Sunday, July 18, 2010

Childhood Friends (and Nightmares) Return...

Check out this comic I did a few weeks ago (it's WAY too big to post here): CLICK

My cousin once brought over one of those phones when I was a toddler, and it traumatized the living hell out of me. I still haven't quite gotten over it. That and the VHS cover for Cinderella.

I remember going to see the first Toy Story in theaters back in 1995, when I was 6. While I don't remember much about my first impressions of the movie itself (other than enjoying it), I do remember what happened afterward. We went through a McDonald's drive-thru on the way back home from the theater. And since we were all still pretty hyped up from the movie, we urged our folks to buy us these remote-controlled RC cars that they were selling as a promotion with the meals.

After going home and eating our Happy Meals, we were eager to break out and play with the little RC cars. My cousin got his own car, and my sister and I shared another. My cousin's car was zooming all over the kitchen floor, and my sister took control of our car (since I was the youngest, I always had to watch and not play until my sister was done). Literally five minutes after he started playing with it, my cousin drove his car down the hallway and turns into a doorway he thought was to the bathroom. It was really to the basement.

All I remember was the car skidding around the corner and then hearing:



CRASH! BAM! KLANK! bidda-bidda-bidda-BOOM! KLUNK! CRAAAASH!!! (tinkle)

We looked down into the dark basement, and at the base of the stairs we found the little toy car, shattered into pieces. Each wheel broken off its axel, the eyes snapped off, the spoiler split in two and it's various screws, hinges and batteries scattered all around. The entire scene was sitting in a little squared-off pool of light coming from the room behind us. It looked exactly like the scene at the end of What's Opera Doc, where Elmer looks down and sees Bugs Bunny lying dead. The short life of a child's toy.

That was almost 15 years ago. A few years later, Toy Story 2 came out and I remember catching it one night on the Disney Channel, and regretting not seeing it in theaters.

Now, with Toy Story 3 out and already having more than 300 million dollars stowed away in the bank, I belatedly congratulate the entire crew at PIXAR for blowing away my expectations yet again. For that hour and a half, I felt like the six year old I was when I saw the first Toy Story so many years ago. I was completely enraptured by the characters and the obstacles they faced. I will agree with Michael Sporn and say that it did feel like the entire film was a high-speed chase with very little rest time, but I still thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of it.

Also, I drew this in the theater waiting for the movie to start. Seeing me jot things down on my clipboard, I bet the people behind me thought I was a movie critic.

Also, I got the screencaps for the above comic from the Art of Disney Animation site. Although the site's completely in French, it is an unbelievable gold mine of artistic inspiration. It has everything, dating from the days of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit all the way to Disney today. Storyboards, concept sketches, animation drawings, color keys, layouts, background paintings... it just keeps on going. I advise you go check it out, they update it every few weeks or so. You'll get lost looking through all that artwork.

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