John Cawley Just Before Bed...

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12.18.03 - Roy vs Eisner vs Disney
Seems this is the topic on everyone's mind. My main thought is, what difference will it make in the end. Neither Eisner nor Roy are spring chickens. No matter who "triumphs" in this battle, they are looking at only a few more years of running the Disney company. At that time, Disney will become another studio that sees a revolving door of execs. That fact that Eisner has maintained control for 20+ years is a studio record these days. Try to find another major studio who has had the same head for even 10 years! Sony, Universal, Paramount, etc. all get regular shake outs about every have a decade. So whether it ends up being Roy or Eisner leaving Disney in a few years, there is no successor either way.

12.10.03 - Bee Original... Not.
Wow! Dreamworks has a new cgi feature in the works. It is a sly take on the insect world. It features a major comedian in the lead. The comedian's sense of comedy and irony looks at the social order of the insects. If this were 1998, I'd be talking about Woody Allen in ANTZ. However this is a new century, so I'm talking about Jerry Seinfeld in BEE MOVIE.

12.07.03 - In the Public's Eye
Did another successful mascot gig on Friday night, the 5th, as anime superstar Astro Boy! It was for a private studio party. Actually, with Astro Boy being out of the loop for so many years, most of the kids were more interested in the Power Rangers. However, a number of Japanese folks knew exactly who I was. Also, our kids got a bit more visibilty in the recent issue of Carousel News Magazine.

12.03.03 - New Gig and New Thoughts
Looks like I've got a new costume/mascot gig this week - Astro Boy! Should be fun, as I love to suit up. Added some items to Get Animated! Animated Comments.

11.30.03 - A New Beginning
December is upon us. As the month changes, so do many things. At the studio, December means I will be moving into a new challenge. Having successfully launched the first season on MEGAS XLR (formerly called LOWBROW), I am moving over to the development department. Though MEGAS won't debut until Summer 2004, the show is already moving into a second season under the guidance of another seasoned producer. In development, I'll be dealing with many of the newest projects and ideas at the network. Seems for the last decade, studios have often utlized my experience to launch new series (SPIDER-MAN, INVADER ZIM, MEGAS, etc.). Once the ball gets rolling, I'm off to new beginnings.

11.28.03 - Cartoon Quarterly Discovered!
Just discovered a small batch of Cartoon Quarterly. This is the animation publication conceived and edited by myself and Jim Korkis. It had a big publisher, lots of color and fresh approach to covering animation past, present and future! This may be your last chance to buy a copy!

11.27.03 - Thanksgiving
As everyone pauses to give a moment of thanks, I too can be thankful that despite a disastrous fire, our home, and the homes of most of our friends were saved. Sadly, a co-worker did lose his home in the blaze. Our family also had a generally good year. Our newest addition, Luca, continues to be a real beauty. Finally, I can be thankful for another great year in the animation business. Working in animation is one of the best careers around. Though times have definitely changed over the years, it is still a career populated with mostly fun folks.

11.24.03 - The New York Times agrees...
Have noticed several sites showing a NY Times article that repeats a theme I mentioned in my animated comments back in August about letting old characters go. I discussed the aging problem of Warners Bugs and Daffy and Disney's mouse. The NY Times article focuses only on Disney's dilemma. Reminds me of the old days when Get Animated! would come out. A week later, items reported in GA! would suddenly start appearing in trade publications as news.

11.21.03 - Changes and New Pages...
Have been doing some tinkering with pages, looks and links. Even added the "for sale" page (hope it works right) and a new animated comment or two. Should also mention discussed the first Faster! Cheaper! book and sales are getting brisk. If you're thinking of buying one, especially the special edition, it might be wise to order soon.

11.18.03 - The Lost Pages
Discovered I hadn't had time to upload some pages prior to the fire. Mostly reviews, I will try to get them up in the next day or two.

11.16.03 - Still behind
Catching up with home things and work have kept me away from the web stuff. Hope to get all orders out soon. Will also be putting up a batch of stuff for sale that might interest animation folks. Keep a casual eye here.

11.9.03 - Getting back to normal?
More cleaning and re-stocking. Insurance man drops by. Since we had "no damage", there is no coverage. Luckily, our only loss is around $300 worth of food. Would rather have to lose the food money than any personal belongings.

11.8.03 - Back home...
Mandatory evacuation was lifted on the 5th. We were able to come back home today. We are one of the fortunate families. Our home and area look totally untouched. No damage, no ash, no "nothing". The house is rather rancid smelling due to the rotted food, but we're told it will eventually disappate.

On Sunday, the 26th, we were forced to evacuate our home at 4:40am due to the fire danger. We and the kids got out safely. Since then we have been living with a friend. We don't have regular access to a computer. We don't know if our house is still standing. Due to these circumstances, updates will be infrequent for a while. Our hopes go out to the thousands of others who have also been evacuated and/or lost their homes.

Added two new animated feature reviews.

Updated the history of Get Animated. Also finally got Dog Show Daddy up - still small, but at least it's there.

Am amused at the various reviews coming out for BROTHER BEAR and how most are calling it "old fashioned", some as a compliment others as a complaint. Guess folks don't realize Disney films haven't really changed since SNOW WHITE. Disney animated features were pretty much formula film making. It shouldn't be too surprising since whenever they veered away from the soft fantasies, with films from FANTASIA (concert film) to TREASURE PLANET (science fiction), they bombed at the box office. True, playing the same song can be monotonous, but when the public's cyclical tastes return to the mood for a comfortable standard, the music sells. Like the old saying (which I think comes from Charlie Chan), "even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day."

See the animation "news" sites are finally mentioning that Linda Simensky has left Cartoon Network for PBS Kids... around two weeks after the announcement was made! I'm always surprised (and a bit depressed) at how little key news shows up on these sites. So many animation news sites are full of press release material, "sneaks" of upcoming projects or simply fanboy rumors. Seems animation has always gotten second-rate reporting. I was so tired of it back in 1984, I created Get Animated to offer info that could help those actually working in the business. Remember breaking such news as Disney's first shipping of work out of Burbank, network tv's move away from Saturday morning animation, the upcoming end of an animation boom, and the beginning of another.

Just updated the LION KING review to mention the DVD release. Am amused at the uproar (pun somewhat intended) over the fiddling with the feature. It is sad that the only way to see the original theatrical release is to watch the first video release or Laserdisc. But, as reported by me over a decade ago, Disney has been regularly tweeking their films for video. Seems the alterations on such films as BAMBI, FANTASIA, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT and THE RESCUERS weren't as newsworthy. I figure it is probably an example of those films being too much from past generations, while LION KING is something almost everyone grew up with.

Ta-Da! A new layout. Have decided the site wasn't conveying the feel I wanted. At first, I thought I wanted to keep super professional, focusing on my Get Animated! publishing ventures. However, I found it more work than I wanted. Rather than spending time working on writing and re-writing to please my inner-editor, I decided I'd rather try doing something closer to a blog. Just putting my thoughts out. At the same time, building on my other pages to better document my past work and life.