BACK to Blog Posts

We grizzled old vets often refer to Animation as the Bastard Stepchild of the Film Business. We gripe that no matter how successful animated films are, we still are made to feel inferior to the bigger live action industry.

But I think that despite our own misgivings we tend to shortchange ourselves. Yes, Animation truly is a fringe part of the entertainment biz, but it is still a part. You can have some interesting adventures in our business while creating cartoons in your dark little cubicle.

Besides animation people who moved on to live action careers- Gregory LaCava, Frank Tashlin, Tim Burton, Henry Sellick and Rob Minkoff, many have plied their skills in live action visual effects as much as in ToonTown. My 2001 Osmosis Jones 3D crew moved on to work on Finding Nemo, Spiderman II, and Return of the King. In addition, you can have a career in animation and interact with a number of notable people in mainstream film.

I don’t consider myself that bigass a top animator, but thinking about it, in my thirty year career I’ve managed to meet and/or work with

Ed Asner
Mel Brooks
John Cleese
Tom Cruise
Joe Dante
Jenna Elfman
Chris Elliot
The Farrelly Brothers
Chris Farley
Harvey Fierstein
Lawrence Fishburne
Brendan Fraser
Mark Hamill
Bob Hoskins
Ron Howard
David Hyde-Pierce
Elton John
James Levine
Heather Locklear
Steve Martin
Patrick McGoohan
Alan Mencken
Bill Murray
Brandy Norwood
Robby the Robot
Chris Rock
Tim Rice
Stephen Schwartz
Tony Shaloub
William Shatner
Molly Shannon
Steven Speilberg
Jean Stapleton
Robin Williams
Robert Zemeckis

And they still get a kick when they see you draw. Lawrence Fishburne and Chris Farley loved seeing themselves as a cartoons. You other animation vets, once you really pause to think about it, it's interesting to think about how many you cross paths with. So don't feel too oppressed in being a lowly animator, with MoCap scientists working overtime to replace you or businessmen itching to send your work to foreign lands.
You too are a star, only you just don't make as much.

Birthdays: King Henry II Plantagenet , Antonio Vivaldi, Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal, Count Casimir Pulaski, Miriam Makeba, Nancy Wilson, Bernard Haittink, John Garfield, Knute Rockne, Chastity Bono, prizefighter Ray Boom-Boom Mancini, Patsy Kensit. Katherine O’Hara is 53

1759- Madame la Pompadour secured the appointment of Etienne de Silhouette as Finance Minister. Silhouette tried to fix the chaotic economy of France by steep taxes of aristocrats and cutting back their privileges. Noblemen said they had been reduced to mere shadows of their former selves. By November he was gone, people joking called him a shadow. Now the word silhouette means an outline figure.

1887- William Randolph Hearst buys the little San Francisco Examiner and builds the Hearst newspaper empire. Hearst’s father was owner of the famed Comstock mine and thought his son crazy for wasting his time with the penny-paper business. Hearst died in 1951 at age 88, leaving an estate of $160 million. Today Hearst publications is still 15 magazines and broadcast networks..

1924- The song “Happy Birthday to You” copyrighted by Claydon Sunny.

1933- Franklin Roosevelt gave his famous speech“The Only thing we have to fear is, Fear itself.”at his first inauguration.

1936- Screenwriter Dudley Nichols publicly refuses the Best Screenplay Oscar for John Ford’s “The Informer” as protest in support of the struggling Writer’s Guild.

1946- Alex Raymond's comic strip 'Rip Kirby" premiered.

1952- Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis at the Little Red Church on Coldwater Canyon L.A. William Holden was best man. They were introduced to each other by union rep Roy Brewer, who said he could spot a Communist in five minutes.

1952- Ernest Hemingway wrote a letter to his publisher:" I've completed a new novel. I think it's my best one to date." The Old Man and the Sea.

1956- Burger King introduced their signature hamburger the Whopper.

1958- U.S.S. Nautilus, first nuclear sub, reaches the North Pole under the ice cap. remember when the submarine ride at Disneyland was painted to look like the USS Navy subs and named for them ?

1961- In the early stages of filming Cleopatra in London actress Elizabeth Taylor developed pneumonia and slipped into a coma. She would have died had not doctors at a convention at London’s Dorchester Hotel performed and emergency tracheotomy. When you seen the film today you can still see the tracheotomy scar at the base of her throat.

1994- Obese comedian John Candy died of heart failure.

1997- The senate of Brazil allowed women to wear slacks.

2004- A New York court convicted interior decorating guru Martha Stewart of four counts of stock fraud. This was for dumping her stock in a pharmaceutical firm called InClone after getting an inside tip that their cancer cure didn’t work.