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February 28, 2011
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So its the morning after the Oscars.  Just to get it out of the way, we obviously didn't come away with gold, but seriously had a great time nonetheless.  They always say that just being nominated is an honor, and its true.  This has been an amazing accomplishment for the artists that really made this movie.  Dean and I joined it in progress.  The world, characters, and sets were mostly finished, which allowed everyone to concentrate on the story.  To have gone from where we started and end up with an Oscar nomination was spectacular, and I really want everyone who worked on this movie to take that in.  I was so proud to be there, representing Dream Works.  

One thing I can never get over is the light in the film.  When they showed clips last night, it really stood out yet again.  These animated movies cross into another realm, I think.  Quite often, after a screening, people comment on how they didn't feel like they were watching an animated movie.  One of the interviewers on the carpet asked why these films have become so entertaining for an adult audience.  I said that I believe we've always worked to create stories and characters that will be entertaining to anyone of any age.  Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Lilo and Stitch, Mulan....all of them.  But now the look of these films has caught up with the storytelling.  We've been so limited in the past with what we could do with the light and the camera.  Now don't get me wrong, those films I mentioned are, to me, perfect.  I wouldn't want to change a thing about them.  But they were designed to work with the limitations we lived with.  You couldn't truck-in to a character or move around them without a massive undertaking to change the perspective of the background.  And you couldn't put more than a few spots on a character (hyenas in Lion King) before you'd break the bank.  We couldn't put a graphic on Nani's shirt in Lilo and Stitch because there just wasn't enough time and money to track it.  It was possible - anything is - but we had to be wise with our resources.  A coffee cup on a shirt isn't going to change the way you feel about a character, so it isn't necessary.   Incidentally, at the end of Lilo and stitch, the artists put the coffee cup on Nani's shirt just once.   Do you know where?  

Those films were engineered to work with what was practical and available.  And I think they work great.  But with CG, we can adjust our expectations to include the sort of camera work and textures and light that you would expect to see in a live-action film.  We have many many more tools available to tell these stories, and the net effect is different.  More intense.  More immersive.

Anyway, I digress.  But I wanted to also say that I wished our category had had enough entries to have expanded to five nominees.  Despicable Me and Tangled should have been there with us as well.  The character animation in Tangled was a triumph - a new high ground in CG animation.  And from sheer brilliance in story telling, Despicable Me should get more recognition.  I have watched that movie ten times, and I watch it till the end every time.  That's what I go to the movies for.  A great journey, and a great story.  Well done.
  • Listening to: Survivor
  • Watching: My dog sleep
  • Eating: Nothing! Dang
  • Drinking: Nothing! Dang
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:icondeadbatter:
You are a great and humble artist, and inspiration to so many. To be honest, this post alone, just reading it gave me a new "patience" with the 3D medium I felt I had already (literally months in) lost interest in. I am at sheridan doing animation, and I am such a traditional drawer and concept thinker that using maya just escapes me. But reading this made me stop, and realize I was looking at the program as a hindrance,rather then a new sketchbook of sorts that has a limitless possibility if I just give it my patience. We just watched dragon at school on the big screen,and seeing on that scale again also made me remember that the immediate thing that registered with me after watching that movie was the feeling of Hiccup and Toothless first "flight". The feeling of flying, or what it'd be like, just sunk in. You guys did an amazing job, I hope you know that, and that goes to everyone on the film as well.I can only hope and aspire to reach such a milestone.

back to bringing lines to life

-Dane
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:iconaxelcat:
Im gonna be on the lookout for Nani's shirt now! I wanna find that coffee cup! ha ha! Dispicable Me was absolutely fantastic! Totally agree!
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:iconartisinmyheart:
ArtisinmyHeart Sep 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
all I got to say out of all those I own how to train your dragon. I think it's the older people remembering what it was like to watch toy story.

I have a question I am creating a group called pitch support. for authors who are trying to pitch their ideas for both screen and books. I have to knowledge for books as a publisher but I need a
representative for film/animation/cartoon pitching.

Would you be interested or know anyone?
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:iconsplodyhead619:
Splodyhead619 Jul 7, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Excellent movie, I watch it with bated breath, every time. I am glad that you have not forgotten about Stitch in HTTYD, a special thank you. Did not receive an Oscar, it does not matter (remember the Lilo & Stitch). All ahead. Although Oscar is not the thing, just for the sake of which it is necessary to make films. Movies for people:)

P.S.
I remember the cup on a T-shirt at the end of Lilo and Stitch!
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:iconaveku-chan-kataang:
Man... HTTYD is the most amazing film ever. I mean, it made me cry, laugh, feel fuzzy inside and everything.. Geez... I don't understand why Toy Story 3 won the friggin Oscar.
But anyway, to me and load of people out there HTTYD was the best movie of 2010.
You are a great and talented artist and I admire you. :huggle:
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:iconkellen-jay-mathers:
Kellen-Jay-Mathers Jun 14, 2011
How to Train Your Dragon is a spectacular movie which offers an experience for me no movie even rivals. The combination of music and characters make it amazing. It never fails to give me goosebumps starting as Toothless draws in the sand. Such an impact that scene alone held.

-KJM
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:iconartsyfartsy1998:
artsyfartsy1998 Jun 4, 2011  Student General Artist
Wait, YOU did How to Train Your Dragon? That was THE best movie I've ever seen! Omigod! OMIGOD!
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:iconveil1:
Veil1 May 8, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Just watched How to train your dragon for about the 15th time since we got it. My kids love it, and easily my favorite out of all the DreamWorks stuff. Funny thing I almost forgot , but remembered while visiting your page, I did a little Stitch game a while back for Disney Online called Stitch's Blazing Lasers. High art it isn't, but it was a fun 2 or 3 week contract. And who wouldn't want to work on a Stitch game :) Love your stuff Chris.
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:iconoaketree:
How to Train Your Dragon was amazing... awesome work! :D
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:iconmanx-works:
Actually saw Tangled yesterday for the first time. You were right the animation was incredible. Story wise it felt like the Little Mermaid meets Sinbad, typical Disney, not to much of surprise. I guessed what he was going to do with the hair, everyone guessed about what was going to happen afterward, the only real surprise was how she found out who she was, that I think they did a great job with. Good movie but still way down the list compared to HTTYD.
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