Yes, I missed all of last week due to the unfortunate collision of events that forced the ol’ blog to take a back seat for a bit. Anyway, here’s a synopsis on things I missed and my thoughts on each:
Disney Ditching the Annie Awards
Normally I strive to avoid anything that borders on the political because let’s face it, I’m from Ireland, where politics might well have been invented at some point in the past. Nonetheless, it is disheartening to hear that Disney has yanked their support for the Annie Awards. This does not preclude their films from entering, and they are likely to continue to show up in the future.
It is the belief of many both in and outside the industry that the motivation for this abrupt announcement is that rival studio Dreamworks has somehow ‘bought’ recent awards through their granting an ASIFA-Hollywood membership to every employee, thus ensuring that they are more than adequately represented come awards season.
There is nothing wrong with a company gifting professional memberships on its employees. My company does it (and I assure you, with the prices they’re charging, I’m perfectly happy to let them do it) and plenty of others do too. ASIFA is one of the few professional associations for animators and the industry at large that has a fairly large presence. The question arises as to why Disney does not do the same. Perhaps they feel that coughing up for memberships will not necessarily encourage greater participation by employees in the organisation which would in turn result in an economic loss overall for the company. I can only hope that this isn’t the case.
I would like to believe that Dreamworks is not trying to play the system. Sadly, Annie Awards are rarely even mentioned in a film’s marketing materials, let alone nominations. So what is the point in amping up your chances of a win if it’s only industry professionals that take notice? Personally, I prefer to look at the hard numbers to sperate the successful from the mediocre when it comes to the business (personally, performanec matters diddly when it comes to what I love).
There is little point in sqabbling over such petty occurrances. It makes Disney look bad for pulling out and it puts ASIFA-Hollwood on the defensive for not real reason, all the while Dreamworks wisely keeps its mouth shut. In the end, everyone loses without exception.
The Passing of Kihachiro Kawamoto and Satoshi Kon
This week saw the passing of two legendary Japanese animators. I was not so much familar with Kihachiro Kawamoto, but from what i have read, he seems to have been one of those rare people who truly mastered his craft. Satoshi Kon was one of Japan’s most famous 2-D animators who also achieved widespread critical acclaim in the West.
The passing of these two gentlemen does not signal the beginning of the end for their respective styles of animation. If the past has taught us anything, it is that someone will emerge to fill the space left behind.
The Baltimore Comic-Con
I was just there yesterday (albeit it early) so I missed the apparent dust-up between Harvey Award winner Mark Waid and the legendary Sergio Argones. It seems Argones was upset about Waid’s support for putting comics in the public domain or something along those lines.
And sitting right next tom him was none other than Don Rosa, from whom I managed to procure a copy of the plans for Scrooge McDuck’s Money Bin. I found it rather apt that he gave me my change in the form of dollar coins…