Is there anything better than spending a day surrounded by Disney magic? The food tastes better, people never stop smiling, and just when you think you have the studio figured out, you stumble into a new prop room stuff full of more Disney magic. Combined together, it is almost too much to handle. So when I recently found myself standing on the set of the Disney Interactive “Phineas and Ferb” Animash event, I had to continuously pinch myself to make sure it wasn’t a Disney mirage.
The first of its kind, the Disney Animash event brought together 16 up-and-coming animators from colleges all around Southern California to create, in just five hours, an animated short incorporating characters from Disney’s animated series “Phineas and Ferb” and those of their own imagination. Created by animators Dan Povenmire and Swampy Marsh, “Phineas and Ferb” has become one of the most popular shows on the Disney Channel and follows the summer break adventures of stepbrothers Phineas Flynn and Ferb Fletcher. The purpose of Disney’s Animash event was to inspire the imaginations of young animators, and through the stories of Dan and Swampy, let the Animash students know that pursuing a career in animation, while challenging, is possible.
Before the event began, animators were given a picture of a “Phineas and Ferb” character along with an emotion they were asked to depict. Every 10 minutes, the artists rotated seats around the eight drawing tables and, from the last frame left for them by the previous person, continued the animations. During the event, animators had the chance to talk — and of course draw — with creators Swampy and Dan. Dan and Swampy’s golden advice: Have confidence in your lines. Give your character inner life so that you feel their emotion in each animation (Advice that I believe will make me a Pictionary champion).
The final product was just released by Disney Interactive, and in a four and half-minute video, brings to life the thousands of drawings created by the group of Animash animators. Drawing side by side, professional animators and novices alike came away from the event knowing they had contributed to a one-of-a-kind animated video that would leave viewers doodling in their notebooks for the rest of the day.
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