Saturday, June 30, 2007


Hi there!

Hope you are all going out to see Ratatouille this weekend.

First up, according to, Ratatouille made 16 Million on Friday, which is lower than all the Pixar movie's opening day numbers, save for Toy Story, and Bug's Life (Toy Story 2 made 22, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles made 20, Cars made 19, Monster's Inc made 17, Bug's Life made 13, and Toy Story made 11). Depending on how they do this weekend, they can still make a decent sum before Transformers comes and steamrolls everything next week.

[Update] The weekend estimates are in. Ratatouille takes in an estimated $47 Million in its first 3 days - Only Toy Story and A Bug's Life opened to a weaker start (29 and 33 Million respectively). All the rest of Pixar's films have made over 60 million in its opening weekend.

Of course, to counter that assessment, With that opening, it has the 5th biggest opening for a G-Rated movie (The top 4 are all Pixar films as well). Yes, this means that Ratatouille is expected to gross more than the Lion King did in its opening weekend.

Also, check out this pretty great interview with Brad Bird.

For those looking for high-res images from Ratatouille, check out this Press Kit.

I got a chance to see Ratatouille again yesterday, this time at Hollywood's Disney-Owned El Capitan Theatre.

Inside the Theatre:

A 10 minute musical live performance before the film (!) - Great for kids no doubt.

The ceiling of the lobby of the El Capitan.

Also, I highly recommend check out the Ratatouille soundtrack by Michael Giacchino. A great animation score to boot and definitely worth picking up.

You might be wondering where all the animation news has gone. I've actually still kept posting it, just in a subtle and more direct manner at the left, under the "News from the Grapevine" section. If I have commentary or anything to add to the news, I'll post about it for sure. However, if you're just looking for straight up news, make sure to keep your eye on that section of the site. For those viewing my blog via RSS, you won't be able to access these posts on my main feed. The feed you should subscribe to for this is here.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Pics from the Drawing Club this week:

Nothing too spectacular.

Here's some fun drawings from after while waiting for the bus:

I keep telling myself I should be drawing like this during life drawing, not after.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Star Spangled Banner

I didn't work on this, but this is the first thing that JibJab has released since I've been here. Just in time for Independance Day!

Embedded at left for your enjoyment.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Two new Ratatouille Clips

Hi there,

Featured at left are two clips that aren't featured in Ratatouille.

First up is a new rough animation test of Emile. Check it out here.

Next up is a featurette on two animators/artists who played major voice roles in Ratatouille - Pete Sohn and Lou Romano. Link for the video can be found at left, and here.


Watch the Sheridan Group film by the Line Productions here.

[Update] I've been informed that Babushki is also going to be screened at AnimotionFest, the European Animation Festival in Romania.

What JibJab Could Teach TV

I'll post more about JibJab in the future, but until then, check out this interview with Gregg Spiridellis.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Today in Featured Videos...

First off, found this video via Digg. The most interesting comment on the video to me is someone claimed it had "very great animation." While the imagery is no doubt very good (although it is definitely in the style of the Ashley Wood illustrated Metal Gear video stuff), it's hardly moves at all. This isn't to say I don't like it (I do), but I find it interesting that strong images/poses and a pertinent subject matter clearly matters more than fluid movement.

Of course, the person is also probably referring to how well drawn the poses are, instead of directly referring to the movement.

The second video is the opening title sequence from the new Satoshi Kon film, Paprika. While I personally find the film quite strange I do think it does some interesting things, and the title sequence is a great example of this.

Both videos are embedded at left - click on the links to check them out on YouTube itself.

Bugged Out

Here's another one of the Sheridan group films from this year, Bugged Out.

Working on a group film was one of the toughest things I've had to do in the time that I've focused myself on animation. This film was created by myself and 7 other people and was quite the journey to make, despite how I feel about the final product. My shot in this cut of the film seems to be off-sync and the bg music is a little low, but I'm sure most won't notice anyways.

For those wanting to know, this film was animated completely in After Effects with cutout shapes. Tricky stuff.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Emslie's Got a Blog!

The incomparable Pete Emslie just notified me that he's joined the 'blogosphere'.

Check out his blog regularly at The Cartoon Cave.

Social Security Office...

Being a Canadian, I had to apply for Social Security. Spent way too much time in that office this week. Here are some quick sketches while passing the time, waiting for my turn.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Faces of Joe....

Yet another mishmash...I'll start nailing down some tighter stuff soon.

Andrea the Gypsy

Had a really great time today at Bob Kato's Drawing Club.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Hoggan...

My pal Dave Hoggan has rejoined the online blogging crew. Hopefully he'll post more than on his last blog!

Check out what he's got so far here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A mishmash...

Just throwing some stuff out there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Today in Featured Videos..

Mr. Collieu from Filmax. Check it out at Left, and here.

Ratatouille Concept Art

Swing by CanMag for a bunch of concept art like above. Check it out here - a good preview of the artbook (which I highly recommend checking out as well).

Monday, June 18, 2007

Quicktime VR Ratatouille Sets

Take a look at the 3D rotatable view of the sets of Ratatouille here

Sunday, June 17, 2007


I'm in the process of updating the blog's template. Please don't mind the mess.

[Update] I've got the site working great in Safari and Firefox.

If you've got IE 7 or 6 I've still got some work left to do.

[Update x 2] It seems that I've got it working decently enough in IE 6 for now. There's still bugs all around but it's looking pretty decent so far!

I've updated the blog's template today, using a mishmash of code I've found around and a few of my own personal tweaks. I've wanted to update the look of my blog for a long time now and finally got a chance today. I still want it to look better, but that's a battle for another day.

I hope you guys like it!

What exactly is new?

First and foremost, I got rid of the 'about me' kinda stuff and threw up most of the other stuff in that category in the buttons along the top.

I've now made two sidebars. Why? So you no longer have to scroll down to find my links - links are permanently pinned to the right sidebar and categorized like always.

The middle column is a mishmash, I know, but it's more organized than the old page.

Up top is categories - I try to add a label to all of my posts so everything is pretty categorised. What's nice is you can even now see how many posts are in each category (the way I was doing it before you couldn't. There's a small bug in categories if you click on "show all posts" - it just takes you back to the home page.

The featured videos section is in place simply as a place for me to put all the latest videos. Instead of putting them in the posts, I'll probably put most embedded videos in this section only because the page loads up quite a bit slower with 10+ flash objects, so this way I can limit the amount of video clips (right now I'm limiting it to 4) on my front page.

I've installed two feed reader functions - the 5 latest posts from Cartoon Brew, as well as a plugin for Google Reader that automatically posts a headline that I tag when I'm looking at all the blogs that I have subscribed to in my RSS reader. There's a lot of news that I find interesting and don't necessarily post about - so I suggest checking out that section of the site regularly. (under - "Other News I've Read Today". A list of all of these posts can be found here

The archives is now twirlable thanks to the new blogger system, which also shows how many posts were made each month and each year. I wasn't kidding about the 600 posts!

Underneath this is a Picasa Web Album which shows every single image I've uploaded to blogger. Check out the album here.

The site is definitely wider now - it is exactly 1024 pixels wide, so it should work on a 1024X768 monitor or higher. If you have a lower res screen it will introduce a horizontal scrollbar.

I guess that's pretty well all the new features for now! I'm going to try to milk the middle sidebar of all the cool little gadgets that I can, but I'm pretty happy with it right now.

If you find any bugs please contact me - I've only checked it on windows browsers (IE 6, Firefox, and Safari 3) - so if you find something wrong then please tell me!

There is a bug in Firefox right now that causes posts to go right off their column - so posts that are underneath all the links go past the white section of the page. Also, text from posts sometimes flows right onto the middle sidebar.

I'll work to fix these - if you find anything else please let me know!

Peter and the Wolf

A new stop-motion short shown at Annecy this year.

Clip has been added to the Featured Videos at right.

YouTube and Ownership

A friend pointed this out to me on the YouTube User License Agreement, which can be found here.

Under the section "User Submissions" there is a clause as follows:

However, by submitting the User Submissions to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the User Submissions in connection with the YouTube Website and YouTube's (and its successor's) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the YouTube Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

I've bolded my particular finding - I understand the need to the ability to reproduce and distribute the content, but by agreeing to this license you are apparently giving YouTube the permission to create works based on your content. I don't particularly understand YouTube's need or right to do this. If I'm wrong about this or am misinterpreting, shoot me a comment and/or email.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Hi All!

Got to see Ratatouille today in a sneak preview on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. First off, I'm pretty sure anything I have to say about it is irrelevant as I'm sure anyone reading this blog is going to see it opening night on June 29th.

However, to add, I've heard comments such as "Brad Bird could only do so much" and even so far as to hear "Ratatouille sucks" - but I'd have to say that opinion is far from my own. Judging a Pixar movie is always tough, since it's held up to a golden standard of The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, and all the other great things Pixar has done.

Lifted was a fabulous short, simple in its concept and design and very well executed. Another great short film from Pixar that I can't wait to see again.

As for Ratatouille, I've got to say it was also a fabulous film. I've already booked a ticket to see it on opening night on the 29th, because quite frankly, it's a Pixar film, and is every bit as good as anything they've ever made. I'm sincerely hoping that this film does great at the box office, because it's much better than pretty much every film out there in theatres right now, many of which are getting heaping grosses purely off the fact that they are sequels to successful franchises (with the exception of Surf's Up, which is also a great film, which makes me glad to think that great animated features are being made nowadays!).

So I'd like to congratulate Pixar on another great film and to dispel any negative vibes you might have heard about it.

Make sure to check out the end credits for some great 2D animation from the likes of Adrian Molina and Tony Fucile. Also keep an eye out for a great logo of what this film is "100 free" from!

Go see it on the 29th!

Wall - E Teaser

The Teaser for Pixar's Wall-E has landed.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Football Vs. Rabbit

Done in Maya, Mental Ray, and After Effects, apparently!

Video embedded at right in the Featured Videos section.

Emile et les Fabuleux Petits Monsieurs

The last of the films from Gobelins this year. Check it out here.

Ratatouille Progression Reel

Chronos 1.0

From Gobelins. Check it out here

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Keep Walking and Marc Davis...

Keep Walking, the new film released from Gobelins today.

Also check out Michael Sporn's Splog for a great interview with Marc Davis on the comparisons of performance between Maleficient and Cruella De Ville.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Finally made it out to life drawing today with co-worker Ian Worrel.

Sorry, bad photos. The drawings are even more questionable.

Subscribe To...

Site Tracking...

free hit counter

eXTReMe Tracker

Locations of visitors to this page

  © Alan Cook, 2009. Template based on 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP