Animation Highlight: Dear Basketball

One of the many perks of working at a major animation studios is that the company more often than not will provide various animation and film screenings during our lunch breaks or after work throughout the year.

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The Animation Show of Shows has "selected the best in animated short films from the world’s most renowned animation festivals and presented them at the major animation studios to inspire their animators and directors

Ron Diamond created the annual Animation Show of Shows as a way of bringing the year’s best shorts, selected from festivals around the world, to industry professionals who might not otherwise have an opportunity to see them." - As stated on the Animation Show of Shows website.

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This week I was able to see the Kobe Bryant short animated film "Dear Basketball" when the Animation Show of Shows was screened at my job. Animated by the infamous Glen Keane it is is visually captivating. The movements are rhythmic, the transitions are fluid. Paired with the music of composer John Williams and the narration from Kobe himself this was truly a beautiful and poetic short film. 

The film is Kobe's ode to basketball and I believe many boys, Black boys, Black men will hear and see parts of themselves in this visual representation. Check out the video below where Kobe narratates in front of a live orchestra while the film is screened for the audience. You'll be able to see come clips of the short. 

Kobe Bryan receiting "Dear Basketball" at Hollywood Bowl 9/1/17

#Inktober2017 - Week 4

Recap of the last week of Inktober. I'm very happy to have participated and completed it this year.

#Inktober2017 - Week 3

color has found its way back!

#Inktober2017 - Week 2

Less color this week

#Inktober2017 - Week 1

Hey! Long time no see right? I'm slowly but surely getting back into the swing of things. I decided to start by doing weekly recaps of my #Inktober posts.

Movie Review: Trolls

A few weeks I had the opportunity to see Trolls and what an experience it was. It wasn't until the movie started that I realized I've never seen a trailer. I've only seen the teaser and I guess I mentally wrote it off as a trailer. Now that I've seen the trailer after watching the movie, I wonder if I would have received the movie differently. 

Overall the character design was very cute and appealing. After looking at the old Troll toys and the Trolls in the movie I could no be upset at the new redesigns. My nostalgia must have mentally blocked out how creepy the previous generation of Trolls were. These new Trolls are bold and super colorful making them easy to market to young children and collectors alike. 

Unfortunately for those of us that enjoy a refreshing story, Trolls was very predictable once it got started and it wasn't that memorable. I can admit that I enjoyed it however, I can not pick specific moments that really had me going as a viewer. There were very debatable scenes with the servant and her self image that was handled in a very cliche way. Also I found that having the Bergens eat Trolls in order to be happy was slightly uncomfortable but mainly odd. 

Although Trolls was not a movie I was dying to see, I'm indifferent to it. It was not horrible or boring. They incorporated songs just to have them in there which often kept the story from progressing. I can imagine this movie to be a little tough for parents to sit through and maybe the Bergens a little scary for some young ones. Despite that getting Trolls on DVD or streaming it will not be a waste of your time. 

Movie Review: Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

When I first met my mentor and we began talking about the history of animation, I expressed to him that I was not aware of many Black animators and contributors to American animation. Of all the people he suggested that I immediately look up, Floyd Norman was one the names that stood out. 

What ended up being super helpful to me, was discovering that Floyd has a blog! Check it out

"I'll be sharing my art and experiences on this site. Plus, I'll be devoting much of the space to Walt Disney Studio history. That is, the Disney history I personally experienced. I make no pretense of being a Disney historian and I confess I've done little research concerning the things I write. That's because I experienced it all first hand during the final years of Walt Disney's Golden Era. Now, I'm willing to share those incredible times with you. If you love Disney magic as much as I do, and if you have an interest in learning more, please join in. "

I have been following his blog for quite some time now and when I caught wind of a documentary about his journey being made I was excited.

One of the most memorable moments from the film was listening to his current and ex wife talk about him. Although I understand that this documentary is about Floyd's career at Disney and his passion for telling stories. I personally am always interested in the transparency on what it is like to date and / or marry an artist like him. His first wife spoke candidly on how she thinks his current wife Adrienne Brown-Norman is best for him. Adrienne and Floyd have such a loving and seemingly passionate friendship that I personally admired. To be married to someone AND work at the same place, they 

I love how genuine his passion is to being an artist and storytelling. Watching this documentary made me reflect on how I should get back to making art. I may have to do some digging and reconnect with the young ambitious girl that always wanted to work in animation. All in all if you enjoy documentaries, animation history, Disney I can't imagine you going wrong with this one. Watch the trailer below. 

 

To learn more about the film you can visit Floydnormanmovie.com. It is also available for digital viewing on various platforms.