Monday, March 20, 2006
Sorry I’ve been away for awhile. I was in Toronto again putting the finishing touches on yet another Veggietales episode to be released this summer.
But that’s not what this long overdue posting is about. You may have noticed that I recently added a new link to my list over on the right hand side – a link to a site all about storyman, Bill Peet.
Bill Peet has long been an inspiration of mine. I read his books as a kid, and naturally, his films at Disney appealed to me as well. So, today, I want to take a closer look at his art, and why I love it.
Bill (I say “Bill” like I knew the man. I wish.) was a great draughtsman. He wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen. In recent years, especially, there are many artists abounding across the net who are more accomplished in their drawings, whose styles lead the way. And I look to all of them in admiration (and for inspiration). And each of them, from Ronnie del Carmen to Steven Silver to John Nevarez would all take off their respective hats to Mr. Peet.
Take a good long look at Peet’s drawings. They are solid. They are clear. They are entertaining. They are the kind of drawings that make an animator say, “I want to do that shot! I can see exactly how it should be.” His clarity and staging was a great springboard for an animator’s imagination. An average animator couldn’t mess up a Peet scene and a great animator would take it and run with it and make it even greater.
Legend has it that Bill Peet storyboarded most of “101 Dalmatians” single-handedly (along with an assistant or two). Quite a feat, to say the least. Although, Joe Grant might have taken issue with that claim. (He told me once that Bill’s autobiography should have been titled “For the Love of Peet”. )
Naturally, Walt had many other extremely talented story artists, like Joe Grant, Vance Gerry, Jack Kinney, etc. All of whom made great contributions to many of my favorite films (especially Gerry’s work on “Jungle Book”). But Bill Peet’s work strikes a chord with me. His tales are simple and fun, just like his drawings.
P.S. Bill's last name was originally "Peed". I guess he got tired of all the jokes and had it changed.