Saturday, October 05, 2013

Richard Williams at the Motion Picture Academy

Not to be glum, but that Friday evening October 4th will probably be the last time I see Richard Williams in person. As part of the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the evening to Richard. It had been a long day, and my stomach was acting up. I felt a bit trampled watching the autograph hounds mob him after the presentation. It was his night, and I figured he would make it home okay.

Richard recounted the key animated films that had shaped his career, such as the "Silly Song" sequence from Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", the performance by Milt Kahl of the tiger Shere Khan from the "Jungle Book", the demon from the "Night on Bald Mountain" from "Fantasia", and John Hubley's "Rooty Toot Toot". I'd never seen "Rooty Toot Toot" before, I thought I knew most of John Hubley's work.

After outlining how these classics influenced him, Richard also took us through his work with his 1972 "A Christmas Carol", "The Return of the Pink Panther", "The Thief and the Cobbler", and of course, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". "The Rabbit", as Richard called it, earned him an Oscar for Special Achievement in Animation. Roger Rabbit was the film that finally got me to move to California, and get into animation.

We also got to see his personal project "Circus Drawings" that he finished in 2010. Richard converted sketches he did observing a small circus in Spain into a short animated film. Very dreamy, very smooth animation on "ones".

Here's the cover from the evening's program:

And here's the program from the Roger Rabbit 25th Reunion that I managed to glom onto.
(I think I got the last one!)

Still, it was good to set foot inside the Samuel Goldwyn Theater again. I still have some photos from my first Hollywood trip where our teacher, Phil Skerry, got us to let us pose with Oscars.


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