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Tony White p5

Tony White talks about animation storytelling and lists some favorite animation sites...

READERSVOICE.COM: What are some of your favorite novels and other good examples of story telling?

TONY WHITE: In terms of mainstream animation storytelling, I think Pixar has to undoubtedly be the ‘brand leader’. Their films invariably reach outside of the cookie-cutter box that Hollywood imposes on filmmakers… as of course did Walt himself, way back in his glory, ‘golden days’ of Hollywood animation.
Today, I believe the biggest innovations in animated storytelling come from films made outside the mainstream. Here other-place indie directors and animators are able to push the art-form forward significantly. Great films like The Secret of Kells and many of Miyazaki’s masterworks (especially Spirited Away, my particular favorite) speak with a different and increasingly fertile voice. The problem is that most films in this category are frozen-out of the mainstream distribution circuits in the USA, so audiences are never given an opportunity to view them or embrace them. That’s what’s so wonderful about the ‘Cartoon Movie’ initiative in Europe. There truly is hope for greater and more original storytelling through this process… although even the best of these films will never be allowed to show in most cinema circuits. Consequently, I tend not to read novels with an eye to filmmaking, as I know that, in the USA, it’s absolutely impossible to get support and funding from any film that isn’t based on a best-selling book, a famous comic, a popular toy or a hit TV show, etc.
I fundamentally believe that the industry should be ‘business created from art’ and not ‘art created for business’ as is the largely sterile Hollywood norm these days!

RV: Which animation blogs, websites and magazines do you follow?

TW: I try to keep up with what the mainstream industry is doing via Animation Magazine, AWN.com or Imagine magazine in the UK.
However, these really only report on what’s been done already and not what could be done with animation. (Imagine magazine less so however!)
Therefore my focus is much more devoted to my drawing board than any source of animation sources that mostly regurgitate the same information everyone else is, in support of a product that is just about to be released in the theatres or on TV or whatever.
One website that doesn’t conform to this is Cartoon Brew. I really like visiting that site from time to time as it seems to go out of its way to embrace everything that is animation, not just the mainstream.

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-copyright Simon Sandall.