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Animation Mentor to Host Tribute to Frank and Ollie at SIGGRAPH


For those of you attending SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles this year, Animation Mentor will be hosting a panel discussion and tribute to the life and work of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston on Wednesday, August 13, 2008.

Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of Disney's famed Nine Old Men, were part of a team of animators who created Disney's most famous works. Frank and Ollie's historic work includes Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and their acclaimed book on animation The Illusion of Life.

This event will reveal the past and future of animation through the eyes of true genius and will include a conversation about animation with contemporary animation legends from Disney Studios, DreamWorks Animation SKG, and others who were inspired by Frank and Ollie. The panel will be followed by a short documentary by Animation Mentor of never-before-seen interview footage of these two animation legends.

“We are truly honored to host this tribute for two beloved animators who have been an instrumental part of animation history and have entertained and inspired so many,” said Bobby Beck, CEO and cofounder of Animation Mentor.  “We are thrilled to bring such a phenomenal group of talented animators who learned from Frank and Ollie and share a passion for the world of animation.  The ability to also share Frank and Ollie's thoughts on animation through rare interview footage will be a special gift that we are proud to give to the world.”

Tom Sito, a professional animator and adjunct professor of animation at University of California Los Angeles and University of Southern California, will lead the panel discussion.  Other panelists include:

  • Don Hahn, Disney Studios. Hahn is a two-time Academy Award winner and film producer responsible for producing some of the most successful Walt Disney animated films of the past 20 years, including Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.
  • David Burgess, DreamWorks Animation SKG. Currently the Head of Character Animation on Monsters vs. Aliens (in production), his previous credits include Supervising Animator on Over the Hedge, Tarzan, and The Lion King, and animator on Madagascar, Shrek 2 and Aladdin. Burgess is also a mentor for Animation Mentor.
  • Kevin Koch, animation director at Medical Cyberworlds, president of the Animation Guild, and mentor for Animation Mentor. Work includes Quest for Camelot, Prince of Egypt, Sinbad, Shrek 2, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, and Terra.
  • Theodore (Ted) Thomas is an independent film director, writer and producer, and National Emmy Award-winner. He is the son of the late Frank Thomas and wrote, directed and produced the documentary film Frank and Ollie. Other films include Where the Toys Come From and Walt & El Grupo.

Animation Mentor welcomes all SIGGRAPH 2008 attendees to the event.  Attendance to the tribute requires either Full Conference Access Pass or Computer Animation Festival Pass.

DATE: Wednesday, August 13, 2008
TIME: 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (Doors close at 10:15 a.m.)
LOCATION: Petree Hall D, Los Angeles Convention Center


  1. You start thinking if one of the principals of animation says: You must not hype other gods but us (Nine old men)

    Its amazing how much they keep going about Ollie and Frank, like there were no other doing wonderful animation ...oh well ...

  2. Looks like a nice event with good a strong panel which will shine more light on these inspirational animators gone by. Wish I could attend.

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