Categories
Disney Filmmaking People Television

The 30th anniversary of Jim Henson and Muppet*Vision 3D

Today is the 30th anniversary of the death of Jim Henson. I was working on Muppetvision 3D at Imagineering when he died. I was so excited that Disney was buying the Muppets and thought that Jim Henson was another Walt Disney and his creativity would take us in many new directions. Of course this was not to happen and Disney would not buy the Muppets until many years later. The original magic was lost. Here are some videos showing the work of a great man.

Jim Henson also used technology to great effect to tell stories, that is technology for storytelling. There are many examples in this episode of the Jim Henson Hour.

Categories
Animation Disney People

Robin Williams in Back to Neverland

Robin Williams, Walter Cronkite and Jerry Rees prepare for the opening scene.

From JerryRees.com Go there for more great photos and information. I worked with Jerry Rees when I was at Walt Disney Imagineering. His is a very talented guy and is best known for the delightful Brave Little Toaster. He went to Cal Arts.

Written & Directed by Jerry Rees

Starring Robin Williams & Walter Cronkite

This award winning short film, combining live action and animation, played in the main theater at Disney/MGM Studios’ Animation Pavilion. Walter Cronkite, in his familiar role of trusted newscaster, set out to reveal the secrets behind Disney animation. Robin, in the role of Disney World tourist, volunteered to help with Walter’s show-and-tell. With a twinkle in his eye, Walter called on his assistant Tinkerbell to transport them to a magical limbo where anything could happen.

Step by step, Robin was transformed into an animated character – a Little Lost Boy from the classic film Peter Pan. Robin suddenly found himself facing the notorious Captain Hook. Experiencing everything from utter fear, to total joy, Robin learned that strong and believable emotions have always been at the heart of the Disney animation.

Rees, who began his career as a Disney Feature Animator, sums it up this way; “It’s not how you move the drawings, it’s how the drawings move the audience.”

Roy Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, and devoted keeper of the family legacy, discusses storyboards for the Captain Hook showdown with “Back to Neverland” Director Jerry Rees.