Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian
Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who is the director, writer, and creator of Feathers of Fire. Rahmanian's Feathers of Fire is a brilliant, animated shadow puppet stage show adapted from the Persian epic The Shanameh. Visit Hamid Rahmanian's website and watch Feather's of Fire.
June 5, 2020
Episode 37: Niki Smith
Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about her new LGBTQA fantasy novel, The Deep and Dark Blue. Whitney not loves the Niki Smith's graphic novel, but the pandemic has gotten to her mental health in the form of delusions and illusions of grandeur.
April 30, 2020
Episode 36: Rob Paulsen
Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule to spend some time with host Whitney Grace and things get weird.
April 1, 2020
Episode 35: Michael Dooley
Whitney Grace gives details behind her hiatus and mental health, but things perk up with the ultimate professional geek, Michael Dooley. Michael Dooley is an awesome behind the scenes professional, who teaches, writes, takes photographs, and knows the same people as Whitney.
March 27, 2020
Episode 34: Chris Prynoski
Whitney Grace is digging through her queue of old new stock interviews and pulls this beauty out with Chris Prynoski! Chirs Prynoski is the founder and head of Titmouse Inc., an independent animation studio that's been making a name for itself since 2000. Titmouse Inc. has worked on a variety of cartoons for Disney, Adult Swim, and Netflix as well as feature films Nerdland, Teen Titans Go, and the new Foxy Trotter and Hanazuki.
October 7, 2019
Episode 33: Jerry Beck
Join Whitney Grace in this blast down memory lane with an old episode from her now defunct first podcast. In this episode, Whitney interviews renowned animation historian Jerry Beck. They delve into Beck's career and animation history.,
September 30, 2019
Episode 32: Mathew Klickstein
Whitney Grace interviews fellow pop culture enthusiast and writer Mathew Klickstein about his new book Spring Confidential about the animated sitcom The Simpsons . Klickstein wrote Springfield Confidential with former Simpsons head writer Mike Reiss.
September 23, 2019
Episode In Between
Depression sucks everyone.
September 15, 2019
Episode 31: Whitney Grace
Whitney Grace shares where she's been and some facts about herself,
June 18, 2019
Episode 30: "Interview" with Frank Welker
In the thirtieth episode of Toon-In Talk, Whitney Grace has always wanted to interview the very private voice acting hero, Frank Welker. So what do you do when you can’t get the reclusive actor to chat with you? Create your own dream interview of course. This is an exercise in creativity and how one would hope the interview with your hero would go. This was constructed with much love and respect for Mr. Welker’s talents. [NOTE: If you don't realize it, let me put it bluntly: this is a joke interview and made for laughs, giggles, snorts, chuckles, and guffaws, etc., etc.]
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 29: Interview with Brenda Chapman
Hello and welcome to twenty-ninth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Concluding Whitney’s longer than expected series the Ladies of Animation is an interview with Academy Award winner director Brenda Chapman. Brenda is best recognized for her work as the writer and director of Pixar‘s Brave and the director of DreamWorks’s The Prince of Egypt. She also had an extraordinary career at Disney working on Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King. Brenda Chapman has since embarked on an independent creative career with her husband, director Kevin Lima. Show Notes Brenda Chapman is the director of Brave and Prince of Egypt. She has worked in the animation industry since the early days of the Disney Renaissance and first worked on The Little Mermaid. As many an animator, Brenda grew up watching Looney Toons and through close, personal connections contacted Disney Feature Animation, who sent her a brochure about CalArts. The main influence on Brenda’s work was her mother. Brenda had the privilege to know legendary animator Joe Ranft and he encouraged her to concentrate more on storytelling. Brenda has experience storytelling for the screen and page. The biggest difference for her is that regular prose writing demands more detail that is usually visually communicated. When Brenda was applying for jobs after CalArts, she put together a portfolio consisting of her clean-up work and tossed in a storyboard in the back. Disney loved her storyboard over her clean-up animation. She shared that the only reason why Disney hired her was due to her gender, but once she was in the department Brenda never felt any discrimination. Whitney is curious about the chaotic neutral will o’wisps in Brave and Brenda clears up her confusion. Brenda shares the lowdown on George Lucas’s Strange Magic that delivered an odd story. In short, there wasn’t much of a story to begin with. Brenda shared that getting a greenlight and keeping her job on an animated film are some of the biggest challenges she faced. Brenda is keeping busy with many writing projects and is starting a company with her husband. Brenda’s husband, Kevin Lima, isn’t a stranger to animation. He directed Disney’s Tarzan, Enchanted, and A Goofy Movie. Brenda declares that girls need to get out there and animate.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 28: Interview with DragonCon’s Dan Carroll
Home Podcasts Toon-In-Talk Toon-In Talk Episode 28: Interview with DragonCon’s Dan Carroll Toon-In Talk Episode 28: Interview with DragonCon’s Dan Carroll Podcasts Toon-In-Talk August 24, 2016 Whitney Grace Save VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse! Hello and welcome to twenty-eighth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Every year Whitney heads to Atlanta, GA to mingle with other geeks and practice her puppetry skills at DragonCon. DragonCon is the biggest fan run convention in the United States and in 2016 there will be over 75000 attendees and over 3500 hours of programming. Even though he is working 24/7 until the convention ends, Dan Carroll, DragonCon’s head honcho, had an hour to chat with Whitney about the new happenings for 2016, including animation and puppetry guests.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 27: Interview with Vicky Jenson
Hello and welcome to twenty-seventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Continuing with her fabulous Ladies of Animation series, Whitney interviews the one and only Vicky Jenson. Vicky is one of the top animation directors, in Whitney’s opinion, in Hollywood and she also lends her talents to television animation as well. She is respected as the director of DreamWorks’s Shrek and Shark Tale. Vicky’s resume includes the shows Smurfs, He-Man, JEM, She-Ra and the films The Road to El-Dorado, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and FernGully. She discusses her past successes with Whitney and also hints at some exciting projects yet to come. Show Notes Vicky Jenson is an animation director who worked on many feature films and cartoons. Whitney’s favorite work of Vicky’s is Shrek. Vicky never did any of the animation on the projects she worked on, but she has dabbled in different parts of the process, including storyboarding. Remember that Old Navy advertising campaign a few years ago with the talking mannequins? That was Vicky Jenson’s work! She became interested in directing when she worked in storyboarding, because she decided the camera angles, action, and loved the interaction with the story. Whitney and Vicky discuss the benefits of drawing in a digital environment vs. the traditional pencil in hand model. Vicky Jenson describes working in animation during the Saturday morning boom in the 1980s. She joined DreamWorks and began work on The Road to El Dorado. Jeffrey Katzenberg noticed Vicky Jenson’s talent for story and encouraged her to be storyboarding and directing. Vicky later worked on Shrek and through her persistance and talent became one of the directors. Vicky and Whitney talk about how storyboarding ins integral to the story process. She left her position at DreamWorks animation in 2015 after being at the studio from the beginning. When DreamWorks restructured in January 2015, the studio decided to end production on several animated film projects, including the one Vicky Jenson was on. It’s disappointing that some of these features will never be seen, especially since many of them were 70% animated. Vicky Jenson is writing and illustrating her own graphic novel, much to Whitney’s excitement. She is also working on a stage musical and is adapting a work. Vicky describes it as something between Cirque du Soiliel and Broadway. Her advice to women interested in pursuing an animation career: get your stuff together and do it. Also seek out opportunities and pursue them when they appear. Vicky shares that she learned the most when she was on the job. She has nothing to declare!
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 26: Interview with Yvette Kaplan
Hello and welcome to twenty-sixth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney is back from her hiatus and ready to finish her Ladies of Animation series. She’s returning with an awesome guest, Yvette Kaplan. Yvette Kaplan has a prestigious animation career working in both feature and television animation. She made a name for herself as the supervising director for the quintessential 1990s cartoon Beavis and Butt-Head. Yvette also directed the Beavis and Butt-Head Do America film that was the highest grossing non-Disney animated for years. Yvette works on any project that catches her interest and she shares her adventures in this interview. Show Notes Yvette Kaplan is famous for her work on Zack and Quack, Beavis and Butt-Head, Doug, and many other great projects. She has carried many titles and roles in the animation industry, going as far back as being an ink and paint artist. She caught the animation bug when she was five years old. Yvette loved watching the Fleischer cartoons: Betty Boop and Popeye. Her absolute favorite cartoon short is Max Fleischer’s “Somewhere in Dreamland.” She knew more about the Fleischer cartoons than she did the Disney features. Yvette is also a fan of John and Faith Hubley’s works, a husband and wife team who made animated films. When Yvette began her career, she was advised not to go into animation, but she didn’t listen and in the early 1990s, she began work on Nickelodeon’s NickToons. She worked on the pilot for Doug, directed by Tony Eastman. Nickelodeon liked her work and she was a director on the series for three seasons. Although she was very busy, Yvette consulted on The Magic School Bus. Then Tony Eastman showed her two “gross boy” characters for a MTV show. Yvette Kaplan loved the humor and Mike Judge, the show’s creator, hired her to be the director on Beavis and Butt-Head. She also directed Beavis and Butt-Head Do America and it was the highest grossing non-Disney animated movie for years. Yvette would later return to Los Angeles with the intent to work on more feature and television, but she also wanted to explore all avenues. She found a comfortable spot on the King of the Hill team as well as on the PBS show Arthur. Drawing more on her extensive talents, Yvette made the children’s CGI show Zack and Quack. The animation looks like it was made from paper. She prefers to work in television, but Yvette sometimes get the strong urge to work on a feature film. Yvette recently worked on the fun new girl-based series from Disney called Star Darlings. She loves working on it, because it took her into a new genre she had never worked in before. She shares that working on education based cartoons has its difficulties, but it was a challenge she loved. From her perspective, Yvette wasn’t too aware about the lack of women in the animation industry. She never felt a ceiling and her positive attitude helped her push through many barriers. She became more aware of it as she matured. Both Yevette and Whitney are huge fans of Steven Universe and Star vs. The Forces of Evil, two shows created by women. Yvette declares that her animation adventure will continue.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 25: Interview with Art Brown
Hello and welcome to twenty-fifth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney had to take a short hiatus due to everything hitting the fan at once, but now she’s back with Art Brown, executive produce of DreamWorks’s How To Train Your Dragon: Dragons Race To the Edge. Dragons Race To the Edge is an exciting Netflix exclusive cartoon series and it continues with its second season. Hiccup, Astrid, Fishlegs, Tuffnut, Ruffnut, Snoutlout, Toothless, Stormfly, and all the other dragons are in for thrilling adventures as the protect the Edge from a duo of villainous brothers and discover more dragon species. Art Brown chats with Whitney about what to expect in Dragons Race To the Edge season two and she had a hard time controlling her laughter. Show Notes Art Brown is an executive producer on How To Train Your Dragon: Dragons Race To the Edge. He says the new season will have brand new dragons, new dastardly brother villains named Viggo and Ryker, cool Astrid adventures, and some great comedy. Whitney is a big stiggler for continuity and Art assures her that he is constantly in contact with the franchise as whole to retain continuity with the How To Train Your Dragon Dragons Race To the Edge takes place between the first two movies. Art loves working on the Dragons Race To the Edge TV series, because he gets to explore routes that the movies can’t get into due to time. Art and Whitney both love Fishlegs and Meatlugs’ relationship, they’re so cute and funny. Does Dragons Race To the Edge delve into why there is only one Nightfury? Art said it’s a “no fly zone.” If Art had his own dragon companion he would want either Hookfang or Meatlug. Mostly because he and Doug are huge animal fans and both have great pets. Doug Sloan is another executive producer on the show. If Art and Doug want to make people laugh on the Dragons Race To the Edge, they always cut to Meatlug and her antics. To create new dragons, the Dragons Race To the Edge creative team look at the amazing creatures in the animal kingdom for inspiration. Whitney and Art both like the honey badger. Art Brown declares that there will be a minimum of eight new dragons in Dragons Race To the Edge.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 24: Interview with Jinko Gotoh
Hello and welcome to twenty-fourth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. It’s also time for the fourth round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions. Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the new animated feature film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne. Jinko has held various role in the animation industry, but she has made a well-respected name for herself as a producer. She’s produced Finding Nemo, 9, The Illusionist, and Escape From Planet Earth. She has been an animation fan since she was little girl and made Whitney’s head flip after sharing a story about meeting Osamu Tezuka. Show Notes Jinko Gotoh is the executive producer on the upcoming animated film The Little Prince directed by Mark Osborne. Jinko shares some tidbits about The Little Prince. The book it’s based on is one of the best selling books of all time. For The Little Prince, the film will use two forms of animation. CGI will be used for the “real world” sequences and the book portions of the movie will be in stop motion. Jinko started working on the film when director Mark Osborne sought out producers who knew how to make a quality film and work with the limited budget of an independent film. There were other adaptations of The Little Prince, including a live action movie and a Japanese anime. Jinko didn’t watch any of them. Producers are an integral part of the animation team. They work closely with the director and story to protect the integrity of the story, keep the project within the budget, and also keep production moving forward. The first movie Jinko ever saw in theaters was Lady and the Tramp and she later had the honor of meeting the father of all Japanese animation Osamu Tezuka. These were key moments that inspired her to work in the animation industry. She worked with computer animation way at the beginning as a computer programming, then she went to film school, and then Roger Rabbit changed things for her. Jinko shares her experience while she worked on Space Jam and at Disney She has worked all over the board when it comes to animation and she is very grateful for the variety of experiences. While working on Nine, Jinko says it was a challenge to animate characters that weren’t human and didn’t speak much. The film was difficult to animate, but was purposely made to look like it was simple. It wasn’t difficult for Jinko to switch between traditional and computer animation when she worked on the French film The Illusionist, because there was artistic leadership. Jinko wishes that there were more 2D animation films done in the United States. She and Whitney are both excited about the rerelease of The Iron Giant. Jinko’s career has come full circle with the The Little Prince and she hopes it’s successful, so more independent animated films will be made. She is a board member of the Women In Animation and she heads the chapter committee that establishes chapters around the globe. There are Women In Animation chapters across the USA, but they are also located in Canada, France, Ireland, and India. Jinko and Whitney discuss how animation is viewed in different countries. The French embrace animation as art. Two men from India actually came to Women In Animation to help them promote it among high school girls as the industry is rapidly growing in that country. Women In Animation is about sharing knowledge, being available as a resource, and spurring change in the animation industry. Jinko shares that there’s a huge discrepancy in the amount of female animation students versus how many actually work in the industry. The goal is to get 50/50 representation by 2025. She ends the interviewing by declaring that people should follow their dreams.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 23: Interview with Kristy Scanlan
Hello and welcome to twenty-third episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. It’s also time for the third round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions. Kirsty Scanlan is the co-president of the Women in Animation organization. Kirsty fell into animation when she worked at Threshold Entertainment and fell in love with the medium. She is currently Technicolor’s Vice President of Business Development for Technicolor’s Animation and Games group. Whitney and Kristy discuss Kristy’s career the current state of women in the animation industry, and their hopes for the future. Show Notes Home Podcasts Toon-In-Talk Toon-In Talk Episode 23: Interview with Kristy Scanlan Toon-In Talk Episode 23: Interview with Kristy Scanlan Podcasts Toon-In-Talk November 24, 2015 Whitney Grace Save VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse! Hello and welcome to twenty-third episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. It’s also time for the third round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions. Kirsty Scanlan is the co-president of the Women in Animation organization. Kirsty fell into animation when she worked at Threshold Entertainment and fell in love with the medium. She is currently Technicolor’s Vice President of Business Development for Technicolor’s Animation and Games group. Whitney and Kristy discuss Kristy’s career the current state of women in the animation industry, and their hopes for the future. Episode 23 Kristy Scanlan entered the entertainment industry right of college and worked in live action script development, but when she worked at Threshold Entertainment they had an animation studio. She became more involved in the animation side of the studio and fell in love with it. When Kristy was at Threshold Entertainment, she worked on projects for Lego, Marvel, DC, and some theme parks. She currently works at Technicolor and is in charge of business development for their studio in Bangalore, India. One of the services her studio provides is CG outsourcing and her clients include DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Electronic Arts, Activision, Rockstar Games, Capcom, 2K, Sony Computer Entertainment. Kristy’s other job was helping revamp the Women In Animation organization to give it new life and help women launch their careers in the animation industry, including networking, educational seminars, and giving them a voice. 70% of women in art schools want to become animators, but only 20% actually work in the animation industry. Women In Animation’s goal is to have a 50/50 workforce in the animation industry by 2025. Women In Animation has made strong movements since the organization’s revamp in October 2013. The entire goal is to empower women, get jobs, and succeed in a field usually dominated my men. Whitney and Kristy discuss old-fashioned hiring practices and how they could evolve in the future. Women In Animation is for more diversity not only in the animation industry, but also diversity in culture as a whole. Self-doubt is one of the biggest barriers that women face. Kristy shares her experience about females working in the animation industry. She says that things have improved since the 1950s, but there is a whole lot of room for improvement. Whitney points out that Lotte Reiniger, the first female animation director in the world, is usually a footnote in history books. Kristy talks about the Annecy International Film Festival. She declares 50/50 by 2025!
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 22: Interview with Cheryl Henson
Hello and welcome to twenty-second episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. It’s also time for the second round of interviews for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions. Puppetry has many things in common with animation, including principles that make inanimate characters come to life. Cheryl Henson is a proud promoter of the puppetry arts and preserving her father’s legacy for future generations. If you couldn’t tell by the last name, Cheryl Henson is Jim Henson’s daughter. Jim Henson not only revolutionized the world of modern puppetry with the Muppets, but he also was a singular entertainer and creative genius. Cheryl Henson chats with Whitney about the renovation at the Atlanta Center for Puppetry Arts with brand new exhibits dedicated to Jim Henson and puppetry from around the world. Show Notes Whitney recognized Cheryl Henson at DragonCon by her fabulous fashion sense. She wore an original outfit made for her by the designers of the Dark Crystal fashion line. Cheryl is the president of the Jim Henson Foundation. Cheryl was at DragonCon, because she was promoting the new expansion to the Atlanta Center for the Puppetry Arts. The Puppetry Center will house a new collection featuring puppets from the Henson Family’s personal archives. Jane and Jim Henson were at the Center of Puppetry Arts’s opening back in 1978 and it was founded by Vince Anthony. The Puppetry Center advocates the art of puppetry with educational programs, a museum, and encouraging anyone, anywhere to make their own puppets. The new Jim Henson collection will include over 450 new Muppet puppets, but only 75 will be on display at any one time. The puppets were housed in a storage facility in New Jersey and these were original, screen used Muppets! All of the Muppets in the Jim Henson collection were refurbished to make them museum ready. All of the foam rubber had to be removed, clean the fleece, stuff with cotton filling, and add a plastic skeleton. The Puppetry Center hired two fulltime staff members to refurbish the puppets. The collection will include the Seven Deadly Sins from The Muppets Sex and Violence When they opened the box containing the Muppet Gluttony it actually had real candy on it! They were removed, so it wouldn’t attract bugs. Cheryl shares her special Robin the Frog story! The new Puppetry Center will feature an exhibit modeled after the real Muppet workshop. Jim Henson revolutionized puppet design by making puppets specifically for TV and film. Cheryl explains that the Puppetry Center will feature all types of puppetry. Nearly all cultures around the world have some form of puppetry. Whitney and Cheryl discuss how puppetry is a very viable art and how Jim Henson used story in his work. The Jim Henson Company is very dedicated to exploring the entire world of the Dark Crystal. Whitney shares that she hangs out in the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth worlds when she has writer’s block. In her own personal opinion, Cheryl believes that her father put character before story. Cheryl explains the difference between the Jim Henson Company, the Jim Henson Foundation, Jim Henson’s Legacy, Disney’s The Muppets, Sesame Street, and Sesame Workshop. Whitney and Cheryl think its funny when they talk about the semantics involved with stop motion animation, live puppetry, and how they two intersect. To make someone laugh, Jim would blow a puppet up, have a puppet eaten, or throw penguins in the air. Cheryl declares that people need to care about each other.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 21: Interview with Marge Dean
Hello and welcome to twenty-first episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. It’s that time of year for the Ladies of Animation Month, Whitney Grace’s yearly tribute to women who work in the animation industry and mission to inspire girls to pursue their animated ambitions. Whitney is a proud member of the Women in Animation organization and with their helped she rounded up great professional women who have made successful careers in animation. To kick off Ladies in Animation Month, Whitney interviews Marge Dean, co-presdient of Women in Animation, general manager of Stoopid Buddy Stoodies, and former production manager at Mattel’s Playground Productions. Marge discusses her past and present animation career accomplishments and then she explains Women in Animation’s mission. Show Notes Marge Dean has worked in the animation industry for over twenty years and she is currently the general manager of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios. She was the only production manager on the Ren and Stimpy Show to deliver a show on time. Marge worked at Mattel’s Playground Productions for three years and was responsible for Barbie, Monster High, Ever After High, Max Steel, Hot Wheels, and other lines. Whitney admits her guilty pleasure: animated movies based off toy lines. One of the keys to being successful with kid’s content these days is to have an ancillary license, like a toy line. Networks aren’t subsidizing shows anymore. Seth Green, Matthew Seinreich, John Harvatine, and Eric Towner founded Stoopid Buddy Stoodies. As a general manager, Marge will be taking over the front end of running Stoopid Buddy. She will be implementing in procedures to keep the workflow moving and freeing up Seth Green, Matthew Seinreich, John Harvatine, and Eric Towner to work on more creative projects. Marge will also be tracking down more work for Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and Whitney can’t wait to see what the studio will make. One of the biggest challenges Marge has noticed working at several studios is finding talent and with Stoopid Buddy she walked into it. Marge Dean is also one the board of Women In Animation. She shares how when she started in the industry there weren’t a lot of women working in animation and that has grown over the past twenty years. The entire goal of the Women In Animation organization is to empower women to become leaders, have studios rethink hiring practices, and encourage women and anyone to follow their dream for a career in animation. Nowadays people are more sensitive to women’s issues in various industries, not just animation. The newest generation of fathers is very dedicated to helping their daughters succeed in the world. Marge wants Women In Animation to become so obsolete that it dissolves, because she wants women and diversity to become commonplace. Women In Animation’s goal is 50/50 by 2025, meaning the workforce in the animation industry will be equal between men and women. Marge and Whitney both agree that women are an untapped resource. Whitney and Marge bond over their mutual love for chiweenies and The Godfather.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 20: Interview with Joseph Phillip Illidge
Hello and welcome to twentieth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney loves comic books and graphic novels, so when she’s not watching cartoons she’s reading comics. One of her favorite cartoon sagas is the DC Animated Universe, including the fabulous cartoons Static Shock and Batman: The Animated Series. Whitney had the luck to speak with Joseph Phillip Illidge, who helped shaped the hero Static at Milestone Media and also reinvigorated he Batman comic book series. Joseph continues to write and edit comics as well as expanding his talents into other creative endeavors. Show Notes Joseph is a writer, editor, and columnist. He writes a column at ComicResources.com called “The Mission” about diversity in comic books, he is currently the writer of the graphic novel The Ren published by First Second, and writes the series Solar Man. Whitney is a huge fan of the DC Animated Universe hero, Static Shock. The founders of Milestone Media created static in the 1990s. Joseph had the awesome opportunity to work at Milestone and with Static. Joseph and Whitney discuss about Static’s character was a great superhero, and identifiable for teenagers. Joseph was an editor at DC during the Batman: No Man’s Land He delves into exciting details about how he shaped Batman as a series as well as the characters. This is one of Whitney’s favorite sagas in Batman They discuss how the Joker has changed from his incarnations during No Man’s Land to the current version in the New 52. Both Whitney and Joseph agree the Joker has gone in some extreme directions. The Suicide Squad is going to take Harley Quinn to new levels. The movie will be a good test to see whether or not if DC can face-off against Disney’s Marvel Entertainment. The Ren is a teenage love story about a young bass player from Georgia who moves to Harlem, New York with dreams to become a famous musician and he falls in love with young dancer. It’s about what they go through from 1925-1926. It was written due to the lack of black romance graphic novels in the medium. Joseph explains about the lack of graphic novels starring characters of non-European ancestry, how he wants to expand the offering, and some of his favorite graphics novels that do fit this niche. Whitney talks about her own graphic novel and wanting to see more heroine-centric comics sans romance. As comic geeks always do, Whitney and Joseph suggest titles to read to each other. Joseph declares a desire for a better and friendlier comic book industry.
December 8, 2018
Episode 19: Interview With Craig Kausen
Whitney is a huge Chuck Jones fan and she also loves to visit art galleries. When she was at Comic-Con 2010, she learned about the Chuck Jones Galleries and their mission to promote animation and comic artwork. She's been following them ever since and she tracked down Craig Kausen, Chuck Jones's grandson and head of all Chuck Jones related companies, to discuss how he is preserving Chuck's legacy and spreading the message of creativity. Craig’s grandfather was Chuck Jones ,one of Bugs Bunny’s fathers, and a significant creator in the Warner Brothers cartoons. He works in the family business of preserving Chuck’s legacy via his namesake galleries and the Chuck Jones Experience. Whitney shares her experience at a Chuck Jones Gallery and together they express their appreciation of Bill Plympton. Craig explains how Warner Brothers animators made cartoons for themselves and hoped the audiences would enjoy their humor. Craig shares one of the questions he asks perspective employees and asks it of Whitney. Chuck’s animation legacy left a huge impact on today’s animation industry, including on Pixar’s John Lasseter and Japan’s Osamu Tezuka. Chuck was adamant that you learned the rules so you could then break them and he was always learning art technique. Chuck Jones related companies started when he and his daughter, Linda Jones Clough, started an art company to present animation production material showcase artists, and more. When Linda contacted Warner Brothers about Chuck’s production material, she learned the studio burned them. Since then the Chuck Jones companies have preserved animation and art history, while nurturing new talent. A new opportunity Craig is exploring is how to inspire creativity in people, businesses, and communities called the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. The Center is also associated with the Smithsonian, Museum of the Moving Image, and the Academy of Motion Pictures on a traveling exhibit called "What’s Up Doc?: The Animation Art of Chuck Jones."
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 18: Interview with Dragon-Con’s Beau Brown and Jake Trabox
Hello and welcome to eighteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Every year Whitney attends several of the biggest conventions in the US and one of her favorites is Dragon-Con held in Atlanta, GA. Dragon-Con is a big convention with an intimate feeling, because it allows you to have up and close interactions with the guests and it never feels too over crowded. The Dragon-Con staff are super organized and they are dedicated to ensuring fans have the best experience. Whitney also loves Dragon-Con for its diverse programming, especially the puppetry and anime/manga tracks. She was privileged to chat with puppetry track coordinator Beau Brown and anime/manga track coordinator Jake Trabox about the special events for Dragon-Con 2015.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 17: Interview with Adam Toews
Hello and welcome to seventeenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. What happens when an animation fan, an animator, and his crazy co-workers decide to have some fun during a podcast interview? This is what happened during the seventeenth episode. Whitney chats with Adam Toews, an illustrator on the hit series Archer. Adam works at Floyd County Productions, an Atlanta-based animation studio. They discuss Adam’s career, his work on Archer, and how Atlanta is becoming a bigger animation venue. Show Notes Adam’s last name is pronounced “taves,” although it’s spelled like “toes.” He will answer to both. Adam works at Floyd County Productions on Archer and he was the art director on He started in animation for Cartoon Network’s Squidbillies, Aquateen Hunger Force, and even Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law. Whitney and Adam talk about how animators are versatile artists. Atlanta is a hub for animators and is becoming one of the new centers for animation in the US. Adult Swim is probably one of the reasons why Atlanta is becoming an animation hotspot. Adam got into animation through an internship he had at Turner Broadcasting (Cartoon Network). He was impressed by the casual dress code and they played good music. He also got really great animation experience. His first job was at Radical Axis, an Atlanta-based animation studio, where he worked on Squidbillies and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Adam recommends brand new animators start out at a smaller studio, because you get work on all tasks on the pipeline. The wonderful story about how Adam got to work on Archer is explained. Archer is described as if James Bond met Arrested Development, the classic office comedy that just happens to be an international spy ring. Whitney disliked the first two episodes of Archer, but after the third she was hooked. It was due to the character’s complexities and their bizarre approach to a the usually serious spy drama. Adam and Whitney praise the animation style and how it so different from its contemporary mature cartoons, i.e. The Simpsons, American Dad, and Family Guy. Each person in Archer’s animation staff has an important function and Adam explain each role in detail, including his own as an illustrator. All of Archer’s key animation is done using Adobe Illustrator. The show’s writer Adam Reed is like a unicorn in the mists, he appears one day with scripts and then disappears again. This was recorded on a Friday night, so a few of Adam’s co-workers came to visit, Kim Feigenbaum and Adam Forbes. But due to craziness and recording difficulties, their pieces had to be edited out. Adam does share that the Atlanta, Georgia animation community is like a family and how during the deadlines you can learn more about yourself and make some really strong friendships. Also he declares that dance parties are fun.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 16: Interview with Bruce Reitherman
Hello and welcome to sixteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Have you ever wondered what happened to kid voice actors when they grow up? Whitney Grace has! After watching Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book, Whitney wondered what happened to Mowgli. It turns out that Mowgli is Bruce Reitherman, son of Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman, one Disney’s Nine Old Men! Bruce was more than happy to discuss his experiences voicing Mowgli and growing up at the Walt Disney Animation Studios in the 1960s. Show Notes Bruce voiced Mowgli in The Jungle Book and he is also the son of Wolfgang “Woolie” Reitherman, one of Disney’s Nine Old Men. Growing up in the Disney Studios was like being alive during the Renaissance. Some of his earliest memories include that it was a very family oriented place and some of the people he ran into. Whitney praises the Ink and Paint Club. Bruce delves into the creativity he witnessed at the studio, including how individuals added to the big picture. Woolie took over the art department after Walt Disney passed away. He was always eager to go to work everyday, was a great father, intelligent, and talented. Bruce stresses that all animators had the same attributes as his father and this made them great animators able to capture the illusion of life. Woolie was in charge of the Xerox age of Disney animation. Whitney loves this era, because you can see the original pencil sketches and the animation process. Bruce gives a history of the Xerox process, why Disney implemented it, and what he enjoys about this animation process. Bruce talks about his experience voicing Mowgli in The Jungle Book and the fun he had. Whitney wonders how The Jungle Book changed from the original concept and Bruce explains how Disney was interested in making an enjoyable character film and take it in a new direction from the original story. When Bruce got the Mowgli role, he wasn’t a child actor. His dad needed a regular voice from a regular kid and Bruce was in the right place: living under the same roof as Woolie Reitherman. Bruce shares his views on Mowgli’s different relationships with the animals. Whitney wanted Mowgli to go back to the jungle and live, while Bruce likes the ending where Mowgli goes back to the man village. He likes this ending, because it shows that Mowgli accepts growing up. Bruce “wants to be like you!” and he has never seen The Jungle Book 2.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 15: Interview with Jez Stewart
Hello and welcome to fifteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. During research for her book on Lotte Reiniger, Whitney was using the British Film Institute’s website for information. She came across some great animation information, not just about Reiniger, but also about British animation. Jez Stewart in the BFI’s Animation Animation Curator and during this interview he discusses British animation history, the BFI’s animation holdings, and other fun facts about working in a renowned film archive. Show Notes Jez Stewart is the Animation Curator at the British Film Institute (BFI) and he has worked there for fourteen years. He started as an acquisitions assistant and slowly his worked his way up to his current position. Jez describes his work at a mixture of “spreadsheets and boxes of delights.” He works with all the old goodies, including some of the earliest animated films ever made. Jez explains the decomposition of old film stock and how they must store some films at very cold temperatures. The BFI is the UK’s lead body of film, created in 1933, and its purpose is to ensure that all moving images are preserved, shared with people, and exhibit British culture. The BFI’s collection scope if very large. They have work from studios that closed down, wanted to clean out their closets, and more. A large portion of the work is commercial, but they also include material from feature films and other entertainment venues. Housed in the archive is Bob Godfrey’s work, WWI films that make fun of the Kaiser, public information films, the Halas and Batchelor films (they made Animal Farm). Jez explains some of the ways the BFI preserves the films and how the BFI decides to share the material. One of the worst roadblocks is copyright. British animation has gone up and down in the amount of popularity. It was very big in the 1950s when TV was new, then the funding dried up. Channel 4 money helped animation flourish again in the 1980s-1990s, but then it dried up again. Aardman Studios, which made the Wallace and Gromit series and Shaun the Sheep, is the most well-known British animator. Jez is also a fan of Michael Please, Harry Harlow, and others. A lot of British animation exported to the US are children’s shows. Whitney and Jez discuss how foreign feature films are viewed in the US and the UK. They also discuss how sometimes restoration can ruin a film’s integrity and how sometimes there is no school like the old school. The BFI is trying to put more content on the Internet and share more animation film packages to share with audiences, and Jez wants to write a history of British animation. Whitney and Jez both want to see more animation from British animators, especially a feature film.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In Talk Episode 14: Interview with Jai Husband
Hello and welcome to fourteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney is joined by animator, director, writer, and producer Jai Husband. Jai comes from a great animation legacy, his father is famous Walt Disney animator Ron Husband. Growing up in the animation industry inspired Jai to pursue animation as his own career. Jai has been successful so far with is own projects inspired by African-American culture. He directed Kasha and the Zulu King, but even more exciting is that he is working on an African princess trilogy with his dad! Show Notes Jai is a second-generation animator; his father was Walt Disney animator Ron husband. Since Jai grew up in the animation industry it feels very normal to him, while someone, like Whitney, geeks out when he describes his childhood. Jai’s dad gave him advice, but didn’t hinder his individual creativity. Jai’s first animation job was in Disney’s CAPS department and he wanted to stay on at Disney, but his mom asked him to return to college. Straight out of college, Jai was hired by Turner Broadcasting and he now has his own company where he produces his own and other people’s projects. While Jai was at Turner, his show The Fabulous Ambitions of Vaughn Chocolat Éclair, starring RuPaul, got picked up by a new channel called Super Deluxe. However, Turner pulled the plug. Jai left Turner, so he could have more creative control over his ideas and BET also wanted him to make a show. Going out on his own wasn’t an easy decision for Jai, but wanted to try, even if he failed. He succeeded, however, and won a NAACP award. Jai wrote his Academy Award speech when he was twelve-years old and he plans to still use it someday. He formed his own studio in Atlanta, because he went to college in the city, had a job at Turner, he wanted to step away from his father’s legacy, and he wanted to live in an area with stronger African-American ties. Kasha and the Zulu King is a South African take on The Prince and the Pauper. Jai wanted to make a movie with characters that have very colorful skin tones, ranging from light to dark. Whitney and Jai want to see more animated characters from diverse ethnicities. They go into details about beauty aesthetics from different cultures. Jai and Ron are working on an animated trilogy, starring African princesses. They are researching individual African cultures for inspiration. Whitney recommends Jai watch Michael Ocelot’s Kirikou and the Sorceress, another animated film inspired by Africa. The African princess trilogy will have a Disney look, because Ron worked at the Walt Disney Company for years, but it will also contain influences from some of his favorite styles. Jai discusses his own individual style and how he pulls from other sources. He hopes to release the films sometime in 2017 or 2018.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 13: Interview with Rick Pickens
Hello and welcome to thirteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. If you are listening to this podcast, you’ve probably considered becoming an animator at some point. The traditional method is to attend a university animation program, but higher education isn’t necessarily the correct route for everyone. There are dozens of online programs dedicated to teaching 3D animation, but there is only one that focuses on the traditional, hand drawn method. Rick Pickens discusses his animation career and his new animation program: “Animation in 12 BLANK Lessons.” Show Notes Rick worked in animation in 1987 at the same company as Doug TenNapel when digital animation started to gain traction. He’s worked away from the animation industry for some years, but he continues to be involved with teaching, puppetry, training courses, and his own projects. Whitney and Rick both agree that we are now on the edge of a new animation boom and it’s fantastic and exciting! Joe Murray was the animator who branched out and tried to form his own content platform. It was called KaboingTV. The cartoons today are radically different from anything ever created before and people want to see new and different things. One of the reasons Rick created his program is that he wants to see more cartoons and he wants to give people the opportunity to make them. Rick explains that it’s better to start the process now then waiting. He’s helping potential animation students get their feet wet by creating an online course through Udemy called “Animation in 12 BLANK Steps” and he also has a free online course. Rick based his program’s name on Bob Heath’s book, Animation in Twelve Hard Steps. What makes his program different from other animation programs is that it takes a student through the entire animation pipeline, ending with a finished project they can share. “Animation in 12 BLANK Steps” is designed for fans of traditional, 2D animation. You need to bring a desire to create something with old-fashioned drawing tools or a drawing program on your tablet. The program isn’t a deep dive into technique, but rather to carry through your idea and finish a project. Whitney has psychic powers, not really. When she looks at people’s artwork, she can tell who has influenced them. If you want to be animator or a comic book artist/writer, the way to do it these days is to get in it now! Rick declares, “Let’s go make some funny cartoons!”
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 12: Interview with Veronica and Raina Taylor
Hello and welcome to twelfth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney has a treat for all listeners today! Not only does she interview the fantastic voice actress Veronica Taylor, famous for her role as Ash Ketchum on Pokemon, Astroblast, Welcome to the Wayne!, and Mofy, but she speaks with Raina Taylor. Raina is Veronica’s uber cool daughter, so this episode is a first for the show: a mother-daughter interview. Veronica discusses her career and Raina shares her input on having a voice actress mom. Show Notes For the first time ever on the podcast, Whitney interviews a mother-daughter duo! Veronica has always been an actress and went to college for acting. Raina was never starstruck having her mom being a recognized voice actress. It was very normal for her, although they do funny voices around the house all the time. Veronica’s first go into voice over dubbing for anime. Her first big role was Amelia from Slayers, then she became the voice of the kid who has to be the very best: Ash Ketchum from Pokemon. Veronica loves acting, no matter if she’s dubbing or voice over in English. She wants to make the character come to life. Raina thinks her mom does an awesome job every time and Veronica likes having Raina help her practice. She got the role of Ash, because the same production company that distributed Slayers in the US also had the license for Pokemon. All she knew about the series is that one episode gave kids seizures in Japan. Raina is very down to Earth when it comes to being the daughter of an iconic character. It’s also great to make her laugh. Whitney thinks Ash’s Pokemon trainer skills are lacking, but Veronica begs to differ as he follows his heart. The differences for voicing Ash in a movie and in an episode is that for the first few movies it was in an actual movie studio and the sessions were bigger, but later they were similar for recording episodes. Veronica and Raina both voiced the Pokemon Sentret, while Veronica also did Diglett and a few others. Raina and Veronica were both in the movie The Boy Who Wanted to be a Bear. She remembers her mother read the lines for her when they were in the studio. This happened when she was a very young, so spends a lot more time reading than behind the mic now. Raina is a John Green fan! Raina’s favorite Pokemon is Charmander and Evee, while Veronica likes Pikachu, Lapras, and Treecko. While they think Jigglypuff and Mr. Mime are weird. She was the voice of Ash for eight years before Pokemon USA replaced the cast with new people. Veronica’s favorite memories associated with Pokemon is that she was pregnant with her daughter during the first season and she so happy to play such a positive character. It’s not hard for her to transition between characters as long as she has a solid hook in the character. Raina loves that her mom plays a cute little bunny character. Raina doesn’t want to be a voice actress, but she wants to do something related to the arts or an accountant. Veronica is evading her taxes! No, they both declare peace and to eat healthy!
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 11: Interview with Ed Asner
Hello and welcome to eleventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney had the pleasure of interviewing a legendary actor of screen and stage, the incomparable Ed Asner. Asher is famous for not only playing Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, but he has lent his voice to many animated shows and movies. You might recognize him as Hudson on Gargoyles, Granny Good from the DC Animated Universe, and as Carl Fredricksen from Up. He even tells Whitney he hates her spunk to her delight! Show Notes Ed Asner has a prolific career ranging over fifty years, including Broadway, TV, movies, and more. He was the voice of Carl Fredicksen on Up, he was also on Freakazoid!, Captain Planet, Gargoyles, Spider-Man, and Batman: The Animated Series. The villain on Batman scared Whitney as a child. He started out as a radio actor and when he switched over to visual performances, Ed had to retrain himself on using his voice. They talk about the weather, the various places where Ed has lived, and how he dislikes New York. On Gargoyles, Ed was intimidated by his fellow voice actors because of their talent. The show had a great staff and he especially notes Greg Weisman as a writer. Ed sings the Jeopardy theme as Whitney searches for a number. He loved playing Granny Good from the DC Animated Universe. When he plays a villain, Ed draws influences from the characters in the Dick Tracy comics. Carl Fredricksen wasn’t specifically made for Ed, he had to audition like everyone else. Ed says that avuncular is the best way to describe old grumps. The entire recording session for Up lasted about six to eight sessions totaling about four-six hours each. Ed took a big spill in the Pixar recording room, but he went back to work without a problem. Actors are regular people who love to play certain parts and indulge in certain character traits, but they especially love to keep people surprised. Ed thinks of Up as a double love story, the first is with Ellie and the other is when Russell. He wishes that dogs and cats could communicate with humans like Dug in the movie. They talk about Up’s emotional impact on people and on Ed himself. Ed says that he is most like Carl Fredricksen out of all the characters he has voiced. We end the interview with a drug PSA.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 10: Interview with Rick Goldschmidt and John Brickley
Hello and welcome to tenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. At the mention of the name Rankin-Bass, it probably stirs up nostalgic Christmas memories of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Year Without a Santa Claus, and other holiday specials using stop-motion puppetry. While Rankin-Bass might be best known for its Christmas specials, it was actually a major animation and film studio that produced many popular animated series and movies. The problem is that Rankin-Bass’ story is waiting to be told. Documentary maker John Brickley and Rankin-Bass historian Rich Goldschmidt have combined their forces to make The Enchanted World of Rankin-Bass documentary, chronicling the studio’s story from beginning to end.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 09: Interview with American Dad Cast and Producers
Hello and welcome to ninth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. American Dad is a popular animated sitcom from the deranged, talented mind of Seth Macfarlane-Family Guy creator. The show recently switched networks from FOX to TBS and American Dad is now free to explore more creative and lewd plots that push the envelope so far they are blinding the censors. At the New York Comic-Con, Whitney scored a roundtable interview with the American Dad cast: Dee Bradley Baker, Rachel Macfarlane, Wendy Schaal, and Scott Grimes and the producers: Brian Boyle and Matt Weitzman. Show Notes The first interview is with voice actors Dee Bradley Baker and Rachael Macfarlane. Rachael Macfarlane and her brother Seth Macfarlane worked together for years and she is very complimentary about his work. Seth encouraged her to try voice acting. The cast recorded the episodes a year before their release. Rachael loves the freedom of being a voice actor, meaning it can go on forever and she is free to play anybody, anything, and from anywhere. Dee likes it, because it’s quick, air conditioned, and he doesn’t have to remember his lines. Rachael and Dee both love the normalcy of being voice actors. Dee wants to create an episode where Klaus and Roger start a fish stick factory. The show is on TBS now, so the American Dad crew have more freedom to be creative. Dee speaks German fluently. Rachael’s favorite animated show is Pippa Pig and Dee loves Avatar. The producers are well aware of the voice acting cast’s capabilites and limits. They are thrown voices during the table read to see what the voice actors can do. The second interview is with producers Matt Weitzman and Brian Boyle. The second interview features the producers They never thought American Dad would be on the air for so long. In the beginning the show was compared to Family Guy, but American Dad soon made itself distinct, such as time slot, dedication to story, and characterization. They claim to be doctors of comedy. With the move to TBS, they are allowed to cuss and show different forms of nudity. Whitney explains how familial relations work. Both are really happy where the series is going and hope it will continue. The “Chris” is Chris Robertson, an animator on the show and prior interviewee. If Roger wasn’t an alien, he would be a duck because he is so adaptive. The third interview is with voice actors Scott Grimes and Wendy Schaal. Wendy loves the energy and attention American Dad is getting from TBS. Scott loves the advertising their giving the show. American Dad has made 205 episodes and it is a lot of storylines for the actors to keep track of. Kevin Bacon loves the show. They don’t do group recording sessions anymore, because Seth is very busy. Wendy and Scott discuss their favorite episodes. Scott released a record years ago and the writers included those songs in the show as a joke.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 08: Interview with Tim Beyers
Hello and welcome to eighth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. For animation fans, the release of a new animated film is always exciting. 2015 is going to have a lot of animated films showing on the silver screen, but yo have to wonder what will succeed and what will bomb at the box office. Whitney interviews geek financial analyst Tim Beyers to discuss what 2015 animated movies will be a success and what will fail. Show Notes Tim Beyers writes about geek financial news for The Motley Fool. Last year, he and Whitney discussed which animated films would be successful in 2014 and they repeat the same theme for 2015. Tim thinks that Minions will be this year’s success followed close by Inside Out. Pixar films are still successful, but with the reboot of Disney Animation, the studio has taken the original Pixar magic and inserted it into their own movies. Disney Animation movies have been more successful than Pixar lately, but this could be Pixar’s year with the release of two animated films. Whitney thinks Pixar will do better than Disney. Sequels have a better chance of earning more money than the originals, because the fan base is already established and audiences want to see more. Inside Out has the classic Pixar formula, especially story, but Minions are extremely marketable. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud do the voice of the minions, not Dee Bradley Baker. Tim and Whitney both love it with professional voice actors get to strut their stuff in feature films. Tim thinks Hotel Transylvania 2 will be the least successful and the Peanuts movie has enough juice to pull ahead. Whitney is optimistic about both. She thinks Monster Trucks will be the least successful and it might be copying the Cars. It’s exciting what is happening with Disney with the number of properties they are releasing. The House of Mouse is becoming the mother of all studios. When Disney does a great job they do a GREAT job, but Whitney doesn’t want the studio to get complacent. In response, Time says Disney is far away from doing that because they’re still competing with Warner Brothers. Big Hero 6 was good, but it was predictable. Story still remains king. Please note Pixar doesn’t make all 3D movies. The Peanuts movie has historical fans, but the franchise is being reintroduced to a whole new generation who aren’t familiar with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the game. It’s a gamble, however, so were The Muppets. Original ideas are becoming scarce, but they are around and they come from studios with money to burn. Online fundraising platforms, however, do allow creative individuals to raise money for their projects. The Internet allows more creators to put their work out there, but there is a lot more competition. The hardest part of making a creative property is making the actual property. Tim declares that the next three years in animated entertainment is a new golden age of cartoons, animation, and more. Just for fun, this interview rounds out with Tim’s interview from last year.
December 8, 2018
oon-In-Talk Episode 07: Interview with Ronald M. Banks
Hello and welcome to seventh episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Mortal Kombat X is the latest game in the legendary fighting series and Whitney scored a interview with the voice of the villainous Quan Chi. Ronald M. Banks is the extreme opposite of the villain roles (meaning he’s a swell guy) he tends to get cast for in his extensive musical and theater career. In this interview, he discusses his journey into voice over and how he plans to grow his career. Show Notes Ron’s famous voice over role as Quan Chi in the Mortal Kombat series: Mortal Kombat X, Mortal Kombat, and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. He also played Jafar in the Aladdin Musical Spectacular at Disney California Adventure. On stage, he is most famous for playing the king in the King and I as well as Sweeny Todd in Sweeny Todd. Ron loves playing the bad guy and finds it very cathartic. Ron describes Quan Chi as a sorcerer, who is evil but is not an epic villain. He used to be a gamer and his game of choice was World of Warcraft, but he found that he needed to devout more time to real life. When he voiced the role of Quan Chi, Ron is still learning what the character’s role in the game is. As Jafar, Ron understands the menacing sorcerer’s mind quite well. Whitney got the reference right (though it’s sweat, not silver blood). The game has over the top violence and he thinks players will find it more humorous than gory. Ron thinks that when CGI gets too real it won’t appeal to people. He’s also been in some movies: No Connection and Sentimental Over You. For Ron, when he acts on TV or in movies, he has to back off with his voice. He’s used to projecting his voice. Some of the challenges Ron faces is the newness of being a voice actor and keeping a show fresh when he’s on stage. It’s important for actors on stage to be in the moment to keep their role fresh for the audience. Ron is a vocal coach and he shares some advice on keeping your voice strong and healthy. Whitney wants to know some funny theater stories and Ron reveals a whopper. Both share their thoughts on Andrew Lloyd Webber. SPOILER ALERT! Ron explains Quan Chi’s fate. They discuss the wonders of technology and the trouble of finding silence in a house. (Whitney recorded this episode in her closet.) Voice acting is a very competitive market. During the day, Ron works as a Disney guest relations host, he teaches voice, and works with kids.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 06: Interview with Mathew Klickstein
Hello and welcome to sixth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. If you grew up in the 1990s, you most likely watched Nickelodeon and were a fan of their Nick Toons. The 1990s have become known as the Golden Age of Nickelodeon Studios and nostalgia always comes into play when that decade is mentioned. Mathew Klickstein felt the same way, so he wrote Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age chronicling the adventures of cast, crew, and other cool people from the “only kid’s network.” Home Podcasts Toon-In-Talk Toon-In-Talk Episode 06: Interview with Mathew Klickstein Toon-In-Talk Episode 06: Interview with Mathew Klickstein Podcasts Toon-In-Talk April 24, 2015 Whitney Grace Save VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse! Hello and welcome to sixth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. If you grew up in the 1990s, you most likely watched Nickelodeon and were a fan of their Nick Toons. The 1990s have become known as the Golden Age of Nickelodeon Studios and nostalgia always comes into play when that decade is mentioned. Mathew Klickstein felt the same way, so he wrote Slimed! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age chronicling the adventures of cast, crew, and other cool people from the “only kid’s network.” Episode 6 Show Notes • Whitney tells Matt she had been searching Nickelodeon’s history herself. He tells her that a lot of people told him they wanted to write a book on Nick, but they never got around to it. He affirms there are a lot more stories to tell about “the only kid’s network.” • He recommends reading the academic book Nickelodeon Nation by Heather Hendershot. • Matt discusses details about how it was published and why he decided to write an oral history of Nickelodeon. • Whitney asks questions about why Matt formatted the book the way he did, especially when it comes to information about his interviewees. • Matt interviewed over 250 people for the book. He also had to leave out a lot of material. • To track people down, it was actually the easiest getting Melissa Joan Hart, Kenan Thompson, and others. It was extremely difficulty getting people who worked on only one show, like Richard Price. • Six degrees really comes into play for rounding up the interviewees. • Slimed was more like producing a documentary than writing a book. Matt loves oral history, but he wants his next book to be in prose. • In the early days, Nickelodeon licensed cartoons to air on the station. Nickelodeon made Looney Tunes popular again. When the licensing came up again, Warner Brothers wanted more money from Nickelodeon. • We can thank the FCC for putting an end to 30 minute long toy commercials. Networks were also finally allowed to produce their own cartoons. • The original three cartoons were: Doug, Ren and Stimpy, and Rugrats. • Nickelodeon found six shows they made pilots for. They found potential shows by literary going to animator’s garage. • Whitney mentions the yearly Nickelodeon writing and animation contest. Both discuss how Nick has changed its content and yet remained the same. • Whitney brings up Ren and Stimpy and Matt discusses its heated history. • The creator John Kricfalusi had an ill reputation, though he is a creative genius. • Whitney and Matt talk about making something new and original. Neither wants to repeat the creative past. • Money is a necessary evil. Whitney mentions some of her hopes before she got her book contract. Matt recommends people use a publisher and gives his advice about self-publishing and YouTube. • Matt’s favorite NickToon is Ren and Stimpy and Whitney’s is Aah! Real Monsters. • Matt declares the episode over!
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 05: Interview with Monty Oum
Hello and welcome to fifth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. In December 2014, I had the honor of interviewing the animator Monty Oum of Rooster Teeth. Monty Oum was one of the creative leads for the American anime RWBY. He was an entirely self-taught animator, specializing in online cartoons and videogames. This interview was originally meant to air in the same month, but the sound quality was very poor. In January 2015, Monty Oum had a severe allergic reaction to a medical procedure and he passed away in February. Please join Whitney as she honors Monty’s memory. Show Notes Monty is a self-taught animator and never formerly attended a school. When he was a kid, he used to watch cartoons, mostly anime, and he loved to count frames and learn animation tricks. He describes RWBY as an emulation of an emulation. It emulates anime and anime emulates early Disney cartoons. Ironically, Monty’s career more or less started when he made fan videos based off Final Fantasy and Dead or Alive. All stories are copies of copies. There are originally ideas, but they are usually inspired by something else. The creator takes the inspiration and makes something new. Whitney is curious about the Rooster Teeth animation process and Monty explains how coding is involved, how they use skeletons, and how there’s a lot of copying involved. They both geeked out over Pixar’s The Incredibles and discuss Universal Man. RWBY is about a group of four girls who are fighters and how they attend a school to become stronger warriors. They discuss more about the world of RWBY. Whitney confuses stop motion for motion capture, but she’s still impressed that Rooster Teeth is using it. Whitney gushes over RWBY’s fighting scenes, which was Monty’s main speciality. Most of RWBY’s characters are female, in order to animate their feminine qualities they sometimes have women put on the motion capture suit or they male animators have been known to wear heels. Monty equated fashion and high heels with powers. He also points out that having actually items to hold when you’re in a motion capture suit makes it a whole lot easier to animate later. In season three of RWBY, expect the characters to grow physically and mentally. Contrary to popular belief, Monty never watched Dragon Ball Z, but he was still a large fan of tournament arcs in anime. Rooster Teeth has many other new projects in mind and they’re dedicated to making great cartoons.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 04: Interview with Richard Thomas
Hello and welcome to fourth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. When you think about animation, you most likely think about a US studio. In fact, a lot of animation is made in other countries and there are a lot of fantastic studios overseas. Whitney had the luck to interview with Richard Thomas of One Animation, a Singapore studio, and discuss new animation projects, like in Asia, and what they love about animation. Show Notes One Animation is based in Singapore and is six years old. Richard is their creative director. One Animation is more known for Rob the Robot, Oddbods, and the Insectibles. Richard is originally from Manchester, England, but he’s worked all over the world and his animation background is predominantly game based. Animating videogames is more piecemeal, but with television requires more prep work. On the end product you receive more feedback with games, but with television you have to wait. The end result is always the same for both: trying to create a great visual. As a creative director, he’s more involved with the creation process, which he also considers to be more holistic. On his current job, he draws a lot less than he did working on videogames. On television he loves working to constrain budgets on shows. Stress and deadlines remain the same, however. Richard believes that CG is a modern trend and it’s popular because it is more accessible to people. CG animation is strongly routed in traditional animation principles. One isn’t better than the other and there is room for both. Richard joined One Animation when he received a call from an associate and was shown the source material for a preschool show he felt had potential. It was a huge success and his career with the studio and expand into other projects. One Animation got its name from when they higher ups needed to register with the government and they basically came up with it spur of the moment. Working in Singapore is like working in England, except the weather is better and people are hungry for work. The biggest problem is that it’s hard to find local talent for animation. Whitney is curious about the animation industry in Asia. She asks about Oriental DreamWorks and about animation factories. One Animation’s mission statement is to continue their current progress, keep building their skill set, and eventually make a feature film. Rob the Robot is preschool show about the explorations of a spacefaring group and the lessons they learn. Oddballs is an in-house show with completely silent characters and each one will resonate with you. The Insectibles is about a boy and a grandfather who are shrunk down to the size of insects and they befriend bionic insects as they try to return to normal size. Whitney and Richard both like intelligently written cartoons. They might consider making web toons in the future and they are working on a show that might appeal to an older audience, but Richard dislikes assigning age groups. Richard and Whitney discuss old cartoons, the current industry, and where animation is going. Whitney explains her master plan to one day interview John Lasseter.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 03: Interview with Britni Brault
Hello and welcome to third episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Whitney decides to interview a special part of the animation industry with her special guest Britni Brault, a talented and prominent paper artist. Britni has created paper sculptures for the Walt Disney Company and it’s possible you have seen some of her work at the parks. She also makes pieces for other studios and clients. Britni and Whitney discuss everything from what a paper sculpture is to copyright laws. Show Notes Britni details her background as a wife, mom, and a professional, freelance paper artist. Britni explains there are different kinds of paper artists and what type she is. While in art school, Britni discovered that paper was the only medium that made her feel satisfied as an artist. People contract her to make a piece. Sometimes clients know exactly what they want and other times they ask Britni to use her imagination to create a piece. She discusses her creative process when designing a client’s project. A maquette is a simplified version of the larger piece Britni will sculpt. Whitney and Britni talk about different paper artists, their careers, and how they work with clients. Disney is one of Britni’s biggest clients, but she can’t discuss any of the projects she currently has them. She got her job with Disney by entering a D23 contest and winning with a Mary Poppins sculpture. People started contacting her and since then she has been networking and working. All of her Disney projects have been very inspiring and she has to work a bit harder to please her other clients. Britni uses many copyrighted characters in her pieces. According to copyright law she is allowed to use the characters in “one-off” pieces. Translated that means she can’t make more than one copy. They both share their views and experiences with copyright law and fans respecting intellectual rights. Artists usually incorporate their influences in their own unique style. Whitney can’t help but mention her favorite paper artist Lotte Reiniger. Britni has considered making her own stop-motion short, however, she considers storytelling to be her weak point. She is a work horse, however. Both agree that paper is a versatile medium and would love to see a movie using entirely paper. Britni shares some views on the Disney Renaissance and how a lot of creative ideas come out times of desperation. She’s not a very big fan of 3D movies and she has a neat idea for something that can replace. They discuss how creepy Coraline is and how much they love Jim Henson. In November she worked on a Disney villains project for Van Eaton Galleries. Britni is an inspiration for not only paper artists, but other artists as well.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 02: Interview with Scott Christian Sava
Hello and welcome to the second episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. This episode features the animation jack-of-all-trades Scott Christian Sava, who is currently writing and directing the brand new animated feature film Animal Crackers. Scott is known for his animated work for such studios as Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Universal, Lucas Film, and more. He’s also written the excellent webcomic The Dreamland Chronicles. In episode two, Whitney and Scott talk about his career Show Notes Whitney gets some housekeeping out of the way: check out the new Toon-In Talk Website and feel free to contact her about suggesting or being a guest on the show. Naybeth Díaz designed the extra cool Toon-In Talk logo and cover art. Whitney shares some details on her new book about Lotte Reiniger and the first animated movie ever created. Scott is storyteller. He writes the thrilling webcomic The Dreamland Chronicles and recently he started production on a full length animated movie called Animal Crackers. Another of his books The Luckiest Boy was put into production buy another studio. In 1990, became an intern at Sega and tried his hand at being an animator. He worked animation jobs during the day and worked on comic books at night. He never had any groundbreaking training in animation, just tried his hand at many things. Scott was doing A LOT work for Haim Saban Entertainment’s Power Rangers. Because he received so much work, Scott decided to form Blue Dream Studio to keep up with the input. Blue Dream kept growing and it has done work for Spider-Man, X-Files, Alien vs. Predator, and more. Blue Dream speciality is character animation. They’ve fleshed out TV pilots for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon as well as animation for videogames. The Dreamland Chronicles is inspired by Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland. Scott draws his inspiration from other people’s work and says his own creations are amalgamation of them. Before he started Animal Crackers, Scott didn’t think he could write a script. Through encouragement, he wrote a script and some animation contacts helped him get production started. During the process, he learned that he had to become to producer to get the movie made. Tony Bancroft will be co-directing the movie with Scott. Tony was a Disney animator who worked at the Mouse House during the Disney Renaissance. Dean Lorey will be the writer and he’s worked on Arrested Development, My Wife and Kids, and Major Pain. To find a character designer, Scott did an IMDB search of movies he like. He signed Carter Goodrich for the character designer and he’s worked on Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and The Croods. To create the Animal Crackers short, Scott put on his producer hat and persuaded his animation friends to make it. The movie is about a guy named Owen who inherits a circus and a box of animal crackers from his uncle. He learns that the animal crackers are magical and transform the eater into whatever animal the shape of the cookie is. Whitney and Scott talk about magical animal cookie logistics. Scott is also the art director for his film and might even do a voice. It’s a small budget film, so he’ll be doing a lot of jobs on the movie. Scott explains what a bondsman is and Whitney wonders if he’s taking lessons from The Thief and the Cobbler. Whitney is curious about who will be providing music for the movie and Scott wants to see if he can do a rock n’ roll cover of Shirley Temple’s “Animal Crackers.” Scott’s sons and his extended family want parts in the film. The movie is projected to come out in fall 2016. Whitney tries to guess who the film’s distributor is.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 01: Interviews with Jim Cummings and Carlos Alazraqui
Welcome to the 2nd episode of the new FanboyNation podcast: Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Toon-In-Talk is hosted by Whitney Grace and is dedicated to bringing you great stories straight from the animation industry. In the premiere episode, Whitney interviews famous voice actors Jim Cummings and Carlos Alazraqui. Jim has a resume as long as it is fantastic. He has voiced Winnie the Pooh, Darkwing Duck, Raymond from The Princesss and the Frog, and more. Carlos Alazraqui is known for voicing Rocko on Rocko’s Modern Life, Mr. Crocker from Fairly Oddparents, and many live action roles. Show Notes Carlos got started in voice acting from his stand up comedy career, where he did a lot of character voices. Nickelodeon loved his Australian character voice so much they cast him as Rocko in Rocko’s Modern Life. Carlos is extremely proud to have worked at Nickelodeon during its Golden Age. He also confirms that the Nicktoon was written for a more mature audience and is very happy that there is still a very big fan following. A fan comes up and compliments Carlos on his performance in Reno 911, which is quite the opposite of of the innocent Rocko. Daniel Tosh doesn’t have a vendetta against Carlos for taking his job away as the Taco Bell mascot. Carlos was the voice for the “Yo quiero Taco Bell” chihuahua. The Fairly Oddparents character Denzel Crocker combines Gene Wilder, Montgomery Burns, and Richard Dreyfus in one kooky voice. He says he’s recycle voices for different roles but altered the voices a little bit for each one. He’s a genius at playing different accents. Having worked at many of the major studios, Carlos says Disney is more familial, Nickelodeon is more subversive, and Cartoon Network is the most “out there.” When he’s working, Carlos prefers group recording sessions because they’re fun. Carlos came up with the Al Pacino voice for Ernesto the penguin in Happy Feet and he also did his own singing. Carlos explains Lazlo’s character from Camp Lazlo and what happened to Rocko when the series ended. John DiMaggio and Carlos were riffing in a session one day and created an entire improv cartoon series on Mondo Media from it. He loops voice for Billy Crystal. Compared to the 1990s, Carlos thinks cartoons aren’t as subtle and are made weird for weirdness’ sake. He plays El Chupacabra in Planes and General Posada in The Book of Life. To hear about how Jim Cummings started in voice acting, check out Rob Paulsen’s Talkin’ Toons Podcast. Jim is most well known for voicing Darkwing Duck on the Disney Afternoon. He doesn’t collect voices, but he does a lot of impressions of people. Jim became a Disney go-to voice actor, because he started out around the same time the Disney Channel and the Disney Afternoon started. He never got the chance to meet Sterling Holloway, but he did encounter him in a restaurant from a distance. He now follows in Holloway’s footsteps by playing Winnie the Pooh. Jim discusses his take on villains and sometimes they’re a bit more fun for him to play. Whitney asks what would happen if some of his characters faced off. He discusses voice Scar’s singing voice on The Lion King and his character Ray on The Princess and the Frog. He loves working with Rob Paulsen and considers him to be one of the voice acting greats. If he was stuck on a desert island, he’d want Darkwing Duck to be with him.
December 8, 2018
Toon-In-Talk Episode 0: Whitney Introduces Herself
Welcome to the brand new FanboyNation podcast: Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews. Toon-In Talk is hosted by Whitney Grace and is dedicated to bringing you great stories straight from the animation industry. In Toon-In-Talk episode zero, Whitney explains a little bit about herself and what you can expect from the show.
November 26, 2018