Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Saturday Slow-Down: Animation Academy


Last time on the Saturday Slow-Down...

...we continued our wanderings in the Disney Animation Building in the Hollywood Backlot and spent some time in the Sorcerer's Workshop.  Today, we're going to continue our tour through the building and spend some time in another seriously cool room, the Animation Academy.


At the core of Disney is its animation.  For those who have even the tiniest bit of knowledge about the company's history, Disney began with animation, and there's no reason to believe it will ever play anything but a major role in everything that happens at The Parks, hand-drawn cells or computer-generated.

As such, the Animation Academy offers an excellent opportunity for you, the Park guest, to try your own hand at drawing some of The Park's most famous characters.  

After waiting outside the Academy in a little foyer (which provides an excellent location for watching more of those fantastic lobby movie clips we talked about a few weeks ago) you're ushered into a fairly large room (tons of cushioned seating available) where you pick up your artist's tablet, pencil and paper (waiting in your seat for you), and await your Cast Member's instructions.  

A Cast Member explains the process of the Animation Academy
It really is a simple process.  Your Cast Member (they rotate in and out every "show") "teaches" you how to draw whatever character is in rotation at that point.  The characters typically vary show by show.  We ourselves have done Chip, Tigger, Dopey, Pluto and Goofy just to name a few.  We've heard that they also from time to time do Jack Skellington and Roger Rabbit which we've just not been lucky enough to get yet.  And of course, they do all of the regulars such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy et al.


It, of course, works much like you would expect it to.  Your duly appointed Cast Member draws your character up on stage, step by step (it is projected up on a great big screen) and your goal is to follow them as closely as you can, hoping to garner something that even remotely resembles the work of stunning perfection that they've just drawn.  Needless to say, it doesn't always work out that way.

If you can tell who your drawing is supposed to be, then you've been successful
But, the show is all about fun.  If you're willing to go into it with a light-hearted attitude and just have fun with it, we can almost guarantee that you'll have a great time!  And it's pretty darn awesome that you get your own free piece of Disney artwork, all of your own making, that you get to take home with you.

Like the Sorcerer's Workshop, the Animation Academy is something that we typically ignored.  But since we started going in, it's something that we've typically tried to do on a regular basis, if for no other reason than to see what character we might wind up with this time. 

It usually takes about a half hour to do the Animation Academy (between waiting and the actual "show).  So at this point, if you're still following us around and haven't dropped off, you've spent about an hour and 40 minutes in the building so far.  Are we having fun yet?

Next week, we'll move into the last room in the building, the Character Close-Up.  Only one week to go, and we hope you'll be here to wrap up our little tour with us!

Hidden Mickey(s)!