Notes from the Cartoon Blogosphere

> Ben Ettinger takes an in-depth look at the work of independent Japanese animator Tadanari Okamoto. Okamoto worked in an impressive variety of animation techniques include clay, puppet, cel, low relief and yam animation. Let that be a lesson to all the people who said that yams belonged only in stews and not up on the bigscreen. I’ve seen only one of his films before, MONKEY AND CRAB (courtesy of Seamus and Mark), and it’s a wild stop motion trip. After reading Ben’s appreciation, I want to search out more of Okamoto’s work.

> Shane Glines has jumped on the blog bandwagon (blogwagon?), and started his own Cartoon Retro blog HERE. If you’re not subscribing to Cartoon Retro (a mere $5 a month), you’re missing out on one of the best cartoon/illustration/animation resources that’s ever hit the ‘net. No hyperbole there; it continues to become more impressive and inspiring everyday.

> Jim Hull is posting audio files of a lecture delivered by master animator Milt Kahl at Disney in the late-’70s. The first three tracks are currently posted on his site, SewardStreet.com, and he’ll be posting more clips of Milt’s talk weekly. I can only imagine how many great lectures are floating around out there or stashed away in people’s personal collections, and deserving to be preserved on-line where they can be heard by a global audience. Just the other night, I found in my own files a tape of 101 DALMATIANS color stylist Walt Peregoy speaking at DreamWorks around 1997 or so. It’s lively, thought-provoking and full of interesting exchanges between Walt and his attentive audience. This is exactly the type of thing that should be available for all to hear. Reading in a book about Eyvind Earle’s bg styling for SLEEPING BEAUTY is one thing, but hearing one of the main background painters on the film tell you why the work doesn’t gel is a completely unique experience, regardless of whether one agrees with the assessment or not. This exchange between Walt and one of the artists in the audience is particularly priceless:

DreamWorks artist: When I look at SLEEPING BEAUTY, compared to what I see today, it’s amazing.
Walt Peregoy: No.
DreamWorks artist: I think so.
Walt Peregoy: Well, you’re suffering from a delusion. I’m sorry.

Unfortunately, the Walt talk isn’t online (yet), but Milt Kahl is and he’s definitely worth hearing.