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Interviewing Eric Goldberg, Animation Reporter

Interviewing Eric Goldberg, Animation Reporter

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Eric Goldberg is the man behind Genie of Aladdin and many such amazing characters from Disney.
Eric Goldberg is the man behind Genie of Aladdin and many such amazing characters from Disney.

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Published by: Nikita Banerjee Bhagat on Apr 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/06/2012

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18
 
u
 
 August 2008
 
u
 
animation reporter
interview
 You belong to a tradition of Disney artistswho have written about the art of anima-tion. However, you are not a life-long Dis-ney hand. Is this a book on animating theDisney-way or about animation includingthe Disney-way?
I love all types of animation, from bigstudio product to small independents.Of course, this includes Disney, but also includes Warner Bros., MGM,John and Faith Hubley, Pixar, Fleisch-er’s, UPA, and Ren and Stimpy, amongmany, many others. The information inthe book is really my own distillationof the information I’ve gathered over theyears, both from great mentors and myown personal study and experience, chan-neled toward the understanding of what weknow as “classical” animation - primarilyhand-drawn but also CG - for the purposesof creating great, entertaining characters.
Could you tell us a little about your back-ground and interest in becoming ananimator?
I was a 1950’s “baby boomer,” hopelesslyhooked on the new medium of television,particularly the cartoons. When I was growing
up, we had the rst televised anima
-tion in The Mickey Mouse Club,the Disneyland program,Looney Tunes, Popeye,Betty Boop, WoodyWoodpecker, andeven young upstartslike Hanna-Barbera(Huckleberry Houndand The Flintstones)and Jay Ward (Rocky andBullwinkle). On The WoodyWoodpecker Show, Walter Lantz used to do asegment every week on the process of creat-ing cartoons, and I was fascinated. In fact,so enamoured was I of the character, that myolder brother Elliot taught me how to drawWoody (he was seven and I was four). BobThomas’s
The Art of Animation 
, about themaking of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was abook I checked out of the library every other
 Alladin's Genie's book of tricks
Eric Goldberg was turned down by Disney when he first tried to get there. Years later he wascalled to the studios. And he went about creating such classics as
 Alladin 
and
Pocahontas 
. Inthis interview with ANIMATION REPORTER's Nikita Banerjee, Goldberg speaks about his book thatdistills his experiences of over 30 years in the business, his top 24 animation films and his tips forthose wanting to be animators
 
animation reporter
 
u
 
 August 2008
 
u
 
19
interview
 week. My rst animated features were Dumbo
and 101 Dalmatians, both two of my all-timefavorites. When I was six, a toy came out onthe market called “Flip Shows”: perforatedsheets with the frames of a Huck Hound orPopeye cartoon printed on them, which you
could assemble into your own ipbooks. That 
 was it. From that point forward, no memo padin the house was safe. While other kids wereout playing baseball or going on dates, I was
making ipbooks.
As an author of this “text-book” on anima-tion, what are the qualities that you believean animator should have?
1. Patience!!!2. A well-developed sense of observationand ability to caricature.3. A desire and ability to entertain (and todevelop a sense of what is entertaining toan audience).4. The realization that, no matter how manyyears you have been a professional ani-mator, you never stop learning.5. Patience!!!
Why have you chosen to call this book acrash course?
“Crash Course” usually means a concen-trated period of instruction, where the amount of information is huge, and the instructiontime is very short. The book is everything Ihave managed to learn or invent for the last 30 years, all crammed between two covers.It is the book I wish I had when I was start-ing in the medium, full of common-sensetechniques and animation principles (and an
accompanying CD of animation movie les
that demonstrate those principles, so every-one can see how they actually work). It isalso called “Crash Course” because the front cover illustration shows a cartoon cat about to crash into a pile of animation equipment.
In what ways is your book different fromRichard Williams’s book? Is there some-thing different that readers can expect interms of techniques and style?
I have nothing but respect and admirationfor Richard Williams and his excellent book.Dick was my mentor, as well as the man whointroduced me to animation greats Ken Har-ris, Art Babbitt, and Tissa David, all of whom were exceedingly generous with their knowl-edge to a young punk like me. I think the maindifference between our books is that 
Charac- ter Animation Crash Course! 
, devotes the rst 
half to conceiving characters and makingthem unique personalities. While there maybe some overlap in the technique section, Ihave also developed my own personal styleover the years, and my approach to techniqueis often different from Dick’s (frequently usefulalternate ways), and always intended to be inservice of a character’s performance. It also

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