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Author Topic: Don Bluth Returns to Walt Disney Animation Studios After 40 Years
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Lavalle Lee
Post Don Bluth Returns to Walt Disney Animation Studios After 40 Years
on: July 17, 2018, 15:13
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After 40 years, Don Bluth returns to Walt Disney Animation Studios. This was something for the history books. I am extremely grateful that I got to be part of these moments & talks of the future. Why was Don Bluth at Disney Animation you ask? Well, some of that must remain a SECRET! However, I can discuss some of the experiences we had and include some photos!

<strong><span style="font-size:22pt">Let's begin!</span></strong>

Upon entering the Walt Disney Animation Studios through the Sorcerer's Hat, we met with Steve Anderson, the director of Meet the Robinsons and Winnie the Pooh. We came upon spiral staircase, once you get to the top the first thing you see is John Lasseter's office. Tons of toys in a glass office where you can see where he once worked. We stopped for a photo.

[caption id="attachment_5197" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthJohnLasseter.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthJohnLasseter-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee at John Lasseter's Office" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5197" /></a> Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee at John Lasseter's Office[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5209" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthSteveAnderson.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthSteveAnderson-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Steve Anderson at John Lasseter's Office" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5209" /></a> Don Bluth & Steve Anderson at John Lasseter's Office[/caption]

We continued walking the halls with Steve, he showed us around the walls where they placed Disney Animation art from the past. We couldn't spend too much time here because we had appointments, but next time I hope we can!

[caption id="attachment_5199" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthatDisney1.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthatDisney1-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth discussing Disney Art" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5199" /></a> Don Bluth discussing Disney Art[/caption]

Once through, we came upon the production of Frozen 2 (we can't show any of this, sorry!), then continued to the directors' offices. There we met with Disney director Ron Clements. I took a picture of Ron and Don and, I just had to ask for a picture too. 🙂

[caption id="attachment_5200" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthRonClements.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthRonClements-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Ron Clements" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5200" /></a> Don Bluth & Ron Clements[/caption]

<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/LavalleLeeRonClements.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/LavalleLeeRonClements-750x563.png" alt="LavalleLee&RonClements" width="750" height="563" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5201" /></a>

After meeting with Ron Clements, we continued down the offices and ran into Burny Mattinson. It was great listening to the stories between Burny & Don and their time together working for Walt Disney himself. Burny has been at the Walt Disney company the longest out of all the animation artists. He was very humble and nice to talk with. He had to run, but said he would join us later for lunch.

We continued down the hall and met with Howard Green, Don spotted him right away and said, "Howard!". We chatted for a bit and Howard insisted we go downstairs where they were animating "Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2". None of us were going to turn down that invitation! We went downstairs through the common area (small cafeteria), to a hall where it said, <strong>"No Unauthorized People Beyond this Point"</strong>. We just walked right through with Howard & Steve and could hear all the animators clicking away at their mouses animating scenes for Wreck-It Ralph 2.

We walked down the halls to some of the offices and met Mark Henn! To our SURPRISE! Mark was working on a Disney Traditional Animation desk! This was a sight to see! Nothing makes me more happy to see hand-drawn animation still being done at Disney in some shape or form.

<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthMarkHennLavalleLee.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/DonBluthMarkHennLavalleLee-750x563.png" alt="DonBluthMarkHennLavalleLee" width="750" height="563" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-5207" /></a>

We continued (I sure use this word a lot..lol) down the halls of Wreck-It Ralph 2 and went in to one of the animation rooms with some of the animators. Bert Klein the creator of "Pups of Liberty" a hand-drawn animated short series was there said, "Hey, it's Lavalle Lee!". To my surprise, I finally get to meet Bert in person! Bert gave Don the rundown of CG animation, and showed the scene he was working on and how they use live-action reference when animating digitally in CG.

[caption id="attachment_5214" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/LavalleLeeBertKleinDonBluth.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/LavalleLeeBertKleinDonBluth-750x563.png" alt="Lavalle Lee, Bert Klein, and Don Bluth" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5214" /></a> Lavalle Lee, Bert Klein, and Don Bluth[/caption]

It was time for LUNCH! So we headed over the the executive building to eat at the Rotunda surrounded by the suits. Again, being a fly on the wall listening to all the stories between Burny & Don working for Walt and being trained by the 9 Old Men. I can't even explain how awesome this was. The waiter serving us remembered Don from his time there, which I thought was pretty funny. We all posed for a picture afterwards.

[caption id="attachment_5215" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BurnySteveDonLavalleHoward.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BurnySteveDonLavalleHoward-750x563.png" alt="From the Left: Burny Mattinson, Steve Anderson, Don Bluth, Lavalle Lee, Howard Green" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5215" /></a> From the Left: Burny Mattinson, Steve Anderson, Don Bluth, Lavalle Lee, Howard Green[/caption]

On our way out we took a photo of Burny and Don infront of "The Legends Plaza".

[caption id="attachment_5216" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BurnyMattinsonDonBluth.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/BurnyMattinsonDonBluth-750x563.png" alt="Burny Mattinson & Don Bluth in front of The Legends Plaza" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5216" /></a> Burny Mattinson & Don Bluth in front of The Legends Plaza[/caption]

Once we were all done with lunch, Howard invited us to take a tour of Walt Disney's original office. Everything was in it's original place and you could just feel in the atmosphere and the history.

[caption id="attachment_5242" align="aligncenter" width="563"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AnimationBuildingDonLavalle.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AnimationBuildingDonLavalle-563x750.png" alt="Animation Building Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee" width="563" height="750" class="size-large wp-image-5242" /></a> Animation Building Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee[/caption]

I will just place these here:

[caption id="attachment_5218" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsOfficeGuestbook.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsOfficeGuestbook-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Office Guestbook" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5218" /></a> Walt's Office Guestbook[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5219" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsAwards.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsAwards-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Awards" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5219" /></a> Walt's Awards[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5220" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecretary.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecretary-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Secretary" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5220" /></a> Walt's Secretary[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5221" align="aligncenter" width="563"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsAshtray.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsAshtray-563x750.png" alt="Walt's Ashtray" width="563" height="750" class="size-large wp-image-5221" /></a> Walt's Ashtray[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5230" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsDesk.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsDesk-750x563.png" alt="Walt Disney's Original Desk" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5230" /></a> Walt Disney's Original Desk[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5222" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsPiano.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsPiano-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Office Piano" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5222" /></a> Walt's Office Piano[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5223" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsBookshelf.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsBookshelf-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Office Bookshelf" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5223" /></a> Walt's Office Bookshelf[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5224" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltDisneyDeskDonLavalle.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltDisneyDeskDonLavalle-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee in front of Walt Disney's Desk" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5224" /></a> Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee in front of Walt Disney's Desk[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5229" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltDisneyDeskAnimators.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltDisneyDeskAnimators-750x563.png" alt="From Left: Howard Green, Burny Mattinson, Don Bluth, Steve Anderson, Lavalle Lee" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5229" /></a> From Left: Howard Green, Burny Mattinson, Don Bluth, Steve Anderson, Lavalle Lee[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5225" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/OffWithHisHead.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/OffWithHisHead-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Desk Statuettes " width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5225" /></a> Walt's Desk Statuettes [/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5226" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsOfficeDonBurny.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsOfficeDonBurny-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Burny Mattinson in front of Walt's Bar" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5226" /></a> Don Bluth & Burny Mattinson in front of Walt's Bar[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5227" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsDeskDrunk.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsDeskDrunk-750x486.png" alt="Item's on Walt's Desk" width="750" height="486" class="size-large wp-image-5227" /></a> Item's on Walt's Desk[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5228" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecondOffice.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecondOffice-750x563.png" alt="Walt's Second Back Office" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5228" /></a> Walt's Second Back Office[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5231" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecondOfficeDonLavalle.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsSecondOfficeDonLavalle-750x563.png" alt="Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee in Walt's Second Back Office" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5231" /></a> Don Bluth & Lavalle Lee in Walt's Second Back Office[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5232" align="aligncenter" width="563"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/EdWynn.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/EdWynn-563x750.png" alt="Ed Wynn Photo" width="563" height="750" class="size-large wp-image-5232" /></a> Ed Wynn Photo[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5233" align="aligncenter" width="563"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsReport.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/WaltsReport-563x750.png" alt="Walt's Report" width="563" height="750" class="size-large wp-image-5233" /></a> Walt's Report[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_5234" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ProductionStaff.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ProductionStaff-750x563.png" alt="Production Staff Model Sheet" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5234" /></a> Production Staff Model Sheet[/caption]

Now I must tell you, if you ever and I mean EVER get a change to visit Walt Disney's original office. DO IT! To think this was the office where Walt met with so many talented people, made decisions that changed American history and so much more. This is something I will never forget and always cherish.

Once we finished the tour of Disney's office, we had a few very important things left to do. But we will save that for another time.

[caption id="attachment_5237" align="aligncenter" width="750"]<a href="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ExecutiveBuilding.png"><img src="http://www.traditionalanimation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ExecutiveBuilding-750x563.png" alt="Executive Building" width="750" height="563" class="size-large wp-image-5237" /></a> Executive Building[/caption]

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