Thursday, May 3, 2012

Tarzan & Tangled

Glen Keane (2010)

In honor of our special guest the week of April 18, 2012 (and recipient of the Texas Avery Award), we screened an animation double feature devoted to the artistry of legendary animator, Glen Keane. Wednesday night, April 18th, we presented Tangled and Tarzan and a special presentation of the animated short, Tangled Ever After (the sequel to Tangled).

Glen Keane (born April 13, 1954) is an American animator, author and illustrator. Keane is best known for his character animation at Walt Disney Studios for feature films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Tangled. Keane received the 1992 Annie Award for character animation and the 2007 Winsor McCay Award for lifetime contribution to the field of animation. 
Keane was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of cartoonist Bil Keane, creator of the The Family Circus, and Thelma "Thel" Carne Keane. He was raised in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  

Keane's interest in art developed as a child by observing his father's work as a cartoonist. (Glen's younger self is represented in his father's comic strip as the character of "Billy"). In his early attempts to draw, his dad gave him a copy of Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy, and instructed him to analyze the body forms and the creative approach to life drawing. After high school, Glen applied to the California Institute of the Arts - School of Art, opting out of accepting a football scholarship from another college. In a lucky twist of fate, his application was accidentally sent to the Program in Experimental Animation (then called Film Graphics), where he was mentored under the now-renowned animation teacher Jules Engel.


Tangled is a 2010 American computer animated musical fantasy -comedy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. It is the 50th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The film features the voices of Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi  and Donna Murphy  and is loosely based on the German fairy tale "Rapunzel" in the collection of folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm. The film tells the story of a lost princess with long magical hair who yearns to leave her secluded tower. Against her mother's wishes, she enlists the aid of a bandit thief to take her out into the world which she has never seen.

The film was originally titled and marketed as Rapunzel until it was changed to Tangled shortly before its release. Tangled spent six years in production (most of that time, under the direction of Glen Keane) at a cost that has been estimated at $260 million which, if accurate (and adjusted for inflation), would make it the most expensive animated film ever made and the second most expensive movie of all time. The film employed a unique artistic style by blending features of both computer-generated imagery (CGI) and traditional animation together, while utilizing non-photorealistic rendering to create the impression of a painting. Composer Alan Menken, who had worked on prior Disney animated features (The Little Mermaid), returned to score Tangled.

Tangled Ever After is a short film sequel of the 2010 film Tangled. The short is by Byron Howard and Nathan Greno who directed the original film. It premiered in theaters before Beauty and the Beast 3D on January 13, 2012. It aired on Disney Channel on March 23rd 2012.


Tarzan is a 1999 American animated musical adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation  and released by Walt Disney Pictures on June 18, 1999. The 37th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics, it is based on the story Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (who also wrote John Carter – Warlord of Mars), and is the only major motion picture version of the story Tarzan property to be animated.  

Tarzan was the last bona fide hit before the Disney slump of the early 2000s grossing $171,091,819 domestically and $448,191,819 worldwide, outgrossing its predecessors Hercules (1997) and Mulan (1998). At the time of its release, its production budget of $130 million made it the most expensive animated film ever made, until topped by Disney's own $140 million Treasure Planet in 2002. It was also the first Disney animated feature to open at #1 since Pocahontas. This was the last major box office success of the “Disney Renaissance”.

To create the sweeping 3D backgrounds, Tarzan's production team developed a 3D painting and rendering technique known as Deep Canvas (a term coined by artist/engineer Eric Daniels). This technique allows artists to produce CGI  background that looks like a traditional painting, according to art director Daniel St. Pierre (The software keeps track of brushstrokes applied in 3D space.) For this advancement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded the creators of Deep Canvas a Technical Achievement Award in 2003.

After Tarzan, Deep Canvas was used for a number of sequences in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, particularly large panoramic shots of the island and several action sequences. Expanded to support moving objects as part of the background, Deep Canvas was utilized to create about 75% of the environments in Disney's next major animated action film, Treasure Planet, though the results were less stunning, due to the film's tighter painting style which could have been accomplished without such advanced software. Deep Canvas was designed to accomplish a very loose, brushstroke-based style without hard edges, but Treasure Planet's backgrounds were more hard-edged and clean.

Tangled was written by Dan Fogelman, Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm & directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard.
Rated PG, 100 min. Dolby Digital/DTS, Color, 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio.

Tarzan was written by Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker and Noni White and directed by Chris Buck and Kevin Lima.
Rated G, 88 min. DTS/Dolby, Color, 1.66:1 Aspect Ratio.

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