I Got to Interview Don Bluth...
One of the improvements of working in North Fulton as opposed to Griffin is that there is a lot more going on. A few weeks ago, I learned about the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and how they would be screening An American Tail in Johns Creek, which is my primary area of responsibility. The movie is a metaphor for the American Jewish immigrant experience (Fievel's family standing in for Jews, the cats standing in for the persecuting Cossacks), so it's appropriate.
One thing that is particularly awesome is that director Don Bluth and producer Gary Goldman would both attend the festival and would speak to those attending afterward. I got the opportunity to sit down with Bluth and Goldman at a nearby tapas bar while the movie played and speak to them at length.
Here're the two articles I got out of it:
Don Bluth, Gary Goldman Discuss "An American Tail"
Renowned Producer, Director visit Johns Creek for Jewish Film Festival
My first experience with the films Bluth, Goldman, and others who left Disney with them produced was probably when I was around four years old and saw The Land Before Time in the movie theater. I remember it being awesome, but on the other hand, I was four years old and particularly interested in dinosaurs. I also remember seeing An American Tail on VHS probably around the same time and I can still remember the cat assault on the Russian mouse village, "There Are No Cats in America," and "Somewhere Out There." Two-odd years later, I saw The Secret of NIMH toward the end of kindergarten and found it terrifying (the scene where the escaping rats fall down the air duct and when Mrs. Brisby is captured and caged, sans clothing). I saw it again a few months ago and it obviously wasn't scary (being 26 as opposed to six helps), but it was really well-done, especially Mrs. Brisby's voice-acting.
I never saw Anastasia or his lesser-known 1990s films like The Pebble and the Penguin, but I did see Titan A.E. It is unfortunate the movie failed at the box office, because it was really good and its failure severely hurt traditional animation (which I prefer to the Pixar style).
I greatly admire Bluth, Goldman, and the others who left Disney when the bean-counters wouldn't let them produce quality animation because it involved actually spending money. They decided to follow their dreams and produce quality films in the tradition of Disney himself despite the difficulties (resources and not having Disney's marketing machine), something they succeed at. And apparently their success helped convince Disney to not shut down its animation division (something that would have been a gross insult to Walt's memory) and begin producing quality films once again, I believe starting with The Little Mermaid.
I think some of my story ideas (in particular the Gates of Vasharia novels, which I've described as "Lord of the Rings with tanks" and would be insanely expensive to produce live-action) would be quite awesome if adapted via traditional animation. Maybe someday I'll get to work with Bluth, Goldman, and company...