If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
Quality is a great business plan. -John Lasseter
Let's make some funny pictures. -Tex Avery
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? -Jesus
A man should never neglect his family for business. -Walt Disney
What's most important in animation is the emotions and the ideas being portrayed. -Ralph Bakshi
Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.
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Veteran Animator Glen Keane Is Leaving Walt Disney Animation
One of the key figures in the studio's animation revival, he worked on such classics as "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin."
by Gregg Kilday
March 23, 2012
nimator Glen Keane, a 38-year veteran of the Walt Disney Animation Studios who worked on such classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, announced Friday that he is leaving the company.
In a letter sent to his co-workers, he said that while the studio has been his “artistic home,” he had decided after “long and thoughtful consideration” that there are “endless new territories to explore” and so he is moving on.
Keane played a key role in the Disney animation renaissance of the ‘90s, and his departure came as a shock to many in the animation community. “He’s such a Disney icon and an inspiration to so many people,” one source said.
Confirming his departure, a Disney spokesperson said, “After an incredible 38-year career as an animator, storyteller, and filmmaking pioneer with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Glen Keane has decided that the time has come to take the next step in his personal exploration of the art of animation. As much as we are saddened by his departure, we respect his desires and wish him the very best with all his future endeavors.”
Keane could not be immediately reached for further comment. His last project was 2010’s Tangled, on which he is credited as animation supervisor and directing animator for the character of Rapunzel. While he has been developing several ideas, according to one insider, he was not currently attached to any future project at Disney.
Keane brought to life such characters as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and the title characters in Aladdin, Pocahontas and Tarzan.
In his letter, which was posted by the animation web site Cartoon Brew, he said, "I owe so much to those great animators who mentored me – Eric Larson, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston – as well as to the many other wonderful people at Disney whom I have been fortunate to work with in the past nearly 38 years.”
Saying that “I am convinced that animation really is the ultimate form of our time with endless new territories to explore,” he wrote, “I can’t resist its siren call to step out and discover them.”
My knee-jerk reaction was one of surprise and sadness, much as if (in Walt Disney's early days) we had heard that Ub Iwerks was leaving Disney. I remember Mr. Keane speaking at the Annie Awards several years ago and being so enthusiastic about the state of the 2D industry at that time and encouraging students to (more or less) get ready for the art to soar again with new Disney shorts and 2D features being green-lighted.
If and when Disney 2D does finally find a resurgence, it will be sad not to have talents such as Andreus Deja(who resigned to my knowledge not so long ago-a precurser?)and Glen not being there to act as a "core" to mentor a new 2D generation of Disney animators into the fold. Then again, I have been searching the web, on and off, for months, trying to see if any further 2D projects are being planned. I had seen the Snow Queen WAS to be 2D but then seemingly turned to electronic animation of some kind.
Perhaps if Disney does begin another feature(slimmer chances in light of princess Frog's and Winnie The Pooh's unstellar performances)Andreus and Glen may return, or at least be hired as an outsource much as other Disney animators have come back, temporarily, into the folds.
Glen's departure underscores what may be the obvious. Can anyone , ANYONE, please tell me the plans that Disney now has to continue doing ANY 2D animation projects?
Thank you Mr. Keane for your years of Disney memories.
P.S. Mr. Fun, if you are out there, I would be interested in reading your take on this matter.
Yeah such a great inspiration, he was one of the reasons why I wanted to get into Animation. I'm curious though, what's he been working on there since Disney rudely kicked him off Rapunzel/Tangled? (Before you say it I know that changing Directors is a regular occurance for a lot of animated movies) I'm curious as to the real reason why he left, the lack of 2D problems? jerky excutives? his health (I heard that he might be having problems) his letter was a class act, no finger pointing or anything. I'm curious where he'll land next, his own studio? another company like how Chris Sanders went to Dreamworks? retirement? Be interesting to see.
Big news in the biz and all.
Let's take a respectful look at Glen Keane's career. Asked to get involved with the union, but declined, according to Tom Sito at the Debate / Argument on October 21 of last year.
When Don Bluth left Disney, he took half of the studio's staff with him and formed a new studio.
When John Lasseter was fired, he went on to form Pixar.
When James Baxter left DreamWorks, he formed his own studio.
Glen Keane's artistic brilliance is unquestioned. He's been a good employee for many years. At the top of all the great animators of our day. Let's see what happens next.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1