So in a bit of a nostalgic moment I went through some of my earlier artwork and drawings while I was young and pursuing my addiction of feature animation. I came across a letter that I had almost forgot about. When I was in the 8th grade I wrote a short and poorly composed letter to one so called famous animator by the name of Glen Keane. This was right after Beauty and the Beast had came out, and at the time Disney did a really good job of getting the name of some of their animators out there. Mr. Keane’s was one of the most known at the time (and still is today!) and I was very curious about any information I could get about becoming an animator (this was before the invention of that new fangled thing called world wide web).
I took the time to type a letter, mailed it in and a few months later received a three page letter from Glen Keane on March 8, 1993. This month marks 20 years since that letter. It’s odd to look back on how things played out and the fact that I was able to achieve my lifelong childhood dream. I was lucky enough to meet Glen Keane on two separate occasions and I admit that after all these years I am still amazed every time I see the guy draw.
As a student Mr. Keane thought:
My drawings were rough and scribbly but Disney Animation was so refined, the lines so clean, so intimidating!
till he learned the truth about the industry and himself
…Their animation was rough and scribbly, yet it had weight and volume. The characters moved powerfully and convincingly across the screen. The drawing is loose yet solid and beautiful.
To this day I’m super thankful that Mr. Keane took the time to write back (or so I hope he did, at least he signed it). This is one of the main reasons I always make a point of responding to emails and work review requests if I have the time on Pay it Forward.
Every once in a while I catch myself smiling when I’m in a meeting with animators that I have known by name for years and I think to myself
I made it. The dream came true, – now back to work! I would love to hear your stories and share your letters if you got them!
Thanks again, Glen Keane!