Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Super Mario Bros Director Aaron Horvath - My Student

It's a blockbuster!

Super Mario Bros has grossed $782,452,239 worldwide as of this writing. After 21 days in release it has remained king of the box office with 3 consecutive weekends at number 1. The film has nearly 60% of total box office revenues. Broke the record for a 5 day release for animated features.

And my student Aaron Horvath directed the movie!

He was a student at my school The Academy Academy in 2002 - 2003. Super talented artist. He was great even then. He went from student to character design instructor and got his break in 2003 with Comedy Central's animation department. He went on to become the Producer / Director / Executive Producer of Teen Titans Go! on Cartoon Network for many years.

Then came the Super Mario Bros Movie and astonishing success!

Click on this link to see samples of his student work when he was enrolled with me 20 years ago.

Beyond proud!

Great things happen when you Keep Creating!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

The Animation Academy is 25 Years Old

The Animation Academy is a school I launched 25 years ago today. 

On this day in the evening of January 19 in 1998 we had our first session in the back room of the Coral Cafe in Burbank California with 20 students. It was the flagship class of the Academy. I started the school with a small mailing list and $15 for stamps and envelopes to send flyers and enrollment forms. All available seating sold out.

Today after a quarter of a century I'm happy to say that the Academy is still going strong.

Thank you to everyone who has ever been a part of this great experience. My affectionate gratitude for these past 25 years and what they have meant.


Saturday, December 24, 2022

Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Montgomery Thump - Chapter 5

Things get sinister in the latest episode of Montgomery Thump and Timbuk Too! Follow the link to the Canvas section of Webtoon Comics to see what's up. 

If you're new to the series you can start from the beginning and get caught up...

Monday, January 31, 2022

Spyro the Dragon on January 30 1997

These drawings are from the original development of the character that would become Spyro.

It had been a little more than 2 weeks since I started to create the very first concepts for Insomniac Games. I was in the process of refining and defining. Insomniac was very excited about the character and the images I was coming up with. At this point in the creation of Spyro I was directed to really push his expressions.

This is the way it works. You dig and explore through concept sketches then as the character emerges a commitment is made towards the final design. Once you've nailed the look then you test it out and see how it functions through expressions and action / attitude posing as the personality emerges.

Note for historians and archivists: The pages are sequential but they're numbered incorrectly.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Montgomery Thump - Chapter 4 online

Intrigue plus a new character gets fired up! The next chapter of Montgomery Thump is on Webtoon Canvas. Lots more content on the way in days ahead. Follow the link.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Original Spyro Drawings from January 23 1997

These are pages from the development of Spyro the Dragon on this day Jan 23 in 1997.

I contracted with Insomniac Games to own my original art once it was used for production. It was a groundbreaking contract back then. Thus I have the unique opportunity to showcase these images.

There are 103 pages total that I created for this project. The pages here are numbers 41 through 44. They were misnumbered by someone at the company.

Spyro was really cracking the shell at this point. Insomniac was very excited. They knew they had a winner. Spyro continued to improve with the next round of sketches which I'll feature in a few days.



Saturday, January 22, 2022

Latest Spyro the Dragon Drawing

It was 25 years ago at this time in January 1997 when I was at Universal Studios developing a special character for a video game project. This is a commission I finished earlier today of Spyro. Blue pencil and ball point pen on paper.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Montgomery Thump Online

I've published the first 3 chapters of my independent project online. Here's the link. Lots more content on the way. New chapters each Wednesday.