Friday, February 20, 2009

Animation star relaunches Bristol school

Oscar-winning animator Richard Williams, who worked on Hollywood blockbuster Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, will launch the new Bristol School of Animation next week.
The University of the West of England is relaunching its animation school on Wednesday, after investing £250 000 in new computer-aided animation technology.

The school has just moved to a bigger site on the Bower Ashton Campus in Bristol, in an attempt to become ‘the main animation hub outside London’, according its head, Gill Sandford.

Bristol is also home to Aardman Animations, the biggest animation studio in the UK and creator of Wallace & Gromit and Creature Comforts.

Source: DESIGNweek Online
Publication date: 20 February 2009 11:51 AM
Author: Emily Pacey

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Luke Menichelli emailed this Nasrudin storyboard and excerpt from the script.Nasrudin storyboard (from International Film Guide)

CAT AND MEAT (Sequence 7)
Cut to Kerima, still stirring her pot, furious. Crowd noises die down slightly, as they start to give up,
Muttering ...

Cut to Nasrudin beside window, looking at Kerima,

Cut to Kerima, who looks around craftily, takes a big bowl and ladles out a great quantity of meat balls into it. She looks
around again and eats the whole thing in three seconds,
Nasrudin tiptoes downstairs.
Kerlma, dear ... what is for lunch?
She says nothing, scrapes the bottom of the pan and ladles out two and a half potatoes on his plate and three on hers, She
gulps hers down.
Potatoes? - what happened to the three pounds of meat I brought you?
(finishing off another potato)
The cat ... the cat ... the cat ate it! All three pounds of it !
Nasrudin puts down his plate, goes over to the slumbering cat on a chair, picks it up and puts it on a set of hand-held
scales, He puts on three one-pound weights,
This cat weighs three pounds
So? ... Slobber! Slobber ... So?
If this is the cat, where is the meat?
If, on the other hand, this is the meat
where is the cat?
He puts the cat down on the chair and, angry now, stamps out to the backdoor, turns around and gives Kerima an angry glance
and slams the door. Fade to black.

Monday, February 9, 2009

1975 Crew picture update

I just want to point everybody again to Michael Sporn's post about the same crew picture I posted about last week. At his blog a lot of interesting comments keep on pouring in. Click LINK

Friday, February 6, 2009

Last Nasrudin images (Exploits)

This concludes the current Nasrudin season. The images posted over the last 2 weeks are Illustrations that Richard Williams did for the book "The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin".

Thursday, February 5, 2009

1975 Crew picture

I love how people contact us via email lately with inspiring input. This makes blogging easy. Here is another one:
"Hello, I have a question that has been gnawing at me for years and I thought you might be able to help. Attached is a photo from the 1975 book "Creators of Life" by Donald Heraldson. It is the staff photo of Richard Williams studio. I can easily make out Richard W., along with Art Babbitt and Grim Natwick. But you will also notice a 10-year-old boy in the middle of the photo. The subtext says he is part of the staff. If that young man was 10 in 1975, that would make him about 43 or 44 today. Do you know who he is, and if he is still in the animation industry? Thank you,
- Tim Hodge"We don't know yet who the 10 year old boy is, but Carl Gover was kind enough to identify most of the other people. Here is what he wrote me today: " old photo to bring back lots of memories. Sadly, mine is not what it should be but I can recall some of those in the pic. However, the kid’s name escapes me although I do remember him as a prodigy at the time.

I believe I was abroad this day – or otherwise occupied.

Bottom row:
Richard Williams...Richard Burdett (animator)... Art Babbitt...(unknown).....Carol Stallings (Dick’s sec.)...Dick Purdum

Row above:
Chris Knott (SFX guy)...Bella Bremner (Dick’s Asst.)...Ken Harris...Grim Natwick...Roland B. Wilson (Designer/illust.)...Sergio Simonetti (animator)...Brian Lewis (Lawyer)... Tass Hesom (animator)...(unknown)...Leslie Silver (Prod. Asst.)..(unknown)...Howard Blake (Composer)

The people behind (left) are familiar but the only name I remember is Tony White (animator) between Bella and Ken. UPDATE: on the left with Glasses is Jeff Short, then between him and Tony: Greg Duffell

Those behind (right) are Roy Naisbitt...Russell Hall...Rod Howick (editor)

I will do my best to contact others who might help..."

Please check out Michael Sporn's blog who is posting about this picture, too. I'm updating Carl's list above to incorporate the names that came up in Michael's comment section.

On Michael's blog Tim Hodge says: I also sent the photo to William’s Master Class website. This is the response I got back yesterday from I. Sutton.: “He wasn’t an employee but a very bright boy who was invited to attend a Masterclass at the studio. It was a long time ago and I don’t have a
record of his name or whether he is still animating.”
So the book was off-base a little.

Update from Michael Sporn in the comment section:
Greg Duffell, on my blog, identifies almost everyone in the photo, including the boy:
Back row from left:

Inbetweener Geoff Adams, unknown (perhaps assistant editor), trainee inbetweener John McCartney, Assistant director, designer, layout artist and technical director Mr. Roy Naisbitt, animator Russell Hall, editor Roy Howick

Next row forward: Junior Animator Jeff Short, trainee inbetweener Greg Duffell, Animator Tony White, Animation legend Mr. Grim Natwick, Illustration legend Mr. Rowland B. Wilson, Senior animator Mr. Sergio Simonetti, Executive Producer Brian Lewis, Executive Secretary Lesley Silver, Lettering artist and animator Mr. Raymond Guillemet.

Next row forward: Effects animator Chris Knott, Assistant animator Bella Bremner, Animation legend Mr. Ken Harris, visiting student Jonathan Dean, trainee inbetweener Tass Hesom, animator Bill Rhodes, composer Howard Blake

Front row: Legendary animator Mr. Richard Williams, Top assistant animator and animator Richard Burdett, Legendary animator Mr. Arthur Babbitt, Executive secretary Carol Stallings and Dick’s right hand man and animator Mr. Richard Purdum.

Thanks Tim, Carl, Michael, Mark and Greg for the glimpse back in time .

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Thief gets a new cloak out of the trash

Last weekend I received this email:

Hey guys,
I've been a dedicated follower of your blog since I first read about it on Michael Sporn's site and I was curious about who animated the scene where the Thief pulls a cloak out of the trash after he crash lands during the flying sequence. I thought maybe you'd get to this scene as you were going through the Thief on the mountain scenes but then you got off the scene breakdowns so I decided to bother you about it in an email. I think this may be my favorite piece of animation in the film because of it's reality. The Thief feels completely alive with all the beautiful weight shifts and the way he mulls through the trash, it's all so wonderfully observed. The part where he wiggles into his cloak reminds me a lot of Milt Kahl's animation of Sluefoot Sue putting on her dress in Pecos Bill. Any information you have would be appreciated.
Thanks for keeping up the blog!
-Aaron SorensonThanks for the question Aaron! I've always admired this scene. Neil Boyle animated it. The need for the scene came up when Dick finalized his intentions about the continuity of events and how to link from scenes where the Thief's cloak was torn to shreds and later scenes where his cloak was intact again. This was during the 1990-92 time and it's one of the scenes that were not based on previous Ken Harris animation.
As you can see the screengrab is kind of blurry. This scene was never part of any of the official releases. One of many reasons why we should hope for an official DVD that contains all these lost treasures. Remember to vote in the poll at the top right corner...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Nasrudin in the Papers

Matt Jones just sent these scans: