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Monthly Archives: April 2013

What’s cool anymore is as much a mystery to me as it is to an unthawed caveman. For me, old has always been cool.  These days, old furniture, record players, and just general assortments of retro crap are becoming cool to everybody else.  What surprises me is that the movies have not been largely affected by this “retro” craze.  Animated shorts are the ultimate throwback, and only recently has Disney begun to attempt the re-creation of animated shorts.

This year, the Mouse House released a web-exclusive, 3 minute Mickey Mouse cartoon entitled “Croissant de Triomphe.”  It’s impressive in that it delivers a picture that has the feel of an original, hand drawn short, and yet at the same time the computer aspect of it clearly shows.  While I do not know exactly how the short was made, I can make this judgement: it’s got the look of a great hand-drawn/computer-made hybrid.  And in just three minutes, Disney really packs in a story, most catering towards the shorter attention spans of today’s viewers.  Having been received well across the Internet, it can be assumed Disney will be pumping out more of these three minute Mickeys in the future, and, if other studios follow suit, we could witness a revisitation of the Golden Age of Animation during the Internet age of throwbacks and ever-changing trends.

Mickey Mouse – Croissant de Triomphe – Video Dailymotion.

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Spring is here: baseball is back, my capris will be emerging from their long winter rest soon, love is in the air, and I’m writing letters.  Why, you might ask, would I write letters when the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming?  Thanks to www.fanmail.biz , I have recently found access to thousands upon thousands of celebrity adresses, including those of athletes, actors, actresses, authors, singers, and directors.

Back in February, I wrote three letters to John Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Pete Doctor.  The first two men I wrote to simply because I like them and thought it would be cool to write them about my admiration of their recent work.  Currently, I am still waiting for their replies.  As for Mr. Doctor, however, I wrote asking for his advice on how to best enter the animation business, and what his experiences have taught him.  Amazingly, just a few weeks later, I received this in the mail!

Being home alone at the time, I sat down, opened the letter, but had a bit of a rough go at it as my hands were shaking uncontrollably and I was laughing with excitement.  Once I did get it open though, I found inside a personal, handwritten letter complete with sketches from none other than Peter Hans Doctor himself!

PD2

PD3

Without question, it was the coolest thing I had ever received by mail.  I skipped and danced around the house (as I was still alone), laughing and shouting with excitement.  It completely made up for  what I remember was an otherwise cruddy week.

What I think is important in this, however, is what we can take away from it.  Writing a hand-written letter has a much higher chance of receiving a response than an email would.  That is why now I am continuing my old-fashioned snail-mail letters, asking for advice from the guys at the top.

I think this also says a lot about Doctor himself too.  Most likely he forgot writing this two days after it was sent, but for me, I will never forget it.  He’s a busy guy, having directed the Pixar movies Up and Monsters Inc. and worked on nearly every Pixar film since the beginning, so for him to take the time to give me a little of what he knows is amazing.

The front of my now-framed letter from Doctor.

The front of my now-framed letter from Doctor.

And also the opposite side.

And also the opposite side.