Aug 29, 2009


The amazing Hiyao Miyazaki and his animation team at Studio Ghibli agreed to work with the Disney Animation Studios to create Miyazaki's re-telling of the traditional fairytale of the Little Mermaid.
It is the tale of a magical goldfish (voiced by Noah Cyrus) that wishes to break free from her overbearing, wizard of a father (voiced by Liam Neeson), and become human to maintain a friendship with a five-year-old boy (Frankie Jonas) in a nearby seaside village. Although he has loving parents (Tina Fey and Matt Damon) his father is rarely home so they have their own issues to work out.

Interview segment from AWN.COM's Bill Desowitz

AWN: How do come up with your worlds?

Hayao Miyazaki: I do all my work on storyboard, so as I draw my storyboard, the world gets more and more complex. And as a result, my north, south, east, west sense of direction kind of shift and go off base. But it seems like my staff as well as the audience don't quite realize that this is happening. Don't tell them about it.

AWN: How important is it to get elements [about preserving the environment] into your films?

HM: The most important thing is, I think, that even within such an environment, children grow up, they learn to love and they enjoy living in that environment.

AWN: What was the original inspiration for Ponyo?

HM: I think John Lasseter knows as well, but it's really hard to explain what becomes the motivation or the instigation to do a film. I feel like I'm searching in my subconscious with a fishing net and I happened upon catching a goldfish in that net and that was the inspiration for starting to make this movie.

read more here...

New AstroBoy Poster!

The Playhouse project

what will you draw on Dublin’s Liberty Hall?

re-blogged from
Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

What would you draw on one of Dublin’s most recognizable buildings? Your name in lights? A giant tetris animation? A stickman walking? A giant pen? Is that unrealistic? It’s basically filling in lots of squares! It’s your canvas and you can do as you wish with it. and the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival – September 24 to October 11 – are taking one of Dublin’s tallest buildings and allowing you to play with it. All you have to do is download their software and animate your thoughts to be broadcast onto the city skyline.

Just head on over to here and use playhousefan as password. That’s pre-launch information, that.

It’s easy enough, honest. Who knows what you could put up there!

Basically Liberty Hall will be a a 50 metre, low resolution, TV screen. You can create animations with sounds and music via the website and get them onto the building. Powering the display are 100,000 low-energy LED lights, installed into 330 windows on the south and west faces of the building. These lights can illuminate each window as a solid colour turning it into a tiny pixel that’s part of a giant display.

A narrow strip of ultra-bright LEDs were installed into every window frame along with a small controller box. The controllers connect to the central computer using existing CAT5 network cabling in the building – meaning the team didn’t need to install any additional wiring.

Peter Donegan will no doubt be glad to hear that the LEDs used are super-efficient. Each floor of the installation uses less energy than a standard kettle. Overall the lighting technology carried a tiny footprint, meaning it could be installed for a full two months before the project started without impacting the people that work there.

There’s a big team behind the project, born from a series of conversations and connections made in the Science Gallery . Originally inspired by the Blinkenlights installation in Berlin, Playhouse raises the technological bar with the ability to produce colour animations. SOme of the people involved include Adrián Acosta, Brian Fallon, founder of Daft,ie, Carina McGrail, Tim Redfern, Jack Phelan, Jonny McCauley and Ruaidhrí Devery from

You can find out all this over on the Playhouse website or follow the Playhouse project on twitter at

Here’s a look at what they did at Blinkenlights in Berlin:

School Starts Once Again

Hi SMFA animation folks! It's time for the 2009-10 school year to kick in, and we're looking forward to some great new changes. There are new state-of-the-art digital cameras in our studio, so be sure to check them out. Many thanks to Joel and Greg for taking care of that for us!

A REMINDER to all SMFA animation students: YOU can post on this blog site. Check the studio for password and ID.