Walt Stanchfield training classes

The Richard Williams Animation crew moved to The Forum in Camden Town in early March 1987 and the Disney animators followed in early April.  The Forum had been converted from a warehouse to an animation studio – with animation desks designed and built by Sam Sewell.  At the start, Disney …

Soho and Camden Town pubs

  I must start by saying that researching this post was a distinct pleasure. London was the centre of commercial animation for Europe in the 1980s.  Much of that was due to the high regard for the quality of the British animation and, in particular, the reputation of Richard Williams …

Celebrities at The Forum

There were occasional celebrity sightings at The Forum.  Bob Hoskins was a favourite visitor of the animators.  They were also excited whenever Steven Spielberg and Bob Zemeckis dropped by – but they were there… working… so I don’t know whether that counts as a celebrity sighting.  Kathleen Kennedy and Frank …

St. Martin’s Gardens photo

St. Martin’s Gardens is located kitty corner across the intersection of Camden and Pratt streets from The Forum.  It was the site of the former Camden Town cemetery.  The land was acquired in 1802 for an additional burial ground for St. Martin-in-the-Fields.  It was closed for burials in 1856.  Many …

Pig Head sequence

In the Pig Head sequence, Eddie Valiant was kidnapped by the Weasels and taken to Toontown, where he was ‘toonarooed’ – painted with a Pig Head.  He is tossed out of the Toontown tunnel entrance and runs back to his apartment to shower off the Pig Head with turpentine. Although …

Sotheby’s Art auction

Much of the animation art available in the auction market in the 1980s had been ‘saved’ from garbage cans and dumpsters or ‘walked out the door’ by the artists who created it or studio collectors.  In the old days, cels were washed and reused.  Animation veterans talk about surfing down …

McDonald’s commercial (1988)

The Walt Disney Company had spent about $45 million to make Who framed Roger Rabbit and another $10 million on promotion.  The film’s popularity grew with the ‘buzz’ of positive reviews and word-of-mouth.  To ensure that it found an audience, Disney undertook an aggressive marketing cross-promotion with both Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.  …

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

  Mickey’s Birthdayland opened in 1988 at Walt Disney World in celebration of Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday.  It was little more than a fixed costumed character ‘meet-and-greet’ location.  It was remodeled into more elaborate incarnations… as Mickey’s Starland and then as Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  It was closed in 2011 to …