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Amid Amidi's dilemma - Disney don't like his book

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Amid Amidi's dilemma - Disney don't like his book

Postby Charles » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:08 pm

Over the many years I've been maintaining the AnimationNation forums I've had dealings of one sort or another with just about everyone and anyone you can think of in the biz. I've seen the best and worst of colleagues. In some cases my experiences were so negative and disheartening I wanted to get away from the community and find a new land to explore, participate in and contribute to. But also there've been many instances where my experiences were positive. It's just that the negative ones became so numerous and sometimes so profound and disturbing they tend to overshadow all others.

Such is the case with Amid Amidi. He's an animation critic and historian who founded Cartoonbrew and helped turn modern animation commentary into a three ring circus.

Amid was a member of the AN forums for a long time. He publicly quit the forums in 2006 cuz he objected to something I posted concerning the spat that was going on at the time involving the controversy in Denmark of cartoons portraying Muhammad the founder of Islam. Since that time he's gone on to do a great job with building up his website into something that the industry goes to on a daily basis. One of his methods has been to create controversy. At times shamelessly.

Turns out a new controversy has arisen that involves Amid Amidi himself. One that in effect, he created for himself. He authored a book about the life of legendary Disney animator Ward Kimball. It was supposed to be released this past week. Turns out not only will it not be released this week, but the publisher hasn't even sent it to the printers yet.

The problem seems to be that Disney, whose Kimball artwork Amidi has used to illustrate the book, will not approve the publication since it contains content that puts the company and probably Walt Disney himself in a poor light.

I'm shocked! Now why would Amid do that? Far be it from this guy to put anything or anyone in a bad light. :shock:

There are so many instances of such absolute nonsense coming from this person that I won't even bother getting into it. Amidi has created such a reputation for himself that it goes without saying if there's some sort of sensationalist gossip going about you can pretty much bet it comes from his direction. To say nothing of the over opinionated vitriol, bigotry, immaturity and just plain stupidity that has become his trademark.

So you bust your ass to create a personal masterpiece and then find that your labour of passion has been trashed by someone who just doesn't get it or is not on the same page as you or simply doesn't like you or something along those lines. Amidi has done this so many times to so many people. Too bad his book has been stonewalled. Karma can be a real bitch.

On the one hand, it would be great for the animation public to see all the great art that Ward Kimball created. On the other hand, it's not the end of the world. If Amidi wants to tell the story of Ward Kimball, warts and all when it comes to the artist's relationship with Disney, just put the text out on the Web.

The subject of Ward Kimball is interesting, but Amid Amidi is such a downer that I find myself in a hurry to wrap up this topic and move on. On the old forums I wrote a commentary about who critiques the critics. I think that animation artists have every right, indeed a moral obligation to voice their opinions about some of these sanctimonious personalities whose contributions to the community include the ugliness they've spewed for years and years making a career out of their bitterness and hatred. Individuals who are not artists and who've done a magnificent job at furthering disunity in our community and turning animation centric editorial commentary into a farce.

I'm tired of haters in our business and I won't be shedding any tears for the book that Amid may well never see in the form he wants to see. But that doesn't mean he can't get the message about Ward Kimball out to the public. Or the art that Ward Kimball created. All of this plays into yet another sensationalist controversy that will translate to more attention for someone who needs to create a dog fight in order to separate himself from the pack.

He knew what he was dealing with before he authored the book. Common sense would tell you how Disney would respond to unflattering content. Publish the text and stop crying about it. Go on to the next project and continue being a circus clown.

It's the artists that matter folks. Not the loudmouth critics in our industry. Animation artists make animation history. Not the historians. They wait to see what you do and then they write about you. There wouldn't be animation historians without you. So do your job and help them out so they've got something to do in the future. Create history brothers and sisters. Let them sort it out later.
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