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Quotes / Don Bluth

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"I think the later Disney films have turned animated movies into baby-sitters. They're films you drop your kids off to see while you go shopping. We don't want to do that. We're interested in trying to reestablish animation as an art form, creating subject matter which will appeal to the adult brain. Economically, there is no good reason to go into classical animation today. In the last fifteen years there have been something like 32 non-Disney animated films made. Four have made money. But you can always spot why they fail. People don't pay attention to story. Or they say they want to be just like Walt Disney. Well, you can't. You have to be different. Or look at Ralph Bakshi. He's a wonderful man, but most of his movies have appealed to the dark side of things. I think the majority of people want to see movies that are uplifting. Remember those old Frank Capra movies? You keep on going back to see them again and again. People want to believe that life is worthwhile."
—Don Bluth, in an interview circa the release of Space Ace

"We haven't been telling better stories than Snow White, and we should be. We're doing the same thing over and over again, but we're not doing it any better. Yet we know enough now so that we should be preparing the films in which the color and the music and the layouts and the backgrounds all change to fit the moods of a story in which everything combines to touch you. The pictures now are entertaining, they're fast-paced, and they're clear. Walt had all those things, and he touched you besides."
— Don Bluth on the state of Disneys films when he worked there

"We felt like we were animating the same picture over and over again with just the faces changed a little. In contrast, Walt always found something new to delight an audience. For example, they've gutted all of the meaning from The Fox and the Hound. It's become a cute story instead of a meaningful one."
—Don Bluth on working on Disney's The Fox and the Hound

“Penguin had story problems. We knew it. The crew knew it. (Once the crew came under ownership by Media Assets), the story and the film were now compromised. Hence, neither of us stayed to complete the motion picture."
—Don Bluth on The Pebble and the Penguin in a November 2001 issue of "Toon Talk"

"As it is never a good thing that a child is born prematurely, so it is with producing a film. Development of a script is like the development of a child in the womb; It takes time and must be done right. Building the movie, A Troll In Central Park, taught us this lesson, but indeed, the hard way. I tell you all this in the hope that you might benefit from our foolish mistakes. Scrutinizing your own work is so important, but lets face it, we all are afraid of not measuring up, so we stubbornly cling to our own opinions, shutting out all others. Stanley could have been a richer character with more levels to his personality. Maybe he could have had a dark side, a troll side that he struggled with."
—Don Bluth on A Troll in Central Park in an earlier Toon Talk interview.

"I drew with great excitement, thinking how good it was to work on a Disney feature. When Robin Hood was completed I decided it did not look the greatest of films. The heart wasn’t in it. It had technique, the characters were well drawn, the Xerox process retained the fine lines so I could see all of the self indulgence of the animators, each one saying, “Look how great I am,” but the story itself had no soul."
—Don Bluth on Disney's Robin Hood in issue 26 of "Animator."

"If any human being on the planet is responsible for the soulless, mindless regurgitation of old Disney characters and designs, it is him. Don't even get me started on his story-sense. His track record speaks for itself. Every movie he has made is a crazy-quilt of borrowed superficialities, completely devoid of wit, humor or genuine emotion."

"Don Bluth animation is beautiful. But it moves too fast."
Richard Williams on Bluths work

"You like to do what you should and make it fully animated. But fully animated by itself doesn't make a good cartoon. Like Don Bluth films. It's just a bunch of guys flailing all over the place. What the hell is that? That's not acting. It's full inbetweening."

"I wouldn't leave Disney to do Disney."

"In the '90's, you couldn't say hello to a former Bluth artist without them going off on a tirade about the studio and how they were screwed by it. This is not an exaggeration. While in their presence, try as you might to steer the conversation to anything but work, a Bluthie would pull out that axe and grind away. Say "Hey how about them Dodgers?" and they'd reply, "I'm gonna cut off Bluth's head and shit down his neck!!" So what was Don Bluth's crime? Bluth sold himself as the second coming of Walt. Gary Goldman liked to lay this shit on too. They played the role of animation saviors and asked artists to work long hours for shit wages for the love of the medium. They would be part of a great and lasting legacy and young artists lapped it up. Years later, after following their messiahs to Ireland to animate trolls, they realized they'd been had. And like leaving a cult, it did not end well at all. I can't count how many friends went through that studio and left with a bad head."

"The difference between Ralph Bakshi and Don Bluth is that Bakshi was an independent iconoclast, while the other was a predator who burned through artists like any other disposable commodity, in order to live out his Walt Disney successor fantasies."
—Former Bakshi, Bluth and Disney animator Ken Cope

"What's funny is that when I was still attending Cal Arts, Don Bluth was always considered a joke for cheesy out-dated overflowy animation. When his name is mentioned among other classmates or teachers, it starts with a roll of eyes, a sigh, then a rant. There's a lot of reasons really. Some of them aren't just his animation style, which I'd get into why sometime. He also has a lot of history with people he's worked with, some being former mentors of mine. That's not to say he isn't appreciated for what he's done though."

"Director Don Bluth was by far one of the greatest animation gods who ever lived... in The '80s. In The '90s, I think he left his brain at the FUBAR convention, because he churned out some very strange, very mediocre material. The good stuff seemed to end with All Dogs Go to Heaven, and the bad stuff seemed to begin with Rock-A-Doodle.
The Nostalgia Critic in his review of Rock-A-Doodle

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