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Arcana Studios Presents: Dragon's Lair, The Comic Books

Dragon's Lair comic books 1, 2, & 3

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Posted: 05/24/2007
From: Doug Hryniuk
Email: phryniuk@shaw.ca
Subject: Christian Science Moniter article
Message: Hello, Mr. Bluth. I came across an article on the Christian Science Moniter, where you remarked about how some G-rated films can get away with a lot of dark content, especially the violent scenes in THE LION KING. To tell you the truth, a number of your films are rated G and contain incredibly dark material. In THE SECRET OF NIMH, the climactic duel has a couple on-screen stabbings. In THE LAND BEFORE TIME, the dino children face many perilous encounters with a T-Rex. Perhaps one of your darkest sequences occurs in ROCK-A-DOODLE, where the Grand Duke strangles Edmund (in kitten form) with his magic breath. So, obviously your films have gotten away with some frightening images and not influenced the MPAA to slap a PG. Even though it's been quite a while since audiences have watched an incredibly dark animated feature, can today's G-rated movies still get away with dark material?
Reply: Doug, Gary Goldman here. You know, the producers (Disney) may have been asking for a G rating to attract their faithful audience and not turn off some potential audience members that feel that PG is just too intense for their sensitivities and entertainment tastes, especially for their children??? We were hoping for a PG rating on The Secret of NIMH but our financiers wanted a G. I guess they felt that animation should be rated G for family? When most of the theatrical going audience believes G is for children, at least that's what the teenagers think. You are absolutely correct, most of our films have had very dark moments and for the most part should've been rated PG. But then, we're not on the board of censors that establish ratings. Thank you for writing. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/24/2007

Posted: 05/24/2007
From: Doug Hryniuk
Email: phryniuk@shaw.ca
Subject: Penguin movie ratings
Message: Hello, Mr. Bluth. After watching HAPPY FEET, I felt reminded of your film THE PEBBLE AND THE PENGUIN. Some scenes seemed very familiar (the leopard seal sequence, the pebble gathering), yet your film was a lot darker. Also, your film got a G rating while HAPPY FEET received a PG for mild peril (key word: mild). I'd say the peril in THE PEBBLE AND THE PENGUIN is much greater. Unlike HAPPY FEET, our heroes briefly end up in the mouth of the seal. If the peril is mild, than the MPAA shouldn't overreact and slap a family film with a PG. Have you ever seen HAPPY FEET? If so, do you belief that PEBBLE is considerably darker?
Reply: Doug, Gary here again. Pebble was probably darker, in that it had a villain that would do anything to get rid of the hero, Hubie, including feeding him to the leapard seal. Quite frankly, a G rating suggests that the film is suitable for young children. I find that PG is a little more across-the-board entertainment for the whole family, including the parents and older siblings of young children. The question should be what constitutes a PG-13. I see a lot of PG that might be better rated PG-13??? Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/24/2007

Posted: 05/22/2007
From: Jay Argall
Email: segabeat@hotmail.com
Subject: The choice of voices
Message: Hi Don and Gary. I've been a longtime fan of your films. I still admire them to this day. But my question is regarding the use of voice actors. Do you guys ever have a preference on what actor voices the characters? Or is it done by some other film producer for that. The reason I ask this is because I notice some actors, like Will Ryan and Dom DeLuise, were used quite a few times in your films to voice memorable characters. If you guys were in the involvement of the choice of actors for the roles, then I may say you did a good job at this. But if you guys are not involved with things like that, then I supposed I asked the wrong type of question. But hopefully I'll know something out of this. Thanks again.
Reply: Jay, We have cast most of the films ourselves, at least for the main characters. When we worked with Fox on Anastasia and Titan A.E. we were involved in the voice selection process but not in full control of it. Fox has an excellent Casting director that was used. He would accept our suggestions and we would listen to samples of several choices for each character, then give our choice and reason for whom we selected. Executives at Fox, like its then-chaiman, Bill Mechanic would make the final decision. During the making of The Secret of NIMH, Don, John Pomeroy and I were all watching the movie, "The End" on TV and were so impressed with Dom DeLuis that we all tried to call each other and share our thoughts about contracting him to play Jeremy the Crow. Weird! It took at least 45 minutes to get thru, because we were all on the phone trying to call one or the other. So, yes, we usually choose the actors who voice our characters. If the film has many secondary characters that have lines to speak, we sometimes employ a casting agent to offer suggested actors. Thank you for checking in. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/23/2007

Posted: 05/20/2007
From: M Leslie
Email: jleslie@hpedsb.ca
Subject: The DL crew
Message: Gary, big fan here who has seen all your work in feature film (with the exception of Titan AE, I'm getting to that). Hope your quest for financing Dragon's Lair goes well. Out of curiosity, are any of the artists from the original video game (yourself, John Pomeroy, Terry Shakespeare, Dorse Lanpher) coming back to animate? Please send Mr. Bluth my regards. Sincerity, Moe. (And please do NOT respond privately via email)
Reply: We have not contacted any of the original crew. We will once the project is financed. We're not sure who will be available to work on the project, but I'd love to get as many of them involved as we can. Most are working somewhere, many have made the crossover to the CG world. We'll see how it works out when we really get it started. Regards, Gary
Reply Posted: 05/23/2007

Posted: 05/19/2007
From: Miles Trombley
Email: trombleymiles@yahoo.com
Subject: Another Movie
Message: Hello, this is Miles. By curiousity, are you planning on making another animated movie? If so, what would it be?
Reply: Miles, Thank you for writing. Yes, we do have plans to make more movies. However, those plans depend on financing. That's where we are, chasing the financing for several animated films. One of the first is to be a traditional 2d animated film, "Dragon's Lair: The Movie. There are eight titles in development, some are traditional hand-drawn and some are 3d computer animation. When we get started, we probably will not announce. We will quietly make the film and then make a lot of noise when it's ready for distribution. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/19/2007

Posted: 05/17/2007
From: JC Greene
Email: majicknight88@aol.com
Subject: The glitter effect
Message: I was wondering if there is a name for that glittering effect that is on daphne's robe in Dragon's Lair. In the cells that I've seen, it looks like you painted certain areas (like between her arms) black and in the animation, the glittering part is there. How is this done? Thanks :)
Reply: JC, Thanks for writing. We called that effect,"back-light sparkle". When we used a rostrum camera and prepared the final color animation on cels, the sparkle effect was animated on paper and xeroxed onto "exiter paper:, a glossy, black paper which is truely black. The FX animator then poked holes in the paper where their random dot animation appeared on the black paper (we could xerox in colors, enabling them to see their marks on the shiny black paper). They then burnished the nub or tab of the poked-out section, allowing the hole in the paper to be clean, so that light may be projected thru it. They then added colored gels at the back of each hole, attaching it with scotch tape, then exposed the animating holes, with black light projected up thru the camera bed (from below) adjusting the opening of the lens to about 400% and a little blur (slightly out of focus). We would expose the back-lit animation a second time with a star filter over the lens, in focus, at about 1000%. This effect gave the sparkle or glint a star filter effect with a slight glow. Today we can do this with the computer. We could animate the effect on paper, scan it into the computer and then create a reversal of the image, to be white over black, then plan the exposures at a very high contrast to appear as sparkle. There are also "particle system" programs to help the fx animator achieve this effect without drawing on paper. I hope this explanation is clear and that it helps you understand the process. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/19/2007

Posted: 05/15/2007
From: stephanie morales
Email: stephanie30217@gaggle.net
Subject: disney
Message: what year did disney start?
Reply: There is a new book out called "The Animated Man", the story of Walt Disney - by Michael Barrier. It is very thorough, starting with Walt Disney as a youth in Chicago and other cities that his father moved them to. Walt Disney made a few false starts from the age of about 19 in 1920. What is considered his "real" start is 1923, with the name on the door as "Disney Brothers", (Walt & Roy Disney). You should get the book and read it. It will fill in all the details of his life. Thanks for writing. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/15/2007

Posted: 05/13/2007
From: John Walker
Email: mat_mc13@hotmail.co.uk
Subject: Your movies
Message: Hi guys, so im a big fan of all your movies and it took me a while to decided which ones were my favourite, which are The Land Before Time, An American Tail and All Dogs Go To Heaven and i was wondering if you could tell me your favourite?
Reply: John, thank you for checking in. Our favorites? That's a tough one. These films are like our children. However, some worked and some didn't. Our most favorite is probably our first independent film, The Secret of NIMH, then maybe An American Tail and for sure, Anastasia. But, good or bad, all of them hold a special place in our hearts. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/15/2007

Posted: 05/09/2007
From: Evan Carroll
Email: 4077
Subject: Don Bluth
Message: did Drake in the Pebble and the Penguin die
Reply: Evan, Thanks for writing. Yes, the villain, Drake dies in the collapse of his lair. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/17/2007

Posted: 05/07/2007
From: John Morris
Email: amr52591@hotmail.com
Subject: Long time no see/talk
Message: Hello Gary and Don, I do think of you guys alot and the great fun we had making Anastasia and Titan.A.E I'm in Las Vegas now working as an Art director for a manufacturing company. a few fox friends here, in different fields and some sundays over starbucks and bagels we always discuss how cool/ great it would be to do more pictures with you guys, and what great friends we made while working with all of you. I too feel like many that CG is real "sterile" dull, too bright, too symetrical, and you know all the films look like a big animal farm- whats up with that? Cant anyone be brave enough to tackle the unthinkable? To tackle something that's not staus quo or even innovative. Or even real humans? Like what we did in 2DHybrid films. To this day, I'm very proud of my association with you guys. The sad part about film today is that we donot see the real risk takers- mavericks, innovators. Without that trait, I wouldnt be working today. I thank you for giving me the focus, guts, and insight to myself. I think the CG ship has run out of gas and its time for some fresh blood to pull the reins. Take care, both of you. Please feel free to contact me anytime: Sincerely, John Morris (former fox breakdown artist)
Reply: John, thanks for checking in. It's great to hear from you. Please give my regards to those from Fox that are employed there in Las Vegas. We look forward to making more films. Plenty of concepts in development. Just got to get the financing in place. Keep thinking those good thoughts. I've noted your contact info and deleted from the return email. All the best, Gary
Reply Posted: 05/17/2007

Posted: 04/25/2007
From: Nathan Cheek
Email: ncheek33@hotmail.com
Subject: Definition
Message: What does NIHM mean?
Reply: It's actually N.I.M.H. The initials stand for the "National Institute of Mental Health". Have you read Robert C. O'Brian's book, "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H.? It's a great read. Thanks for writing.
Reply Posted: 04/26/2007

Posted: 04/25/2007
From: Tim Labonte
Email: akatimo@gmail.com
Subject: Dragon's Lair BluRay
Message: Hi guys, So I recently heard (maybe it's a rumor) that Sony will be pulling their Blu-Ray products because of the player's lazers burning out. (i guess it has also been happening to the Playstation 3's) Will this effect the release of Dragon's Lair HD for Blu-Ray, or will you just release it on DVDHD. Again, this is probably just a rumor- But I'm just double checking. Thank you :) -Tim
Reply: Tim, the mastering of Dragon's Lair as an HD Blu Ray product is done. The next step is to configure the HD master for an HD DVD release. This way the distributor, Digital Leisure has covered both sides. We are not aware of the issue you brought up. I'll confirm with Digital Leisure to see what they've heard. Thank you for writing. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/26/2007

Posted: 04/25/2007
From: Ricardo Escallon
Email: ricardo.escallon@sonidocomercial.com
Subject: Incorporating sound into the process
Message: Hi, I just discovered your page and I find it great. I am a sound guy who has done many feature length films, and now I am working on a drawing animation film. We are in the middle of a discussion, in which animators are asking for a very complete sound track on which every letter of each word, as well as every fx they have asked for must be noted on a frame-by-frame list. The question is: Who is usually in charge of doing that list of dialogue and sound events, which I believe is what in your site is named as a X-sheet? Question 2 would be: Is there any software or technique to do it efficiently? What we are doing is just moving the speaker tool of ProTools back and forth to determine the exact frame of each event, but we find that very time consuming. My original idea was to record the dialogs, put a few Sound FX and the music, get a list from the animation team of which sound events would be lip-synced, note some general timings of phrases, some specific timing of lipsync words, and give all that to animators in a list. Once they are almost ready with the film , revise all characters, Dub every necessary DIA and add all the Sound FX, Ambience, etc and do the 5.1 mix. Thank you for your help, Ricardo
Reply: Ricardo, you can scroll down to the bottom for my continued comments about track reading for dialogue sync issues for the animators. Ricardo, Thank you for writing. Actually the dialogues are the editor's responsibility. And, the dialogues are the first thing we assemble in the production process, as the animators must animate to the voice tracks. In the past we've had the sound editor's assistant "read" the dialogue track on protools or originally on a sync reader from the 35mm mag tracks. There is actually a title for the assistant editor that does this task, "Voice track reader". This process we usually do before we hand the scenes out to be animated with exposure sheets (X-sheets) with the correct number of frames to be assigned to the scene and the dialogue written out on the x-sheet, with consonants and vowels of each word designated on the exact frame where it occurs in the track from 0 frame start of each reel, in the dialogue column of the x-sheet. It is time consuming, but necessary, especially with an animated project with any level of sophistocation. This is the only way for the animators to animate the characters to the dialogue, not just lip sync, but body talk as well, gestures, accentuated movement that choreographs the speech. I will check with our editor tomorrow to see if there is an available program that helps with the dialogue frame placement for animation, and follow up this answer. In the meantime, here is the list of our pre-production processes in the order that they occur: 1) Script, 2)Script Polish, 3)Research: locations, costumes, history/facts, animals, laws, props, documentaries, reference, 4)Character Design (first pass), 5)Script analysis/break up into sequences, 6)Voice Casting and Contracts (Use casting agents), 7)Recording Sessions (voice talent, producer, voice director, and editor), 8)Cut radio tracks (sound editor), 9)Radio track timing approvals with director and producer, 10)Production Design: Location research-Library/internet/field trips,etc. 11)Layout/Location/set-design & set up (3d), 12)2D or 3D character design approvals, 13)Storyboard artists work to script and radio track put on personal audio device, with approved ruff character designs and location designs, 14)3D character rigging (for 3D only), 15)Experimental animation/for model & rigging detail approvals(again for 3d only), 16)Live action reference materials-for special choreographed scenes or sensitive "acting" scenes involving human characters, 17)Scan Storyboard panels, 18)Edit storyboard to radio tracks (picture editor) for proper sync, 19)Sequence approval-picture and sound editors with director and producer, 20)Picture editor prepares Scene Edit List from storyboard work print (w/sound)with assigned scene numbers and correct footages, 21)"Workbook" notes from the director and layout supervisor or production designer. This is the bible of the film, with scene description, scene footage, named characters in scene, hookups to scenes on either side, purpose of scene, special effects required, 22)Continuity department or peson inputs scene info into a database for tracking system with Work Book notes, 23)Art Direction/color keys using storyboard panels to orchestrate color transitions thru the film, 24)Final Character Design approvals, 25)final location/set-design approvals, 26)Character Rigging approvals (CG/3d films only), 27)Cast scenes to Animators. We will be adding this with more information to the Academy section of the website shortly, with complete explanations for each task in the process. The sound editor also keeps a set of "Gray Sheets" (these days, digitally)which is the entire film on a format similar to the X-sheets but continuous, showing every frame line of the film, but in a format that shows the placement of each word of dialogue or song lyrics with the frame breakdown of the words with consenants and vowels placed on the proper frame line, in sync from 0 frame at the start of the film. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE DIALOGUE EDITOR ON AN ANIMATED FILM. Otherwise it is very easy to get lost. Over the course of our careers we have, many times, had to go back to the Gray sheets to edit for changes when the director and an animator agree to lengthen or shorten a scene or shot. The editor must make the adjustments to the grays and the individual X-sheet, not only to the digital work-print and tracks but to his scene edit lists, logs and the gray sheets, immediately, in order to always know exactly what he/she has done with the edit of the film and its sound tracks. All of this will be part of the eventual "Delivery Elements" to the distributor (in addition to the workprint, film negative, color correct Inter-Positive, dupe negative and an "Answer Print"). Along with a running scene edit list, with individual scene footage lengths and the "running footage" of the continuity - the Draft of the film for international dubbing. This isn't something you just jockey back and forth with the animators. It is all pre-planned from the front-end before the animators start their work. The more you document up front, the less problems you will have at the end. We've always had a slogan: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." I hope this helps. I'll get back to you on available software programs for voice track reading. There is something available that is used in CG animation, I just don't remember what it is called. Regards. MORE - 04/26/07 I spoke with a number of animation editors, there are programs available to "read" sound tracks, but nothing that efficiently provides voice recognition to recognize the actors' words and automatically spell the words out onto frame lines of an exposure sheet(x-sheet)or the complete frame continuity - the "gray sheets" or sound bible. Though something called Magpie and Toon Boom claim to have something that does this. Haven't heard that it really works though. If you have an up-to-date Maya program in use, it has a sound section to "read" dialogue tracks, but you still have to physically place the consonants and vowels on the correct frame line of an exposure sheet, Flipbook Pro also allows you to "read" dialogue as does the Sound Pro section of Apple's Final Cut Pro. Maya is expensive but may provide one of the more sophisticated formats, as when you scrub over a word, the program recogizes the sound, consonant or vowel and quickly repeats it several times so the editor has no doubt of what the sound is. For simplicity, Flipbook provides a method of consonant and vowel placement by allowing the editor or reader to use the keyboard and press the desired letter on the keyboard which will produce a drawing of an appropriate mouth shape that will be placed on the correct frame line in the dialogue column. You can even play back the sound and the mouths animate so you can confirm that it works and is in sync. However, if you want the "letter" instead of a mouth drawing of the consonant or vowel placed, you can, with an inexpensive Wacom tablet, write in the letter on the correct frame in the dialogue column of the digital X-sheet. Hopefully this will help. BTW, here's the contact info for Flipbook (949) 916-8767 www.digicelinc.com; info@digicelinc.com The contact person you will want to talk to is Kent Braun. Regards.
Reply Posted: 05/05/2007

Posted: 04/19/2007
From: Kiki Matsuragi
Email: bhoaymatsuragi@hotmail.com
Subject: Movies?
Message: Are you going to be making anymore movies? Like, good movies like Titan AE and Anastasia? I much prefer cartoons over that cruddy CG stuff and your things have always been better than Disney cartoons in my opinion. Thanks for listening~~
Reply: Kiki, Thanks for writing. We're developing many properties at this time. At the same time we're promoting them to possible financiers. So, think good thoughts. We agree 2D animation is not dead and CG is all starting to look alike. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/20/2007

Posted: 04/18/2007
From: Doug Hryniuk
Email: phryniuk@shaw.ca
Subject: MPAA
Message: Mr. Bluth, I have decided to write an independent essay on the current state of animated features. Among the topics that will be discussed is the hypocrisy and strange policies of the MPAA. I know you've had a history of your animated features getting a PG at first and then toning them down to get a G rating. Examples being THE LAND BEFORE TIME, ALL DOGS GO TO HEAVEN and ROCK-A-DOODLE. I feel that the MPAA has its moments of hypocrisy. MONSTER HOUSE was denied a PG rating unless the victims inexplicably came back to life. Yet many G-rated films from my childhood were full of death, especially your films Mr. Bluth. Also, crude humour usually earns an animated feature a PG rating, notably Dreamworks films. However, DOOGAL was full of toilet humour and it still kept its G. What I want to know is specifically how the rating process works and how the appeals for softer ratings occur?
Reply: Doug, Gary Goldman here. Actually any editing done to our films, including the Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven or Rock-A-Doodle, was not done to improve the rating to a "general audience" G. On Land Before Time, George and Steven were more concerned about causing nightmares for children than getting a G rating. On All Dogs, the folks at Goldcrest Film and Television were concerned that the Hell Hound sequence would cause nightmares and would in fact cause a word of mouth that would steer family audiences away. We would have just preferred getting a PG rating. On Rock-A-Doodle, Goldcrest's marketing rep had some issues about the owl making a skunk pie with a baby skunk voiced by a 6 year-old child actor. The skunk got away when the The Duke's nephew, voiced by Charles Nelson Reilly crash-lands in the outdoor kitchen. The rep came at us with some sort of experience about child abuse and that most child abuse occurs in the kitchen with scalding, burning etc. He made demands for us to cut material from that sequence, again not for the rating but for some personal concerns. With regards to Monster House, I would have thought that the producers would have wanted a PG rating, there are some scenes that could cause nightmares for younger children, say 7 or younger. But, you're right, there isn't a whole lot of discretion on the ratings board. Maybe they need some members who are parents of young children for better ratings tests. Bathroom or toilet humor is definitely a part of today's marketing sense. Guess today's producers think fart jokes attract big audiences. We all know that a fart joke is a cheap shot to get the kids laughing. One of our films that we wanted a PG rating was our first independent feature, The Secret of NIMH (1982). Funny, even with all the support of the press and the critics, they all commented that there are dark sections of the film that could be frightening to small children. Not really sure you will get the attention of the ratings board or its members, I think they just feel that animation is for children so it's just an automatic gesture, rate it G! I often wonder if the ratings board actually looks at the animated films???
Reply Posted: 04/19/2007

Posted: 04/18/2007
From: Philip Renda
Email: philip.renda@eds.com
Subject: Secret Of Nimh - Remastered Finally !!!
Message: Hi Don/Gary, I just read on The Digital Bits website that a remastered Special Edition of The Secret Of NIMH is going to be released on DVD on June 19. Remastered edition including both letterboxed and fullscreen versions, with deleted scenes (!!!) and audio commentary by the both of you. All I can say is FINALLY !!! I posted a message here a couple of years ago, asking about the possibility of a Remastered Letterboxed Special Edition...at the time you said you would love to work on such a project, but it was entirely upto the studio....I guess MGM Home Video has finally woken up and decided to do some justice to the best animated film in their catalogue and one of the best animated films ever made....the only film that continues to have an emotional impact every time I watch it. The scene where Mrs. Brisby uses the stone to save her children is so powerful, whenever I hear Jerry Goldsmith's wonderful music in this scene (I have the soundtrack) it makes my spine tingle and makes my eyes well-up. At the time you also informed me that The Secret Of NIMH was filmed with a 1.33:1 apect ratio and therefore wouldn't benefit from letterboxing as we were seeing more of the animation on the 1.33:1 video screen than would have been seen on a matted 1.85:1 theatrical screen. Is this accurate?? Are we better off watching the FullScreen 1.33:1 version instead of the Letterboxed 1.85:1 (matted) version ?? http://www.thedigitalbits.com/#mytwocents "Also newly announced by MGM today are The Secret of Nimh: The Family Fun Edition on 6/19 (SRP $19.98 - including both full frame and widescreen video, deleted scenes with audio commentary by directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, a 10-minute "making of" featurette and 5 set-top games)"
Reply: Philip, Thank you for writing. Yes, NIMH has had a new master created and I was there to supervise the color fixes. I don't know anything about "deleted scenes" being in the extras. I don't recall any deleted scenes in our first film. We were on a pretty tight schedule, in fact our schedule was even cut by 2 months (from 30 months down to 28 months, because the financiers and MGM/UA marketing wanted of July 2nd release for the Forth of July weekend. So everything we had done went on the screen. We usually try to edit at the storyboarding stage, before we spend money animating. The new color looks rich and saturated. The new master is HD and has been digitally cleaned of film negative scratches and dust, however, a standard TV definition print-master has been created from the new digital master for this particular re-release and it is supposed to have a full screen and a 1:1.85 letterboxed version to choose from, plus a Don & Gary commentary and a short, on-camera interview. I'm not aware of a 10 minute "making of" section or 5 set-top games. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is distributing for MGM/UA and this first release is called the "Fox Family Fun Edition". Hopefully, when they release the 16X9 HD Blu Ray version, it will be titled 25th Anniversary Edition and not necessarily be geared towards kids. We sure would like to see the packaging art stand out among all those other "family films".Regards. Gary
Reply Posted: 04/29/2007

Posted: 04/18/2007
From: Henrik Andersson
Email: bent@bredband.net
Subject: The NIMH DVD
Message: Dear Don and Gary, as much as I'm looking forward to the new DVD, it honestly hurts to see how MGM is treating it. That new cover is terrible, since when is Jeremy blue? An idea could be to persuade them to make a two-sided cover, where you would design the other side and let the fans decide which one goes in their collection! I have several copies on different format (yeah, I'm a bit crazy like that, got 4 laserdiscs even) of it, and I might even have written to you about this before (I honestly can't remember :D ). The thing is that some of the lighting effects and colouring is pretty different in older and newer versions of the film. Please take a look at this image: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=49bkigx Can you tell me which one is "correct" and how the new transfer compares? Looking forward to an HD release as well! Best regards, Henrik in Sweden
Reply: Well, your comment seems to be the argument. But, we really do not hold the power to get the marketing people to agree with our artistic sensibilities. Maybe it's just our pride of product and feel that this release of the DVD should not be promoted as a "Family Fun Edition", and that it deserves either new packaging art or art that refects the product. Our recommendation was to use Tim Hildebrandt's original art for the theatrical poster for the new cover, with the quote "Right before your eyes and beyond your wildest dreams..." and reference to the 25th Anniversary. This was denied. They want something bright and colorful and "happy" or "fun"...sort of like all of the animated movies being distributed to little kids. Our fear: that The Secret of NIMH will get lost in that sea of bright colors in the kiddy section of video stores and Wall Mart. Also, the reuse of the packaging art they have selected is the same as the most recent DVD release by MGM/UA and they won't move off the decision to use this art(???). We can only hope and pray that they will come to the same conclusion that using this art will be confusing to the buyer. (are they getting the new remastered version or the same product in the 2000 release). We were not involved with approval of any of the MGM/UA's prior releases, neither the packaging art or the content. Fox Home Entertainment's involvement is the first time we've been invited in to supervise the remastering, which is great. But they are not interested in our opinion on the ad art. By the way, love your idea of a two-sided cover, so the buyer can decide which cover to use on their own copy in their video library. Saw your link, the original images look like the ones that are the most clear, the ones of the block being raised with the red back-lit effects and the most clear burned in writing and clear end credit are the correct color and exposure. Those on the left. Don't know why the examples on the right are so contrasting and burned out or flared with the backlight. The new transfer is nicely saturated, with good contrast and looks better than the original theatrical release. We hope that the master duplication transfers consistantly to all of the DVD copies being distributed. We assume that it will. Hope you like this new release. Thank you again for taking the time to write to us. Kindest regards.
Reply Posted: 04/20/2007

Posted: 04/13/2007
From: Brian Harris
Email: Timothybh@sbcglobal.net
Subject: Secret of NIMH
Message: A new 2-disc special edition has been listed on Amazon for June 19th release and I can't say how much I'm looking forward to it and I plan to buy the HD version as it becomes available too. I have one specific question on this release. Will it still use the new cover artwork or were you able to get them to revert back to the original? I would assume you were not pleased with the recent piece they did.
Reply: Brian, not really sure yet. June 19th is the correct date for the release. What we've been told, even though we've objected to it, they plan on using the same packaging art as used with MGM's 2000 release. We believe this could be confusing and that the fans may think they are buying the same DVD that was available in 2000 and is still available on amazon at $7.95. We would prefer to have them use the poster art from 1982 and call the release the 25th Anniversary Edition, however, they have elected and are determined to call this release the "Fox Family Fun Edition". At the end of the day, we just hope they come up with something that is specific to what this release is. Looking at the images on amazon.com we're definitely confused. Two DVDs with exactly the same art, one is from 2000 and is from the original 1" master, the second a two disc release, one of The Secret of NIMH, the second, "The Last Unicorn". I've brought this to their attention and they say that amazon's images and info is incorrect. So, we'll see where this goes. Thanks for writing and I hope if you pre-order, that you receive the latest, updated color version of the film with producer/director commentary and interviews. Thank you for writing. Regards, Gary
Reply Posted: 04/29/2007

Posted: 04/13/2007
From: Joe Schnaidt
Email: only1kc8rlu@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Your future work
Message: Hi, Gary and Don! I've a long-time fan of your work and will continue to do so. You've answered a few questions in the past, so I figured I'd throw a good one in. Basically, I understand you are having trouble with getting new projects (like Dragon's Lair: The Movie) off the ground, due to lack of financial support. My question: Is there anything that we the audience and supporters of your work can do to help you? Whether it is petitioning or donating to a fund or maybe get the word out for more audience? I don't really know the right answer and was hoping to get some idea. God Bless you both and your crew. Joe S.
Reply: Joe, thank you for writing and for volunteering to help by writing to someone or starting a petition or even donating to a fund to get the films off the ground. We are still working away at the financing end of things, but to ask fans to donate is not really legal nor do we think we would want to open that door. It's a great suggestion, we'd just have to give it some serious thought and get some legal advice. In the meantime, thank you so much for taking the time to write and make such an offer. It is greatly appreciated. Regards, Gary & Don
Reply Posted: 04/14/2007

Posted: 04/12/2007
From: Jonathan Funnell
Email: jvfunn@cs.com
Subject: Pixar
Message: Dear Don, I'm a fan of Pixar. I would like to know what you think about them?
Reply: Jonathan, thank you for writing. this is Gary, I answer the ask us page questions. I'd say that both Don and I are fans of Pixar as well. They do great animation and their stories are top notch. No failures to date. And their success is a great success for animation in general. All the best, Gary
Reply Posted: 04/13/2007

Posted: 04/11/2007
From: Vanessa Compton
Email: nessaofmiddleearth@hawaii.rr.com
Subject: Animation!
Message: To Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, I would like to begin by saying that I could write volumes on how much both you and your work has influenced and inspired my life. I have been watching your films all of my life and I can honestly say that you are my heros. Ever since I could first speak I've been quoting lines and quips from All Dogs Go to Heaven and The Secret of N.I.H.M, and Small One has been a Christmas tradition my family has kept every year of my life. All of your characters are dearer to me than any of the friends I ever made at school (especially those possessing Dom Deluise's hilarious vocal genius). I would have to say that Anastasia is my favorite of your works. I remember seeing it for the first time and feeling like I really was in Russia for the atmosphere painted such a winter's chill within the theater. The Once Upon a December' sequence is, in my mind, the greatest animated scene ever created because every time I see the ghosts dancing out of the paintings I feel shivers run all over me as tears of wonderment form in my eyes. The scene is so visually stunning and Flaherty's music is so moving that I can't help but cry from its overwhelming beauty. I have read your, Mr. Bluth, books The Art of Storyboard and The Art of Animation Drawing - both of which were equally inspiring and informative and have further affirmed within me aspirations of becoming an animator someday. At present I haven't any professional experience as an animator but I have been practicing and collecting as much material (including the very informative on-line course that you have available on your site) as I can and as I said I've read your books. Actually, I'm rereading The Art of Storyboard and am stunned by how much I missed in the first read-through. What you said on page 47 about moving your heros left to right and moving your villains right to left in a fight sequence inspired a wonderful epiphany within me. Perhaps I'm a year late and a dollar short' but I was amazed to consider that the success of a staged scene probably is dependent on the audiences' psychological comforts and habits. Like you said, if the audience all reads left to right then a movement that goes against that mental stigma is harrying. So with that concept in mind I must question every element in every scene I make because any color, sound, or movement could make the audience feel (or not feel) an emotion contrary to that which I am trying to convey. In The Art of Animation Drawing I saw one of your comic book-style concepts for the Dragon's Lair movie. It looks wonderful! The queen's design is beautiful and I especially like the thief's character. I don't know who you had in mind for the voice if anyone, but for some reason I heard Dom Deluise in the part (then again I am biased!). I don't know if you have since decided on a different story plot or not but I really like the idea of the dragon desiring to become a human. I don't think I've ever heard of that before. I'm used to dragons viewing humans as inferior. It's intriguing to wonder about what motivation would cause him to want to become a man. Power ... fear of being slain ... revenge ... an acting career ... uh, never mind. Anyway, I can't wait to see what you and your studio create and I hope that you receive the funds and support needed to make it as fantastic as you imagine it being. My parents owned the old laser disc arcade version of the game along with Space Ace when I was born so I grew up loving it and I would truly enjoy seeing its characters in a fully animated feature. Though I've owned the videos of your films for years I recently have been able to purchase many of them on DVD. It's wonderful to see them so beautifully restored along with the making-of featurettes. It is an extra thrill for me to be able to again view those films that I've watched ever since I was a toddler and find that I'm loving them even more because I can now appreciate their excellent artwork and all of the pencils, now stubs, that went into making them. I look forward to getting Pebble and the Penguin when it comes out. Like I said before, I plan on becoming an animator so the materials that you've provided have been making my goal seem more attainable. Something you said in your books concerning computer animation voiced a feeling that I've been getting concerning CGI animation. I don't completely understand why "Hollywood" seems to want to do away with classic hand-drawn animation. To my knowledge CGI is more of a tool than a medium like how you use it in your films (though John Lasseter from Pixar has indeed made beautiful films using it). I guess that I wouldn't mind it if 3D animation didn't spell the extinction of 2D animation which I find far warmer to view. I just turned 17 and I'm finishing my last years of highschool with unbridled impatience because I can't wait to start muddling through my first animated works. Art has been a very important element in my life that I have been honing and perfecting on a daily basis. I all humility I'll let you know that my first award was in 3rd grade when I won not only 1st place in the Art Fair but best in the school/district for an acrylic painting that I made of Excalibur in the stone and since then have been commissioned and published numerous times for theatrical posters, playbills, and advertisements in my local newspaper; so you can see that this is not just a passing fancy with me. Along with studying about animation I've practiced the bouncing ball and a galloping horse thus far and am really working on extremes and facial expressions. I am planning to go to college but I would like to make a few shorts on my own so that I'm not horribly green when I begin my classes. I would definitely like to have my own studio someday so I'm sure that I will have to take classes on directing, editing, and accounting (Eeeew!) along with the more pleasant ones on character design, storyboarding, and animation. I would really appreciate it if you could suggest a good college(s) to learn classic hand-drawn animation with. Anyway, now that I've talked your ear off' I would like to conclude by saying thank you for all that you've done for me and the world. It means more than you could ever imagine for me to be able to write to you so openly. Thank you for making yourself so accessible and sharing your knowledge and gifts. Good luck on all of your current and future projects and may it be smooth sailing from here on in. God bless you both and your studio, Vanessa Kira Compton
Reply: Vanessa, what a great letter, we can't believe that you are only 17! Your comments are greatly appreciated and we wish you every success in your quest to become an animator. You may have to look long and hard to find a school that specializes in hand-drawn, 2d animation but there are some great schools out there with some very fine teachers working at those schools. The best thing to do is start inquiring at the individual schools. Here are a few that are among the most popular, Cal Arts (California Institute of the Arts) in Valencia, CA, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, BYU animation program in Provo, UT, the program is run by Kelly Looslie and Brent Adams, the Savannah College of Art & Design, in Savannah, Georgia and the Ringling School. You may also try going to awn.com (Animation World Network) and to animationmagazine.com I believe they have published a list of schools in north America and the UK that offer animation program, and the list is around 700. Thank you again for all of your kind words. Feel free to write again. We'd love to follow your progress. Regards, Gary Goldman
Reply Posted: 04/13/2007

Posted: 04/10/2007
From: Isaac Arthur
Email: wendya@emma1.com
Subject: Questions and Comments.
Message: In the "Don Bluth's Art of Animation Drawing", ( which I loved!) was that a real page of the script for Dragon's Lair: the movie? When will that go into theaters? At one point it looked as though the game was on Play Station2, but I couldn't find it later. Is it still being sold? And if not, could releas it again? Also did YOU do all the sequels for "Land Before Time" and "An Americian Tale?" ( I know this is a lot of questions) What movies of yours did you write the script for? and lastly... Will you be making many more movies after Dragon's Lair? You should release a speacial edition box set of all your movies! That would be awsome!! I LOVE your movies!!! Especially, Secret of NIMH! Hope to see more of your movies around. Thanks!
Reply: Isaac, thank you for writing. Yes that was a page of story sketches from the movie Dragon's Lair. No date for the release, we're still in the starting gate in development. The game can be played on Playstation 2. I think it is the 20th Anniversary Edition. You can confirm by contacting digitalleisure.com and, yes, it is still being sold. We did none of the sequels of The Land Before Time, only the original film (1988). Nor did we do any of the sequels or TV shows of An American Tail, only the original film (1986). Don Scripted The Secret of NIMH, storied All Dogs Go To Heaven, scripted Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina and storied Bartok the Magnificent. On most of the films we produced we were both involved in story and script revisions. We have plans for several movies, however, those plans remain dependent on financial investment in these films. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/13/2007

Posted: 04/10/2007
From: Brent Navillus
Email: treehouse3@sbcglobal.net
Subject: Dragon's Lair/Space Ace
Message: Was there any live action reference used in the creation of the animation in the original dragon's lair or space ace video games? Ps Still awaiting a response to my earlier wedge test question. Thanx
Reply: Brent, Thank you for writing. No, there wasn't any live action reference for the characters in Dragon's Lair or Space Ace. The budgets were low and there wasn't time to take that step in the production process. I'll take a look at your previous question and get you an answer as time permits. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/11/2007

Posted: 04/05/2007
From: Adam McDaniel
Email: cinemalad5@aol.com
Subject: NIMH retrospective
Message: I'm happy to learn that www.aintitcoolnews.com, a popular site about the entertainment industry, will soon be including a discussion of THE SECRET OF NIMH as part of their look back at 1982 as "the best genre year ever." (I'd volunteered to write about it, only to be informed that someone else was already on top of it!) Naturally, we're all very excited about the film's upcoming DVD re-release, and hope that it's given the comprehensive, deluxe, "all out" treatment that it deserves. Any news or details to share with us yet? "Making of" interviews with the animators and surviving voice cast? Is there anything you wish could have been included that wasn't? I know, I know...we'll probably just have to wait, but it's been 25 years now, so you can't accuse us of being impatient. :) I'm particularly interested in your thoughts on the film now, as well as its large cult following. As much as people love and enjoy your other films, it's fair to say that "NIMH" is the one that you guys will be known for...and will still be enjoyed another 25, even 50 years from now. Heartfelt regards, Adam McDaniel
Reply: Adam, Thank you for writing. Actually, this re-release will not be the HD Blu-Ray release, but it will have the color corrections made by Gary and the new master was digitally cleaned up and ridded of scratches and dust by the technical people hired by Fox Home Entertainment (for MGM/UA). The HD version will come out later. The folks at Fox Home Entertainment marketing have decided that this first re-release will not be the "25th Aniversary Edition" but a Fox Family Fun Edition, with a Fox Home Entertainment choice of cover art and an edited interview to service family audiences. It will also have a producer/director commentary over the film as part of the extras. We provided the Extras producer with several links and leads to materials that could be used in the extras but I do not believe that interviews were done with the likes of Dom DeLuis, or Wil Wheaton, or Shannen Doherty, or the beloved Derek Jacobi. That would have been great. There are a lot of the animators who have gone on to have great careers and some have even directed animated features. Maybe for the HD Blu-Ray version we can get the extras producer to go after these contributors and expand the backstories of many of those involved. Hopefully, you and all the other fans will enjoy the color-corrected remastered film, and the extras that have been made for this release. By the way, we haven't seen a release copy yet, only the remastered digital copy on professional equipment...but it looks great!
Reply Posted: 04/11/2007

Posted: 04/05/2007
From: James Dowling
Email: Gameloverx@aol.com
Subject: I-Ninja and other stuff
Message: I was looking up I-Ninja on Wikipedia and I noticed that you and Gary worked on the intro and the ending for the game. Can you tell me how you did it with your animation or some other animation. And by the way, I loved The Land Before Time and all your other movies including the Secret of NIMH. Tell me after your done with my I-Ninja question why did you make it so dark for a G rated movie. It's not that I don't like it. It's that how did you make dark and excellent at the same time.
Reply: James, Thank you for writing. We did several of the "movie" sections of the I-Ninja game for NAMCO, the opening, the level changes and the ending. We were given a script and storyboarded each short sequence to recorded voice tracks. We worked with local, Phoenix CG Animation Studio, Rhonda Graphics to do the actual animation. We directed the animators during dailies, three times a week. It went very efficiently and there were only a few artists and technicians involved. I believe there were five animators, one TD and one location artists who built the 3d environments and lit them...and did the special effects. On NIMH, we always saw the film as dark, from the time we first read the book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of N.I.M.H. Excellence was our goal. We started our company to try to rekindle the animation industry with the glory of the golden age of animation and the production values from the films of the '30s, '40s and '50s, films like Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo, Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan. Glad you like the film. There will be a re-release this year, with an updated color-corrected master and extras with producer/director commentary and interview. I think it comes out on June 9th. Regards.
Reply Posted: 04/11/2007

Posted: 04/03/2007
From: Wint Glover
Email: gloverwint@hotmail.com
Subject: ANIMATED MOVIE
Message: WHAT WAS THE FIRST ANIMATED MOVIE CREATED AT THE SECRET LAB DISNEY BUILT IN BURBANK
Reply: Wint, Not really following the Disney animation continuity, we would assume that it was Dinosaur back in 2000, unless they did a short film using this CG unit. thanks for writing.
Reply Posted: 04/04/2007

Posted: 04/02/2007
From: Toni Maher
Email: choirgrrl69@yahoo.com
Subject: Thank You
Message: I have no questions, but wanted to deeply express my gratitude for all of the amazing animation that has been created/released through Don Bluth, and this entire company. Allow me to elaborate my need to say thanks: My husband and I began discussing Dragon's Lair last night, recalling only tidbits of information from when we were children. I, of course, hit the internet today to fill in the blanks, and was amazed at the amount of work and dedication that went into producing this game. I was even more amazed, however, not only to discover that Don Bluth was behind the animation, but also that was an ex-Disney employee. (If my located information was/is correct.) I have debated with many people over the years about animation, and have found an overwhelming majority have deeper emotional ties to the wonderful films of Don Bluth, versus conflicted emotions regarding Disney films. I do not want to trash Disney, what I do want is to express my gratitude for the wonderful consistency- both in animation, as well as story- of all films produced through Mr. Bluth, as well as this company. The more information I found, the deeper my respect for these projects, and those who brought them to life, grew. To take on a company as large (and, at the time, as monopolistic) as Disney, and meet/exceed their quality is not only worthy of respect, but also gives inspritation to those who know they have talent, but may be afraid of trying to stand up against well-established companies. Movies, video games, each step reaching out to new methods of technology, and overall trying to please the consumer of these products above all else. It makes me smile the way I did the first time I saw "The Secret of Nimh" as a kid- ENORMOUSLY. :) Thank you all for your time, as well as dedication to quality. I know my memories are filled with images linked to your work (both from watching films as well as acting them out myself later with friends) and I can guarantee my son's will be, as well. Please keep up the good work! Sincerely, Toni Maher Post Script: This letter is intended ONLY as a thank you. No response is needed.
Reply: Toni, I know you didn't ask for an answer to your email, however, we would like to let you know how much these messages mean to us. So...this is just a big thank you for taking the time to write to us. All the best to you and your family. Kind regards, Gary & Don
Reply Posted: 04/04/2007

Posted: 04/01/2007
From: Joshua Stern
Email: GoldMetalSonic@hotmail.com
Subject: If you have the money, would you buy back your previous movie licences back?
Message: And while we're on the same subject; if you could make a REAL Land Before Time 2 that takes place after the first movie and ignores the potential multiple hundred sequels; what would your true sequel be about? I've always wondered about what how Don Bluth and his team would make a real sequel to the Land Before Time. But if you did ever get enough money, would you buy back those licences and make a sequel? Also, I would ask about the whole Land Before Time DVD re-release, but I've read that it's Universal's call and not yours. :( What movies are you able to re-release on DVD? And did you make Bartok the Magnificent in 16X9 originally? Or in 4X3 as it is on the only two DVD releases? On the Bartok DVD subject, does the movie really support 480p EDTV? I noticed that on the red and white WARNING screen, it looks like it's in a lower resolution than say on the Anastasia DVD! That'll be all, thank you very much for answering everyone's questions! :)
Reply: Joshua, Wow! Tough question. the original was done 19 years ago. We have never really thought about making sequels. The sequel, Dragon's Lair II: A Time Warp was a video game sequel and a first for us. We have thought about making a sequel to The Secret of NIMH, but that's about it. We also have a working script for a feature film version of Dragon's Lair. Regarding paying money to "buy back" the licenses??? The films An American Tail and The Land Before Time were financed by Universal Pictures, so Universal Pictures owns these films. Maybe in a book, down the line, we'll explain what happens in a collaboration with a super power in the film business. thanks for writing. Regards
Reply Posted: 04/04/2007

Posted: 04/01/2007
From: Steven Woytasczyk
Email: stircrazy01@cableone.net
Subject: Dragons Lair Comics
Message: I was wondering when Dragons Lair the comic would come out with Issues 4, 5, and 6. Or did the project for it fail and got scrapped. PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
Reply: Steven, thanks for writing. Actually, issue #4 is in the comic book store now. The cover shows Dirk the Daring fighting the mudmen. Five and six are being prepared for printing now. MV Creations is working with Arcana on the publishing and distribution. Regards
Reply Posted: 04/04/2007

Posted: 03/29/2007
From: Paul Glynn
Email: elglyno@hotmail.com
Subject: The Land Before Time
Message: Dear DonBluth.com I am writing regarding the existence of "missing scenes" from the Land before Time, which have been alluded to by a number of online sources and were apparently cut from the film by Spielberg and Lucas. A lot of people out there are keen to know what was in those scenes (specifically), if there is ever a chance of them being put on a DVD re-release, or, failing that, screen grabs and storyboards. The only info out there is that they involved the Tyrannosaur villain and the main characters in "peril or distress" which is vague but tantalising. I have great memories of this film, and have only refused to buy it on DVD because I have a vague hope of a proper version with commentaries, deleted scenes, etc, surfacing in the future. Any info you could give would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks Paul Glynn
Reply: Paul, Sorry but all of the cut scenes were actually not stored. It was an edit that took place about 4 months before we completed the film. I had asked the editor if he had saved the workprints, in color and the black & white pencil tests that were cut from the film. He had not. Obviously not thinking of a later director's cut. The cuts were mainly shots that both Steven and Georges felt would be too frightening for a younger audience. There were 19 scenes or shots removed in the T-Rex chase of the kids and there were other cuts made where they felt that the film lagged or slowed down and might lose the audience's interest. And I'm not sure any of that material was saved either. Therefore you can probably eliminate any chance of a director's cut. Further, we've never been asked to be involved with any commentary for The Land Before Time or An American Tail. Wish I had better news for you. Regards, Gary
Reply Posted: 03/29/2007

Posted: 03/28/2007
From: Simon Kent
Email: simonfkent@gmail.com
Subject: New Pebble and Penguin DVD
Message: I'm looking forward to picking up the new Pebble and the Penguin dvd. Haven't seen it in shops yet, but I can always order it. Based on your recent reply, I gather that you have had some involvement with the colour timing and other issues for the family fun edition. Did you get to add any of the missing effects or character animation? Since you had removed your names due to the changes that were forced on the film, did you get any opportunity to make something of a director's cut this time round, or was it more like making the best out of a bad situation? Best Wishes, Simon
Reply: Simon, Thanks for writing. Yes, I was involved with the color update and HD mastering of Pebble and the Penguin. It gave me a chance to try and correct some of the errors made with the shooting of the artwork, though I couldn't fix the story changes. Mainly adjusted color to be more like the original art and adjust some areas overall for the mood changes in the film. Plus, we refielded many scenes to make it less apparent that there were no effect created for many scenes, like missing water, paint errors, exposing areas that were not painted etc. We also asked to clip the reprise of "Sometimes I wonder" sung by Marina, when she pines for Hubie. It seems to stop the flow of the film. We were not able to get that edit approved. They said they may make that edit on a later release. So, when you do find a copy, we hope you enjoy. Regards.
Reply Posted: 03/29/2007

Posted: 03/28/2007
From: Mark Lohr
Email: markdlohr@yahoo.com
Subject: Song of the South release?
Message: Hey Gary, I just saw an article on IWON's website stating that Disney is considering releasing "Song of the South". Then the article goes on to quote a professor of African-American studies ( whom I'm sure is African-American himself) who says "it's not clear that the movie is intentionally racist, but it inappropriately projects Uncle Remus as a happy, laughing storyteller even though he's a plantation worker." It's not clear, what a joke!!! Like anyone who knows anything about Walt Disney would really think that he would INTENTIONALLY put something racist in one of his films, C'mon!! Then to say you can't even portray Uncle Remus as happy or laughing... well color me black, and I'm not saying slavery was a GOOD thing, but don't you think it possible that some "plantation workers" actual had some time to laugh or heaven forbid, actually be happy once in a while??? I'm really sick of this whole mindset today.....what's your opinion on all that??
Reply: Actually, I think that the Song of the South is a wonderful film and the role of Uncle Remus is fantastic, his stories help guide the young boy, Johnny, who's parents are splitting up. I also think that the depiction of Uncle Remus shows the strength of the slaves who dug deep into their hearts and souls to overcome the depth of depression that being held captive in slavery would cause. This was a family film and to show the true cruelty of many of the slave owners or their overseers would have not really attracted the family audience. I do not think the the American audience would have been ready for a series like "Roots" in 1946. The hero of this film is Uncle Remus. His stories of Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox inspired the little boy, Johnny, played by Bobby Discoll. James Baskett was terrific as Uncle Remus and the animation of the stories he tells are a tour de force for the Disney animation team and the black actors who voiced the characters. We were still working at Disney when the NAACP boycotted a re-release of the film in theaters back in the '70s. I understand their issue, but this is a wonderful film with a very wise and compassionate, black, lead character. It's time to reconsider and to take another look. It shares the morality of other great films like Frank Capra's Mister Smith Goes to Washington or It's A Wonderful Life. Plus, it has great performances by all involved and an Academy Award winning song, Zippity Doo Da. Let's hope that Bob Iger can convince all concerned to make it available once again to the American audience. If you live in Europe, you can by this film on DVD. Actually, if they did get the boycott dropped it would be great to release it on film in the theaters. Thanks again for writing. Regards.
Reply Posted: 03/29/2007

Posted: 03/28/2007
From: Alex Kain
Email: alex@odysseygames.com
Subject: Games and film
Message: I was wondering if, with the newfound game-related exposure you all are getting thanks to Dragon's Lair being transferred to the new high definition mediums, you had any plans at all to work in the gaming sector again? Not many filmmakers can attest to having both successful films AND successful original games attributed to them!
Reply: Alex, thanks for checking in. No plans at present. Telling stories in feature length films is our first choice. But then, you never know... Regards.
Reply Posted: 03/29/2007

Posted: 03/28/2007
From: jorg schmidt
Email: jschmidt@gmx.de
Subject: Toby Bluth?
Message: I was recently watching the Tigger movie and saw the name of Toby Bluth and wondered if he is of any relation to Don Bluth? If so then the Bluth family are very talented indeed! Thank you. Jorg
Reply: Jorg, Yes. Toby Bluth is one of Don's brothers. There are six boys and one girl among his immediate family. Toby, is a great background painter and art director. He has directed and art directed live musical theater and has had a long career in filmed and televised animation. Thank you for writing.
Reply Posted: 03/29/2007