Monday, February 16, 2009

Inspiration: Don Bluth Collection

A few years back Don Bluth, famous animator of such family classic like American Tale, Land Before Time, Anastasia and All Dogs Go To Heaven) dedicated over 850 boxes of storyboards, cell animations, concept designs and painted backgrounds to the Savannah College of Art and Design. Last week, I was lucky enough to view some select pieces from the archives at SCAD's Jenn Library.

Don Bluth, got his start as an assistant animator on Disney's projects Sleeping Beauty and The Sorceror's Stone. Bluth's attention to detail and vivid artistry are easily seen in these two early Disney classics, and something Bluth would carry over into his own fantastic creations.

Bluth's films are usually accredited as darker, richer and more mature in the animation world. Many of his films deal with far more advanced story-lines, some of which depict death and violence, something that most Disney films only touch on lightly or not at all. However, despite the heavier material on occasions, the films still fall well within the realm of family entertainment.

I've always been a fan of Bluth's works. Perhaps for the reason that his animation is so vivid and richer, and definitely because the stories are a lot deeper. Many of todays animators accredit Bluth as an inspiration for their own projects, but few of today's animations can match his raw talent and ability to weave highly imaginative worlds on paper.

I unfortunately did not come prepared for this trip (it was a last minute surprise) but I managed to snag some OK photos with my cell phone which I'm sharing with you now. Some of these images have never seen production and therefore are unavailable anywhere else. Most importantly, I want to note the photo reference that Bluth uses, a key factor in an artists work if they plan to ground their projects in the basis of reality. Something I spend a lot of time doing when coming to Flagler's Few, as I spend many of my hours simply photographing Saint Augustine, Bluth did the same when filming movies like Banjo the Woodpile Cat (as seen below).

So enjoy these pics! I'll see you next post with some new Flagler's Few stuff!

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