During extremely busy times when I fear I have no time to write this blog it always makes me happy to stumble upon something that is well worth talking about and bringing to everyone's attention.
I'm sure we're all familiar with Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston's seminal doorstopper on the art and history of Walt Disney studios, The Illusion of Life. What's not so well known is the 1981 television special of the same title. YouTube user YensidTun has kindly uploaded the whole special, and you can watch it as a playlist through this link. (Embedding disabled, but you'll want to watch this fullscreen anyway.)
Originally aired as part of "Walt Disney Presents", the special is hosted by Hayley Mills who was apparently originally meant to voice Princess Eilonwy (the premise of the special is that she is revisiting the Disney studio for the first time in years to see how the animation process has changed.) Yes, this is 1981 and "The Black Cauldron" is just getting started. There's no indication of the spectacular debacle the film's development would become, and make sure you keep an eye out in the very end of the show for some concept art that was entirely new to me (oh my God, Lyon could have been in the movie?! [Cries at What Could Have Been.])
With this in mind, "The Illusion of Life" makes a fantastic companion piece to a wonderful podcast that I just discovered and is sadly long dead but well worth listening to: the Animation Podcast. I'm not going to go too crazy here; just listen to the first three episodes (an interview with Andreas Deja). I guarantee you will be hooked.
Sketch of the Day!