TOMORROW IN SF: Richard Williams Tribute

Richard Williams

This Friday, May 30, ASIFA-San Francisco is holding a tribute to animator and director Richard Williams, in honor of his 75th birthday this year. The screening begins at 7:30pm at the Exploratorium in San Francisco (in the McBean Theater). Membership and parking are free, though you may have to be an ASIFA-SF member, which is a bargain at $25/year.

Films that will be screened include:

* His Oscar-winning short A Christmas Carol (1971)
* I Drew Roger Rabbit (1988), a rare British documentary about Williams
* Commercials made for TV in Great Britain, Europe, Canada and the US
* Two clips from the feature Raggedy Ann and Andy (1977)
* Title sequences for Pink Panther features
* Surprise footage

Williams will not be present in person at the event, however, he is a member of the short film jury at Annecy next month, and is also the subject of a tribute/retrospective at the Ottawa International Animation Festival in September. These appearances probably have a lot to do with the forthcoming release of his highly anticipated Animation Masterclass Lecture Series on dvd (shot in front of a live audience at Blue Sky Studios).


  • http://andynortonuk.spaces.live.com/ Andy Norton

    This sounds like a fine tribute showcasing how broad his animation talent was in other areas of entertainments, besides Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

  • Daniel J. Drazen

    I still fondly remember the “Christmas Carol” special as the most Dickensian of all adaptations. Williams was the only one, as far as I know, to incorporate Dickens’s description of Marley’s jaw dropping down to his chest when he took off his head scarf, which underscored the fact that Scrooge was dealing with a ghost — something that inspires horror. The same with the appearance of Ignorance and Want later on; it was never done better than by Williams.

  • http://eggheadcheesybird.co.uk Alex

    That Christmas Carol film is brilliant, I hope it comes out on DVD at some point.

  • matt

    Does anyone know what the situation is with his ‘abstract’ film? He’s been working on it by himself since I saw his Masterclass in the nineties and I know those and the book sidetracked him for a long time, but does anyone know how it’s progressing, if at all? He was very secretive about it because he didn’t want what happened with Thief (namely Aladdin) to happen again, as I recall.

    Amid? Do you know?

  • Killroy McFate

    “A Christmas Carol” absolutely blew my eight year-old mind when it was originally broadcast on ABC. I’m lucky enough to have scrounged a VHS copy from Amazon a few years back. Give us a Special Edition DVD! P-p-p-p-pleeeze?

  • http://www.ulimeyer.com Uli Meyer

    I met and worked with Dick when he was 53 years old. He’s 75 now? It does not feel like it was that long ago. Our working relationship ended up sour but I still admire the crazy man for his work and dedication to animation, no matter how difficult he is/used to be to work with. Dick certainly influenced many generations of animation artists with his approach to the medium. Happy Birthday, I wish I could be at the tribute, but maybe I’ll have an argument with him in Annecy :).

  • Samuel Restivo

    Let’s hope that this upcoming DVD set is priced reasonably for the multitudes who couldn’t afford to attend Williams’ seminar in person.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/marmaladearmy Doug

    I would love to hear more about his current film in the works as well. If anyone here knows anything at all about it, please share.

    I’d love to hear news that “A Christmas Carol” was making it to dvd almost as much as I’d like to hear that The Thief was getting a proper restoration, or should I say a proper finish?

  • Alberto

    surprise footage: Thief and the cobbler: Uncobbled. anyone with me on this?

  • http://www.kdcartoon.com Khalid al-Dakheel

    I wish that I can attend this event, badly I live far over the seas :(

    Richard Williams helped me personally with his amazing book Animator’s Survival Kit which I still learn from him & his useful resources until this moment, he’s a pure master. Happy 75 Birthday! :)

    Kind regards,

  • matt

    Actually Alberto maybe the surprise footage is the personal film I was talking/asking about?

  • Bruce

    It’s good to know that he’s alive and well, and it’s certainly excellent to know of a possible DVD release of his Animation ‘Master Class’ lectures, as I am intrigued if his classes are all that are cracked up to be. (If anyone on the Brew has gone to any of his lectures, please let me know.)

    Oh, and last I’ve heard it is believed that Williams is working on an animated movie of his own based on one of the plays of Aristophanes. But then again, given to his experiences on his last film, I wouldn’t be too surprised if he is keeping low key on any upcoming project, or if he is still making films at all.

    Otherwise, it seems things are going well for the retired British Animator. (Although in fact Canadian by birth, Williams is usually referred to as a British Animator, only because of the long period he worked in the United Kingdom)

    From an inspiring animator/ artist

  • rhinotonight

    so this passed. anyone know what the surprise footage was?

  • http://www.hollywilliams.org holly williams

    The surprise footage was the pencil test for opening sequence to new DVD set of masterclass.
    you can find it on youtube now. just look thru richard williams, maybe search masterclass or pencil test.
    I was sad to miss the commercials, I think those were some of his best work. never seen them on the big screen.
    Sorry I missed it, am local to SF but was out of town…
    was looking online to find feedback on the event.
    So proud of him, glad he’s getting the recognition he deserves.