Brad Bird On The Value of Bringing Disney-level Quality to Hand-Drawn Animated Movies

Brad_Bird_Iron_Giant_Special_Edition_TrailerToonzone News reports on Brad Bird’s (The Director of The Iron Giant and The Incrediblesrecent Collider interview: Bird “thinks traditional, 2-D, hand-drawn animation is poised for a comeback, but the only way it can do so is if it breaks into different genres than the musical format that dominated it until the advent of CG.” Bird thinks traditional animation could do any genre, including an effective horror film:
Via Collider:

“[T]here’s never been a horror movie in animation executed at Disney-level quality and hand-drawn. I’m not talking about CG; I’m talking about hand-drawn, but it doesn’t take a lot to imagine how cool that would be. If you think of the scariest parts of Snow White or Pinocchio or Fantasia with Night on Bald Mountain, you could do something really scary in animation, and I think if you did it right, if you did it with all the art that Spielberg did Jaws, I think that it would be an amazing experience because there’s something intuitive about when people are drawing directly with their hands.”

Bird makes some interesting points in the interview, including praising Disney’s old practices, for theatrical hand drawn animation, of keeping together a cohesive production team from one film to the next in hand drawn animation:

The problem is that every time people have deviated from the Disney playbook in hand-drawn animation, they’ve done so with staff that are nowhere near Disney-level talent or Disney-level budgets. So you have things like Heavy Metal, which not all of them are great, but a couple of them are really interesting, but they didn’t have the money or the artists to pull them off at the level that maybe they should’ve been pulled off. Where as in live-action film there are all kinds of new films being done in different genres where people can really execute an idea at a top level. It’s just that animation rewards grooming a team and keeping a team in place. That’s why when studios try to emulate Disney on the quick-and-cheap they always fail, because Disney has refined their animation team over years, they have a history of it, people go to Disney and know that there’s going to be a job after the movie, there’s going to be another movie. And when you assemble animation teams the way you do a live-action film, you’re often struggling a bit to get a cohesive team together, so if you have a team that works well together, you’re hoping for another film so that you can refine the team.

There’s certainly validity to that outlook. Having said that, I think Bird is speaking on more of a feature-film tier of quality to require a groomed, cohesive Disney-level team to tackle a genre film. I don’t think the absence of a tight-knit, seasoned Disney level crew should preclude hand-drawn animated genre films from being produced. Given the outlets available to audiences these days with home video, rental services like Redbox, television, streaming services like Netflix, and digital download, among other avenues, I think the future yields more and more chances to see a variety of well-financed hand-drawn animated genre films. With the advent of and continued strength of crowd funding like Kickstarter, studio-financed films aren’t the only game in town to “execute an idea at a top level.”

Collider has their “full interview” with Brad Bird coming soon. Also coming soon? My graphic novel Intercept Now! Also, also coming soon is The Iron Giant: Signature Edition theatrical release, which hits cinemas on September 30th and October 4th via Fathom Events. If you haven’t seen the film before, you really should treat yourself and see it on big screen to get the best viewing experience possible. This is one of the best theatrically-released hand drawn animated films ever, and it was indeed produced with Disney-level animators, offering up some truly amazing and inspiring animation; not to mention some truly iconic character design and production design:

This Is How You Do A Book Trailer

This is how it’s done.

This is the book trailer for Kairos, a french graphic novel by Author/Illustrator Ulysse Malassagne. Animated by Studio La Cachette. This is a perfect example of two important points. The first point is hand-drawn animation is powerful and deeply engaging to the viewer on a level unique to itself. The second is this book trailer really piques your interest to read the graphic novel itself. Even though the graphic novel is a different medium from the trailer that is animated, it transcends and conveys the story so well that you very much want to go out and read it.

Support The Book of Mojo on Indiegogo!


Via Hitfix, Former Pixar and Dreamworks animators have teamed up to turn Everett Downing‘s self-published webcomic, The Book of Mojo,  into a 3D animated short, and they need your help to fund the pilot episode!

The story of “Book of Mojo” centers around Creepy, a homeless teenage witch in search of her missing father. Then Mojo, a giant enchanted statue, literally falls into her life. With no memory of his past, Creepy agrees to help Mojo, for her own reasons. But things quickly spiral out of control when a group of black magic users called The Brokerage come to claim Mojo, saying they created him. The duo must then go on the run into the labyrinth of city streets, avoiding a magic-wielding crime syndicate, the cops, and Creepy’s personal rivals.

To create The Book of Mojo pilot episode, Downing has teamed up with 25 past employees of major studios such as Pixar Animation Studio, Dreamworks Animation, and Blue Sky Studios to form Alchemy Engine, an Indie Animation Studio who “strives to tell stories featuring characters they feel are under-represented in today’s animation market. Committed to providing a different kind of content, they have banded together to take creative risks in producing compelling stories for young-adults.”

I’m all about self-publishing, so make sure to check out Everett Downing’s official Gumroad page to download both installments of the original webcomic by clicking the images below. For more information about Book of Mojo, make sure to follow Everett Downing on Twitter!


Webcomic: Check Out “God of Love” by Giancarlo Volpe

Producer, Director, Writer, Character Designer Giancarlo Volpe has worked on such acclaimed animated series as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Star Wars: Clone Wars, Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and King of the Hill. 

His new creator owned webcomic “God of Love” is now available. Volpe wrote on Tumblr that the webcomic “[…] is basically one of those stories I’d never be able to get away with in the animation industry. So I figured I’d make it into a webcomic, which you can read here, for free.”

Volpe worked side-by-side with Bruce Timm as Showrunner on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, one of my favorite DC animated series. Have to also give credit to and mention Series Producer Jim Krieg and Writer Ernie Altbacker, who wrote some of my favorite episodes of the series. Make sure to follow all of them on Twitter and you can also find Giancarlo, Jim, and Ernie on Tumblr. I highly recommend checking out Green Lantern: The Animated Series on Netflix, or preferably, on Blu-ray.

More from Giancarlo Volpe on “God of Love:

Two lovers are on the run when the goddess of love is replaced by an evil demon who promotes separation and suffering instead of togetherness and happiness. Now they’re up against impossible odds to make sure their love – as well as the very concept of love as we know it – will survive.

God of Love is a 100% creator owned webcomic. There is much to come in the near future.  I hope it brings more happiness than suffering.

You can read the first three installments here! Make sure to check it out! It’s Free and it’s a fantastic read! Very much looking forward to more installments!

The Royal Taterbaums & Creating Your Own Content

Via Stephen Silver’s Facebook Page:

Content is King and your the BOSS. 4 independent artists united. They created their own content. And I believe, because of this and the content being awesome and entertaining, that this will be seen everywhere. It is going to be a huge hit and because these guys took initiative, created their own channel. Business owners will now seek them and the ball will be in their court. This will turn into licensing in no time and business sorts know that. Affolter Entertainment, created Food Flix. It’s a stopmotion/2D animated web series on their YouTube channel, Comedy Blender. Don’t wait for people to accept your ideas, put em out there yourself.

Stephen Silver is a freelance Character Designer. Stephen has served as character designer on Kim Possible, Danny Phantom, Kevin Smith’s Clerks the animated series, and many more. He teaches live classes in L.A at and teaches an online character design course on

Make sure to Subscribe to Affolter Entertainment:

You can follow Stephen Silver on Twitter and Subscribe to his Youtube Channel.

The Making of Glen Keane’s “Duet”

Discovered this video Via toonzone news:

A behind the scenes look at the making of Google ATAP’s Spotlight Story, “Duet”. Directed by Disney Animator Glen Keane, “Duet” is a celebration of life through the hand-drawn line. The “Making of Duet” shares the team, the technology and the art behind the creation of this beautiful interactive film.

Glen Keane created over 10,000 drawings to create this beautiful love story. Check out the “Making of Duet” video and see how the team transformed one of the most beloved art forms into a virtual world for your mobile phone. #SpotlightStories #Duet

Neil Gaiman Talks Coraline, The Graveyard Book, & More!

Neil Gaiman CBS News Interview November 2014

Via CBS News:

“Coraline” – first in Gaiman’s 2002 book and then in last year’s Oscar-nominated animated film – is a bored young girl who opens a mysterious door, only to find a magical wonderland on the other side.

Everyone on the other-side has buttons for eyes. Cute! Until Coraline realizes hereyes are next . . .

“What do you think your attraction to the dark side of things is?” Altschul asked.

“I think the thing that crystallized it for me, the moment that I actually understood it for myself, was a quote from Ogden Nash, the great American poet and humorist, where he said, ‘Where there’s a monster, there’s a miracle.’

“And I realized that that, for me, is the joy of the monstrous. It’s the joy of ghosts, fiction, joy of vampires. It’s the miraculous.”

The monstrous and the miraculous have been kind to Neil Gaiman. He’s sold millions of novels, comics and kids’ books, from “Sandman” to Batman to Coraline. None other than horror master Stephen King has called him a “treasure trove of story.”

You can view the video interview + transcript by clicking the image above!

Kickstarter: Support Cannon Busters: The Animated Series Pilot

Via Kickstarter:

Cannon Busters is an animated adventure about the value of friendship and just how far one is willing to go to maintain it. If The Wizard of Oz met the Hidden Fortress with influences derived from Escaflowne, hip-hop, and classic RPGs — you get Cannon Busters, one wild ride of fun, suspense, action, and wackiness. It’s a roadshow-style adventure of epic proportions!

Among the creative behind Cannon Busters are Creator/Director/Writer LeSean Thomas Contributing Character Designer Joe Madureira, and Japanese Animation Studio Satelight Inc.. Make sure to check out their Kickstarter page by clicking the image above. My original tweet supporting this campaign can be retweeted below:

BookTube Wednesday #3

Welcome to the newest weekly feature on Weibblog! BookTube Wednesday will spotlight a selection of #BookTubers from Youtube! BookTubers vlog about reviews, news, and opinions about books! If you’re a self-publisher looking to get your book(s) reviewed, it’s definitely worth looking into the #BookTube community has to offer!

Top 5 Favorite Stephen King Novels & Dr. Sleep Review by comicbookgirl19

ECCC 2014: Jeff Lemire talks TEEN TITANS EARTH ONE by ComicVineVideos

March Book Haul! by Katytastic

March Wrap Up & April To Be Read by Bookables

Apr 1: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up

Welcome to another edition of The Weibblog Twitter News Round-up! Today’s top stories are from Kevin Cullen, Making ComicsDiandra Mae, & more! You can follow me on Twitter here!

Continue reading “Apr 1: Weibblog Twitter News Round-Up”