get their own collaborative project off the ground. The best possible result of a presentation like that, and another example of how fantastic CTN was.

  • http://www.monicochavez.com Monico Chavez

    Yeah, great panel. One of the most inspiring of the whole weekend. Really makes me want to redouble my work on my own short.

    Some other of my highlights of the weekend:

    - Bruce Block’s lecture on the visual structure of storytelling. He has such a clear understanding of the power of visual cues in film. Outstanding. Really clarified the construction of shape scripts.

    - The panel of character artists (“Line Kings”). I especially appreciated Marcelo Vignali.

    - Behind the scenes @ Secret of the Kells. What an amazing group of artists worked on that film.