ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #13:
The Triplets of Belleville with CLIONA NOONAN
soft tissue. wet and soppy. Tuna. These are all films, i swear.
The Triplets of Belleville is a critically acclaimed, rollercoaster of a narrative. I'm not sure where to start or where to end talking about it, but there's a lot in there. We're diving deep into the world of French animator, Sylvain Chomet and his foray into feature film making. A tour de force, while looking a the tour de France, it's impossible to narrow The Triplets of Belleville down to a succinct description, rather, it's a story that needs to be witnessed. I was lucky that Cliona chose it as her inspiring touchstone.
Speaking of Cliona, this episode we're graced by the presence of the visual tour de force that is Cliona Noonan. I've been a big fan of hers ever since I saw her short film, Wet and Soppy. It's a graphic tour de force of controlled storytelling. When I saw her college short, Tuna, I knew she was someone who has a unique and continuously developing voice in the world of animation. It's even better that she comes from Ireland and is emerging as one of the strongest voices in the next generation of storytellers. So, it was a privilege to get to sit down and talk with her.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #12:
FRED MOORE with TONY BANCROFT
LET'S HEAR SOME MOORE ABOUT FREDDIE... MOORE.
This was one of those pinch me moments, A former Disney Animator gushing about an even more former Disney animator! What an Honour it was to sit down with Tony Bancroft to talk about Fred “Freddie” Moore. I gotta say, when he said yes, I was delighted, honoured and intimidated.
Fred Moore was one of the earliest animator’s at Walt Disney’s Animation studios in the 1930’s. He’s most famous for redesigning Mickey Mouse into the character model we know today. Moore worked through the studio as it rose to prominence, animating on works such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella. His design of female characters influenced characters such as Ariel in the Little Mermaid which has informed what we think of as the Disney aesthetic now. Moore was a giant influence in the development of Disney animation’s design style after Ub Iwerks left, and before the Nine Old Men rose to prominence. Unfortunately, Moore’s propensity for alcohol held him back, leading him to be fired in 1946 and he’s been generally left out of conversations in the sanitisation of Disney’s history. He returned to Disney is 1948 but was killed in a car crash 4 years later.
For anyone who’s unfamiliar with Tony, he is one half of the Bancroft Bros. Animation podcast, as well as one half of the Bancroft twins. They both began their careers animating in Disney at the very beginning of the Disney Renaissance. Tony is notable for working on characters such as Cogsworth, Iago, Pumba, Kronk as well directing Mulan in 1998 with Barry Cook. He Has had an incredible, far ranging career animating, directing, podcasting as well as teaching and it’s honestly, a real privilege and pleasure to get to talk to him.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #11:
ALEKSANDR PETROV with HOWARD WIMSHURST
THIS IS ALL A DREAM, DRAWN WITH A FINGER.
I couldn't be happier or more humbled to be joined with Howard Wimshurst. He is a freelance animator, content creator and generous teacher. Howard's passion and fundamental knowledge of the processes, both technically and philosophically, of animation are unparalleled in my opinion. It's always a joy to get to speak with him and I learn so much every time. As with many people you may meet in life, his openness, honesty with himself and love of the craft are refreshing and addictive to be a part of.
His own podcast, The Animator's Guild Podcast, I would recommend for everyone to check out if they haven't already. I was lucky enough to be a guest and that is effectively the first part of our conversation.
Round Two is all about Aleksandr Petrov. If you don't know who he is, I urge you to stop right now and seek out his work. His shorts, such as The Old Man and the Sea, My Love, The Cow, Mermaid and many more, are baffling in technique, scope and observation, when you think about how he approached them. His animation process runs a perfect line of destruction and creation. Painting each frame with oil on glass, he then shifts around the paint with his finger to create the next frame, totally destroying the previous image. Overtime new life emerges as his vision starts to move. Petrov is a true master of his technique and of his craft.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #10:
BAMBI WITH JAMES BAXTER
What an episode it is. I'm hugely humbled to be joined with one of the greatest living animators, James Baxter. You might know him as a horse on a ball making people happy, but James has been working in the industry for over 30 years, starting on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? He's responsible for some of the most beautifully animated moments in animation history, including Belle and the Beast dancing in the ball room, or Quasimodo carrying Esmeralda up to the top of Notre Dame. The list of his phenomenal work goes on.
Today we're talking about Bambi, well as much Bambi as we can apart from me picking his brain about his process. Bambi was the 5th feature film released by Walt Disney Animation, and it's legacy speaks for itself. Really, with Bambi, the Disney studio's leapt so far ahead from other animation competitors, and cemented itself as a powerhouse when it comes to Animation. The film's tough and rigorous development process laid down a foundation that has forever changed the animation landscape.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #09:
TREASURE PLANET WITH FATMA ALMHEIRI
SHIVER ME CG INTEGRATION!
On this episode I'm truly honoured to be joined by the incredible and insanely talented Fatma Almheiri, the creator of Emara. I don't have enough positive adjectives to describe Fatma, so I'll just say it's humbling to consider that she has directed a 5 episode web series about an Emirati superhero named Emara.
Her chosen topic is Treasure Planet, a beautiful and completely underrated Disney Animation. Released in 2002, a similar story to The Iron Giant, poor marketing led to the film's immediate demise. But Treasure Planet has an incredible soul in the story of Jim Hawkins and his relationship with John Silver. The storytelling is delicate and refreshing to dig into. I hope you all enjoy this episode!
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #08:
THE LAST UNICORN WITH THE JOOPIS
Red Bull gives you genocide!
On this episode I'm joined by the fantastic Jessie Smith, aka The Joopis. She's a really talented designer, animator and has a really wonderful Youtube channel where she uploads very original and interesting work.
Today we're discussing The Last Unicorn, a 1983 film produced by Rankin/Bass. The power of their studio in the 70s and 80s can't be understated, and although they made classic stop motion works like Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer, their feature output combed through classic fantasy tales.
The Last Unicorn is based on a book by Peter S. Beagle, which is widely considered to be one of the best Fantasy novels ever written. The animated work tried to stick as close to the source material as possible in classic Rankin/Bass style.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #07:
ADRIEN MERIGEAU WITH TOMM MOORE
THE EXTRA M IS FOR MUTANT
This next episode is a real honour for me, I get to sit down with the ineffable Tom Moore, and his surprising, yet completely honest choice of topic: Adrien Merigeau.
Adrien is an animator and film maker that worked win Cartoon Saloon for many years. Following his graduation film, Le Carnet de Chloe, he has created several other shorts including Old Fangs and the more recent Genius Loci, as well as several music videos you can find on his website here: adrienmerigeau.com
Adrien’s work is so honest, musical and unique in many ways. He has an incredibly strong voice and I can’t recommend his work enough. His accolades speak for themselves, but in each one of his works you’ll find a heartbeat of thought and a true definition of art.
Tomm Moore is an Academy Award nominated director and one of the Co-founders of Cartoon Saloon. Their passion and energy for storytelling through animation is really unique in Ireland. Visiting their studio or the surrounding area in Kilkenny is a breath of fresh air where people excitedly discuss their inspiration. With leaders like Tomm Moore, the culture in Cartoon Saloon engenders creative thinking and above all, brave storytelling in both style and substance. I’m a huge fan of their word, and a humble addict of their voice
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #06:
GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES WITH SEAN MULLEN
SPONSORED BY KLEENEX
In our 6th episode, we discuss the heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies. An amazing animated film in many ways, it was directed by the legendary Isao Takahata, as his first feature for Studio Ghibli. It was featured as a double bill with My Neighbour Totoro in 1988. The feature still stands the test of time and it's spotlight on Setsuko and Seita's journey is a tale that shouldn't be missed.
I'm joined by the incredible Sean Mullen, one of the creative leads of Giant Animation. He recently co-directed The Overcoat, producing the CG portion of the short. Giant are a studio I've long admired for the quality work they've been producing here in Ireland. I'd highly recommend checking out Geist and The Overcoat. You can visit their website here: giant.ie/animation/
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #05:
KING OF THE HILL WITH BAM ANIMATION
THIS IS A REAL PROPANE IN MY A**
This episode is a continuation with both the incredibly talented boys of BaM Animation: Brent Noll and Maximus Pauson.
The second of our two episodes we talk about a quiet Tour de Force in Animation, which is King of The Hill. Created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels, it ran for 8 seasons, with some incredibly smart writing. Up against shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy, at the height of their popularity, it was impossible to deny the honest humour in King of the Hill. What was always interesting to me with King of the Hill, is that their metaphors dig so deep, but seem so basic on the surface. The show hooks people and reels them in before realising how smart it is. Also, Youtube Poop is mentioned haha!
Brent and Max are super duper talented artists who have been working in the American Animation industry for years. Their greatest hit together is an amazing YouTube channel called BaM Animation, where they give professional and fun tips as to how to improve your work if you want to approach working in the industry.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #04:
GARFIELD WITH BAM ANIMATION
MONDAYS? MORE LIKE NO THANK YOU - GARFIELD, I THINK
This episode is a bit different in that it's a conversation with both the incredibly talented boys of BaM Animation, Brent Noll and Maximus Pauson.
This is the first of two conversations we have, and this time Max chose to discuss a character, rather than just an animation. Character design is really important and what greater mascot to pick than Garfield the cat. He holds the Guinness World Record for most syndicated comic strip in the world, and even current iterations of animated work broadcast in China. Garfield's reach is incredible, and known globally. So in this episode we dive into how Garfield began and became the cultural tour de force he still is! It's super interesting.
Brent and Max are really talented artists who have been working in the American Animation industry for years. Their greatest hit is an amazing YouTube channel called BaM Animation, where they give professional and fun tips as to how to improve your work if you want to approach working in the industry.
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #03:
POJD'TE PANE WITH EIMHIN MCNAMARA
the famous Pojar bears
I'm joined by Irish Industry veteran Eimhin Mc Namara, and his influential choice of Pojd'te Pane, budeme si hrát (Hey Mister! Let's Play). Its a Czech animated tv series by Bretislav Pojar, released 1965-1973. They are essentially a series of shorts of 2.5D animation, surrounding two bears that have wild imaginations and personalities. The shape shifting alone is spectacular, and one thing that comes out of Pojar's work here is how playful the animation is. Even without knowing what they're saying, you can fully follow the story and enjoy it.
Eimhin is the current General Managing Director for the incredible and independent studio, Paper Panther. If you've never heard of them, I'd really recommend to check them out. Animation with them is a joy to watch as they experiment through the variety of mediums.
You can find more of Eimhin's work at vimeo.com/eimhinmcnamara
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #02:
JONNY QUEST WITH DAN NOSELLA
SIM Sim sALaBIM! that's magic for everything
In our second episode I was gifted the chance to watch the original 1964 Jonny Quest tv series by Hanna-Barbera. I'm joined by Dan Nosella who picked the series out of his past and influenced his drive toward comics and ultimately moving across to the Animation Industry.
The original Jonny Quest is an incredible programme, a globe trotting adventure to show everyone the wonders of the world outside, filled with science and adventure, very akin to Tintin. Of course it has many issues that really date the show.
Dan is the series director on Doc McStuffins currently, and works in Brown Bag Films here in Ireland, I'm very honoured he gave up his time from a busy schedule to meet me and discuss Jonny Quest.
You can find more of Dan's work at storiesbydan-blog.tumblr.com/
ANIMATOR'S BREAKFAST #1:
THE IRON GIANT WITH AIDAN MCATEER
What do you get when you cross iron man and giant man?
In our first episode, I'm joined with Aidan McAteer to discuss The Iron Giant. Directed by Brad Bird, this 1999 epic traditionally animated feature film has stood the test of time to become one of the greatest animated features of all time.
We talk about its storytelling mechanics and how important it is to understand giving relationships time and earning that emotion. We also discuss how it inspired Aidan's work throughout the years, from college all the way to now, where he just won Best Director for Dangermouse at Animation Dingle and Best Animation at the Galway Film Fleadh for Streets of Fury.