Archives for : Dreamland Chronicles

Claire Keane’s Once Upon A Cloud Review

Once Upon a Cloud
Written & Illustrated by Claire Keane
Dial Books
ISBN: 978-0803739116

Originally posted at

I recently went to a Barnes and Noble, one of the few remaining in my town, and I visited the children’s section. To my astonishment, about 80% of the books were a TV tie-in. The remaining 20% were classics that had been around for decades and there was very little new, original works, except for one by Claire Keane.tumblr_nknllbi5Uq1qcx6iuo1_500

In 2014, I interviewed Claire Keane, who is part of an American art legacy that spans three generations. Her grandfather was Bil Keane, the Family Circus cartoonist, and her father is Glen Keane, a prominent Disney Renaissance animator. In her own right, Claire possesses an art talent that strides away from her forbearers and takes a sudden spin into her own unique style and creativity (although you can see Disney and Family Circus influences in her work). For several years, Claire worked as a visual development artist at the Walt Disney Animation Studios. She worked side by side with her father on Tangled, based off the Rapunzel fairy tale. One of Rapunzel’s hobbies while being stuck in the tower is painting and Claire lent the character her own works of art to decorate the animated prison. Before she decided to strike out on her own, she also worked on the critical and financial success Frozen during its early inception.


Claire’s body of work attracted a publisher’s attention and she signed a deal to write and illustrate children’s books for Dial Books. Children’s literature is the perfect outlet for Claire to use her artistic skills. Her first book is called Once Upon A Cloud and it proves that she not only is a gifted artist, she is also a great storyteller. While having a successful career, Claire is also the mother of two young children and from the very beginning she wrote Once Upon A Cloud with them in mind.tumblr_na9emg84NG1qcx6iuo4_1280

It is about a little girl named Celeste who wants to give her mother a gift, but not just any gift, though. Celeste wants to give the most perfect gift ever! Celeste searches all over to find the perfect gift, journeying straight into the sky and visits many celestial beings, however, none of the items she encounters feel right. When Celeste returns home, she discovers what the perfect gift is and, of course, her mother loves it!

To illustrate Once Upon A Cloud, Claire used luscious pastels to fill every page with detailed scenery for Celeste to wander through. Claire relies more on a visual narrative to tell Celeste’s journey and she includes small, sweet details, like a little dog as a travel companion to augment, the story. Her color selection is very calming, which make the book an ideal story to read before bedtime or to express sentimentality if given as a present. tumblr_na9emg84NG1qcx6iuo8_1280

Once Upon A Cloud is sure to gain Claire a sterling reputation in the children’s picture book community and is a charming first venture into the medium.


Toon-In-Talk Episode 02: Interview with Scott Christian Sava

Epiosode 2

Hello and welcome to the second episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvouz for animation interviews. This episode features the animation jack-of-all-trades Scott Christian Sava, who is currently writing and directing the brand new animated feature film Animal Crackers. Scott is known for his animated work for such studios as Cartoon Network, Disney, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Universal, Lucas Film, and more. He’s also written the excellent webcomic The Dreamland Chronicles. In episode two, Whitney and Scott talk about his career.

Listen to Episode 02 brought to you by Fanboy Nation: Interview with Scott Christian Sava.

Show Notes

  • Whitney gets some housekeeping out of the way: check out the new Toon-In Talk Website and feel free to contact her about suggesting or being a guest on the show.
  • Naybeth Díaz designed the extra cool Toon-In Talk logo and cover art.
  • Whitney shares some details on her new book about Lotte Reiniger and the first animated movie ever created.
  • Scott is storyteller. He writes the thrilling webcomic The Dreamland Chronicles and recently he started production on a full length animated movie called Animal Crackers.
  • Another of his books The Luckiest Boy was put into production buy another studio.
  • In 1990, became an intern at Sega and tried his hand at being an animator. He worked animation jobs during the day and worked on comic books at night.
  • He never had any groundbreaking training in animation, just tried his hand at many things.
  • Scott was doing A LOT work for Haim Saban Entertainment’s Power Rangers. Because he received so much work, Scott decided to form Blue Dream Studio to keep up with the input.
    Blue Dream kept growing and it has done work for Spider-Man, X-Files, Alien vs. Predator, and more.
  • Blue Dream speciality is character animation. They’ve fleshed out TV pilots for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon as well as animation for videogames.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles is inspired by Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland.
  • Scott draws his inspiration from other people’s work and says his own creations are amalgamation of them.
  • Before he started Animal Crackers, Scott didn’t think he could write a script. Through encouragement, he wrote a script and some animation contacts helped him get production started.
  • During the process, he learned that he had to become to producer to get the movie made.
  • Tony Bancroft will be co-directing the movie with Scott. Tony was a Disney animator who worked at the Mouse House during the Disney Renaissance.
  • Dean Lorey will be the writer and he’s worked on Arrested Development, My Wife and Kids, and Major Pain.
  • To find a character designer, Scott did an IMDB search of movies he like. He signed Carter Goodrich for the character designer and he’s worked on Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., and The Croods.
  • To create the Animal Crackers short, Scott put on his producer hat and persuaded his animation friends to make it.
  • The movie is about a guy named Owen who inherits a circus and a box of animal crackers from his uncle. He learns that the animal crackers are magical and transform the eater into whatever animal the shape of the cookie is.
  • Whitney and Scott talk about magical animal cookie logistics.
  • Scott is also the art director for his film and might even do a voice. It’s a small budget film, so he’ll be doing a lot of jobs on the movie.
  • Scott explains what a bondsman is and Whitney wonders if he’s taking lessons from The Thief and the Cobbler.
  • Whitney is curious about who will be providing music for the movie and Scott wants to see if he can do a rock n’ roll cover of Shirley Temple’s “Animal Crackers.”
  • Scott’s sons and his extended family want parts in the film.
  • The movie is projected to come out in fall 2016.
  • Whitney tries to guess who the film’s distributor is.