Archives for : EPISODES

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.

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.

Episode 32: Mathew Klickstein

I’m back and done explaining about the current state of my mental health.  It’s actually doing pretty well, at least the voices tell me so.  FYI, if if you aren’t aware I have a dark sense of humor, particularly at my own expense, because I find it hilarious.  (If you didn’t catch on, that means I don’t have voices in my head. Unicorns and llamas are another story.)

Give me a round of applause and praise me to the high heavens, because I finished episode 32!  Whoopee!

Beat that depression!

This interview is with my fellow writer Mathew Klickstein, who has been on Toon-In Talk before to discuss his book Slimed!: An Oral History of Nickelodeon.  In episode 32, Mat has returned to talk about his newest book (at least it was new in 2018 when I recorded the interview) Springfield Confidential.

Mat wrote Springfield Confidential with former lead Simpsonswriter Mike Reiss, who also went to Harvard, headed the National Lampoon, and also writes children’s books.  Mat and Mikes’ book digs into the history of America’s longest running sitcom The Simpsons and reveals secrets, stories, and humor behind the show.

You’ll notice I didn’t write show notes for episode 32.  I’ve never liked writing show notes, so taking Mat’s advice I stopped doing it.  All right!  I am making myself happier about making my podcast.

Episode 31: Interview With Myself

I wanted to offer more details about my hiatus.  In episode 31 of Toon-In Talk, I interview myself and describe my experiences being misdiagnosed with autism, depression, bullying, PTSD, and other issues.

I’ve said it once and will continue to say it for the remainder of my life: being misdiagnosed effs up your life.  My life was effed up for years and I’m still dealing with the consequences today.

While I have a supportive family, animation, comic books, and puppetry really become the things that made my worth living.  Take a listen and hear part of my story.  I say part because I haven’t written the rest yet.  (Aren’t I poetic? HA!)

Episode 30: “Interview” With Frank Welker

I made this last year as an April Fool’s joke that got out way too late.  It was an attempt at coming back from hiatus the first time, but no dice.

I would love the chance to interview the real Frank Welker, but he’s harder to pin down than me during tax season.  Did I just write that?  Oh boy…I pay my taxes, I swear unless my CPA is pocketing my money and running.  That would explain why he took off to Bermuda and has an office there now…

While I investigate my CPA, enjoy this “interview” with cartoon voice over king, Mr. Frank Welker.

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 BeastThe Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.  Brenda Chapman has since embarked on an independent creative career with her husband, director Kevin Lima.

episode-29

  • 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.

Links

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Toon-In Talk Episode 28: Interview with DragonCon’s Dan Carroll

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.

 

episode-28

  • DragonCon is a totally volunteer run convention located in Atlanta, GA.
  • Whitney and Dan both love the diversity of programming available to attendees. The program topics range from the classic sci-fi shows like Star Wars and Star Trek to science, puppetry, podcasting, animation, anime/manga, and, this year, boy bands!
  • DragonCon is also a huge music festival within a convention featuring singers and musicians from all genres.
  • One of the new things for 2016 are the Dragon Awards! The Dragon Awards honor individuals in literary, TV, film, and other mediums who have made extraordinary contributions to science fiction and fantasy anniversary.
  • The Dragon Awards also celebrate DragonCon’s 30th. anniversary.
  • DragonCon is four days log with over 3500 hours of programming. These hours include performances, lectures, presentations, and dances. DragonCon is alive 24/7 during Labor Day weekend!
  • Whitney and Dan both encourage DragonCon attendees to take care of themselves by showering, eat two meals, and get at least five hours of sleep. Also don’t forget to wear deodorant in the Georgia heat to avoid the con-funk.
  • The best way to ensure attendees have the best DragonCon experience is to download and use the DragonCon app to make a schedule, view programming, and rate programs.
  • Brian Henson and several other famous puppeteers are going to be there, much to Whitney’s excitement. The cast of iZombie, William Shatner, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon cast members, Mystery Science Theater folks, and Adult Swim guests will be in attendance.
  • As for voice actors, Jason Marsden, Will Freidle,Christy Carlson Romano Dino Andrade, Bob Bergen, Trevor Devall, Rikki Simmons, Richard Horvitz, and Monica Rial.
  • Whitney is a huge Labyrinth fan and this year is its 30th anniversary as well. The Center for Puppetry Arts is holding a masquerade ball with original props and puppets from the 1986 film. Unfortunately, that has sold out. However, there will be more Labyrinth based programming at DragonCon.
  • DragonCon does host two sports: professional wrestling and robot battles. In Whitney’s defense, some people do attempt to play Quidditch sans broom.
  • DragonCon could officially become a five-day event in the future.
  • One day Whitney hopes to be a guest at DragonCon with her book on Lotte Reiniger.
  • The DragonCon Masquerade Parade is the most popular event and this year it will be broadcast on network television.
  • DragonCon limits the amount of time reporters spend with guests, so they too, can enjoy the convention.
  • The shopping has expanded as has the art show, comic creators area, and gaming.
  • Dragon expects to have 75,000 attendees this year, when in past years they only had 28,000.
  • DragonCon has a huge programming track for animation fans. There is Kaleidoscope, a tween-based animation track, and then the animation track itself that covers a variety of topics related to the medium.
  • Dan Carroll has fun at DragonCon by practicing his stand-up comedy at Project Cosplay.
  • DragonCon has a staunch anti-harassment policy for all attendees so they fell safe and can have fun.
  • Whitney and Dan hope Toon-In Talk listeners visit DragonCon this year.


Links

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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.

Episode 27

  • 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!

Links

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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.

Episode 26

  • 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.

Links

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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.
Episode 25

 

  • 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.

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    Photo: DreamWorks Animation (DreamWorks Dragons: Race To The Edge © 2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved)

  • 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.

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    Photo: DreamWorks Animation (DreamWorks Dragons: Race To The Edge © 2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved)

  • 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.

Link

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