Comments: 53 • Responses: 22  • Date: 

Kanuck_Kyle9 karma

How cool is it to work for disney?

Do you get any sweet perks?

You_have_James_Woods7 karma

I technically work for a studio that works for Disney. The greatest perk is working with creative people, but yeah, we have fun.

visualstar9 karma

Will you try to bring back the 80s feel of cartoons ?Please..

You_have_James_Woods7 karma

Personally I would love to see a 3d animated transformers series with gen-one designs and sounds.

What's Vince DiCola up to these days I wonder?

A friend and I have a pretty awesome trilogy idea, if I can just put it in the right hands, and if only it were that simple.

dd96799 karma

Since Frozen has became one of the most successful Disney movie of all time, do you think they will make cartoon version in the future? I remember Emperor's New Groove and Lilo and Stich were made into cartoon series.

You_have_James_Woods6 karma

I really couldn't say. That's up to someone who's much better dressed than me. I wouldn't be surprised to see an Olaf show that explores side characters in the Frozen universe, but your guess is as good as mine.

YolognaiSwagetti4 karma

What's your education and how did you get into the business?

You_have_James_Woods4 karma

I took pre-animation and then Animation at the Algonquin College school of Media and Design. I got in by working hard and being ready to pass a sort of audition/test given by my studio. They'll let anyone take it, I think, but I wouldn't have had any idea what to do before going to school.

Patches673 karma

Algonquin College school of Media and Design

I studied animation at Sheridan College in Oakville, you must run into a lot of artists from there at Disney?

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

I'm in Ottawa at Mercury. Loads of Sheridan people here. Lots of talent!

YolognaiSwagetti2 karma

i would love to see the quality of artwork required. I dreamed about becoming an animator when I was younger. I still dream about it i guess :'(

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

If that's what you want to do only you can stop you.

This is all student work except for the top post. I've definitely improved a lot since these pieces were made, so there's always room to grow.


RaeADropOfGoldenSun4 karma

What is your favorite animated show currently on?

You_have_James_Woods6 karma

Not for its animation so much as its writing, but Mike Tyson Mysteries is hilarious. Rick and Morty is also great. Star Wars Rebels is fun too. As far as good animation goes, the new Mikey Mouse shorts are amazing.

dismahname4 karma

Do you have a favourite style of animation? Whether it is one you have personally worked on or a series/film you have seen? The extent of formats and technology these days seems to have given a wide variety. Does your preference change between being a viewer and actually having to work on it (ie is one more technically difficult/time consuming?)

You_have_James_Woods5 karma

I like a bunch of stuff. On the one hand I really enjoy Gendy Tartovsky's style. The Clone Wars miniseries is the best thing that came from the prequels by far in my opinion, and then on the other hand it excites me to see something like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes or the upcoming CHAPPiE because it really does help me suspend reality, it's beyond uncanny valley and it's magic. It Gandalf's fireworks x1,000,000.

Being a viewer is different now because I can see the man behind the curtain, so if it's really good I just go for a ride but it doesn't take much to go from enjoying to analyzing it to try and figure out why the spell isn't working.

I'm really new, probably unqualified for this to be honest, I've only worked on one show so far, but I'd love to one day work on anything related to Star Wars, Marvel, Batman, Pixar or Naughty Dog.

qnzkingofcrunk3 karma

Will there be hidden penises in your work?

You_have_James_Woods5 karma

Nah. That could be a career ender, and we're not supposed to talk about Project Mayhem.

silverrat233 karma

Red or Blue?

You_have_James_Woods3 karma

I'll take the blue pill any day.

honusthegrif3 karma

Any cool perks working there?

You_have_James_Woods11 karma

When I need advice Walt speaks to me through the Force. The other guys at work say they don't hear or see him, but I know they do. They're so funny.

Patches673 karma

How many animators are working for Disney these days? Do they only hire artists who specialize in 2D or computer animation or are most artists expected to have rounded skills in animating either way?

You_have_James_Woods3 karma

There are thousands of us, both employed directly by Disney and employed by a studio employed by Disney(which is my situation).

They hire all sorts for many different things. Pre production is massive and has so many different jobs from concept art to storyboard artists, character designers, posers, layout artists, painters; it really depends on what the vision for the project needs. On Paperman for example there were artist paid just to place key lines around the characters to give it that amazing look.

So, it's kind of up to you whether you want to specialize of be a generalist. A good generalist may be qualified for more opportunities, and a specialist may be valuable for their rarer focus. It's a choose your own adventure.

Przndude2 karma

So what would it take for me to be a voice actor on your upcoming show?

You_have_James_Woods1 karma

All the audio has been recorded I'm afraid, and it was recorded in LA with actors like Larry Wilmore, Adam Devine and Thomas Hiddleditch (I may have spelled some names wrong). Disney hires a lot of TV actors for voice acting, but you should check out the documentary 'I Know That Voice, if you haven't already.

Dirtpig2 karma

Disney use to be the bees knees. Every thing they touched was gold. Now the hits are few and far between, 'Frozen' being the only thing worth watching in years, and nothing watchable on tv. What happened?

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

Well, I think Disney has its best stuff ahead of it, but in short when you're at the top you play defence naturally.

When Lucas was fighting to make A New Hope he had to really be able to argue his vision against a studio with a lot of power. What we got from that pressure was the diamond that is Star Wars IV, V and VI. When he started writing the prequels everyone had already decided he was a genius, so people just smiled and nodded with dollar signs in their eyes at every idea he had and with that lack of pressure we got half baked "poodoo". Maybe that applies, but I'm talking about a giant from the base of the beanstalk, so what do I know.

Aggiegirl42 karma


You_have_James_Woods1 karma


Sorry I took so long to reply. I had to really think about this one.

I think if you're lost its because you don't know what you want. If you want to be an animator at Disney than there are a bunch of ways and only one will be yours, same thing if you want to become a pilot, or a crossing guard, of whatever it is you want. I went to Algonquin college, but before that was a decade of not knowing what I wanted. That's a long story, but once I knew I wanted to be in this industry there wasn't a thing on earth that could stop me except for me. I don't have it made now, by any means, I'm really new and sometimes maybe a bit over my head, but I'm gunna keep fighting because I want to be great at this and only I can stop me.

If you're lost you need to find what you want above all, you'll no longer feel lost when you know what you want because you'll see yourself on a path as opposed to just surrounded by trees and unseen creatures.

I'd wish you good luck, but you need no such thing. You have what it takes!

Edit: i reread your comment and realized you already know everything I said. You just want details and I didn't even give you that. Wow.. I'm an ass. Sorry.

Ok, so. I took pre-animation at Algonquin college in Ottawa Canada. That program is designed to get your draftsmanship skills up while simultaneously putting together a portfolio for Algonquin's 3 year animation program. From there I took a test at Mercury Filmworks and got hired. They gave me some stellar training and now I work on Penn Zero part time hero.

marvdeparv1 karma

Old man mode Do you also feel like the quality of animation and design has improved, but the style, heart and soul has declined? For me a lot the cartoons I see on tv nowadays seem similar to eachother and it's as if not as much thought and passion went in to them when I compare it to something like X-men and Transformers or Dexter's Lab and Cow and Chicken.

You_have_James_Woods1 karma

This is just opinion, but it seems to me producers are more inclined to spend their money on a rehash because it seems like more of a sure thing. Of the top ten movies this year 1 of them was an original idea, Interstellar, arguably the best one, but that's because producers trust Nolan with their money. Basically we need more Nolans.

bl1y1 karma

Can you give any insight into how Disney approaches tone?

I've been watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the tone is very inconsistent. Much of the show is fairly serious in its approach, especially with the battles and Jedi vs. Sith stuff. But then there's episodes featuring R2 or Jar Jar and they're just silly, slapstick type things. And that's okay, it's a Disney cartoon show aimed at an audience younger than the original trilogy's audience. But, then there's the occasional Twilek dancing girl slave in a tiny costume.

While a tonal range is great (it'd suck for a show to be monotonous), this just seems more like inconsistency and lack of a clear vision/voice for the show.

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

Everything about the prequels has a tonal issue and to me that's because it's trying to please a massive audience, some of which are kids, and some of which are a generations old fanbase. Those two audiences are very difficult to simultaneously satisfy, and that's where I think you get weird tonal issues. JJ Abrams is good at this and I'm sure he'll set a new precedent.

studlychris1 karma

I'm a motion graphics designer and am very interested in your work flow. Eg.. What kind of software do you use? Have you used After Effects, or Cinema 4D?

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

At work everything I do is done in Harmony ToonBoom. I have used after effects and I enjoy using Maya, but at work it's all Harmony. Very powerful program.

studlychris2 karma

Awesome! Thanks for the info.

You_have_James_Woods1 karma

No problem!

SocketLauncher1 karma

A bit late to the party, but do you see the art style of 101 Dalmatians, Sleeping Beauty, etc. coming back anytime soon? 3D animation is great, but the art style of the old Disney movies would be great to see.

You_have_James_Woods1 karma

I think there's certainly an audience for it, and if there's an audience for it someone at Disney is probably already considering it. In 8 years The Walt Disney Company will be 100 years old. I'd expect a celebration including projects that reflect the company's history and traditions. I'm totally guessing though.

idvictorps0 karma

Is there a higher probability for Disney to hire child actors if they can sing? Because nowadays almost every Disney Show is a musical.

You_have_James_Woods2 karma

That's way outside my jurisdiction.

Mitcheli1-1 karma

What's it like working for the devil?

You_have_James_Woods7 karma

It's fine.