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RON-N-JOHN

RON-N-JOHN

Two great directors, one name, multiple successes. A rare one on two spotlight interview with this award winning team of directors.  Two identities, two names, work as one. “RonandJohn”. Trained by and standing on the shoulders of the Nine Old Men the chain of inspiration is personified with Ron-n-John as they took the Disney animation legacy into the next generation and set the standard for an animation era. Find out about the genesis of how this partnership was created, how they work together and hear insider information from this rare interview with RonandJohn. (Special Surprise Guests)

Moderated by Clay Katis of Animation Podcast recently completed work on Disney Animation’s enormously successful CG film, Tangled. He was responsible for overseeing the animation team, guiding the hair and cloth team and working with the modeling and rigging departments to build the characters.

Prior to working on Tangled, Kaytis was one of the Supervising Animators on Disney Animation’s Bolt. The character he supervised was  the hilarious, super-fan Rhino. During his sixteen year career at Disney, Kaytis has served as an animator on films such as Meet the Robinsons, Chicken Little, Home on the Range, Treasure Planet, The Emperor’s New Groove and Fantasia 2000.

Kaytis was born and raised in Orange, California.

Ron Clements has emerged as one of the top talents in the field of animation today, and his gentle humor, visual integrity and strong story sensibilities have helped to attract a wider audience than ever before to animated feature films. Along with his directing partner, John Musker, Clements has dedicated himself to expanding the Disney legacy and taking the art of animation in exciting new directions.

Born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa, Clements traces his interest in animation to his first viewing of Pinocchio at the age of 10. As a teenager, he began making super-8 animated films, including Shades of Sherlock Holmes, a 15-minute featurette he animated single-handedly. Shades won critical acclaim and led to a part-time job as an artist at a television station, where he animated commercials for the local market. Several years later, Shades helped Clements get a job at Disney and also served as the inspiration for The Great Mouse Detective, which he wrote and directed with Musker.

After graduating from high school, Clements came to California to try his luck at animation. Because there were no openings at Disney, he worked for several months at Hanna-Barbera while studying life drawing in the evening at Art Center. With persistence and determination, Clements was finally accepted into Disney’s Talent Development Program, a training ground for young animators. His self-taught experience and ambition made up for his lack of formal training.

After successfully completing the training program, Clements served a two-year apprenticeship under Disney legend Frank Thomas. He quickly progressed through the ranks from inbetweener to assistant to animator-storyman. His credits include Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too, The Rescuers, Pete’s Dragon, The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron.

Clements made his writing-directing debut (with Musker) on the 1986 Disney animated feature The Great Mouse Detective. Following that, he successfully pitched an animated version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Little Mermaid, which reteamed Clements and Musker as co-writers and co-directors and became one of the studio’s greatest artistic and commercial achievements. Musker and Clements went on to write and direct two of the funniest and most memorable animated features ever – Aladdin and Hercules. Clements and Musker’s next project was Treasure Planet, the swashbuckling intergalactic adventure based on the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

In 2009, Clements and Musker joined forces once again to usher traditional, hand-drawn animation back to Walt Disney Animation Studios with the animated fairy tale, The Princess and the Frog. Currently, they are working together on a project in development.

Clements and his wife, Tami, live in the San Fernando Valley.

John Musker continues to be a major force in the art of animation and one of Disney’s greatest resources. From The Little Mermaid and Aladdin to the epic comedy Hercules, his irreverent wit, strong visual style and unconventional approach to storytelling helped to create some of the most successful films in motion picture history.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Musker first began drawing while in grammar school and knew by the age of 8 that he wanted to become an animator. Inspired by such Disney classics as Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio, as well as Bob Thomas’ primer The Art of Animation, he developed a thorough understanding of the animation process. His fascination with comics, cartoons and Mad Magazine further stimulated his desire to draw.

At Loyola Academy, a Jesuit high school in Wilmette, Illinois, Musker became a cartoonist for the school paper. His special brand of caricature, which included outrageous sketches of teachers and school celebrities, quickly caught on. This preoccupation with caricature and cartooning continued throughout his college years at Northwestern University, where he majored in English and drew cartoons for The Daily Northwestern.

Following graduation from college in 1974, Musker put together a portfolio and set out for California to pursue a career as an animator. Initially rejected by Disney, he enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts the following year to master his craft.

After completing his first year, which included a summer internship at the Disney studio, he was offered a full-time job as an animator. This time Musker turned it down, opting instead to complete the second year of his training.

In 1977, Musker started work at Disney, where his two training tests were enthusiastically received and he began as an assistant animator on The Small One. He also animated on The Fox and the Hound and did story work on The Black Cauldron.

Musker and Clements joined creative forces in 1983 to write The Great Mouse Detective and went on to co-direct the film along with Burny Mattinson and Dave Michener. This successful collaboration led to a reteaming on The Little Mermaid, the award-winning film that helped to revitalize feature animation at Disney and generate new excitement for the genre as a whole. Since then, Musker and Clements have co-written and co-directed two of the funniest and most memorable animated features ever, Aladdin and Hercules. Their next project was the Disney animated feature Treasure Planet, a swashbuckling intergalactic adventure based on the classic novel Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Of his successful partnership with Ron Clements, Musker says, “We’re both relatively agreeable Midwestern types, and we each have slightly different strengths and approaches. Ron is more structure-oriented and makes sure that the overall story doesn’t disintegrate during the course of too many rewrites. I tend to be more concerned with specific details and gags. We constantly go over each other’s scenes and drafts and add new ideas and suggestions in the process.”

In 2009, Clements and Musker joined forces once again to usher traditional, hand-drawn animation back to Walt Disney Animation Studios with the animated fairy tale, The Princess and the Frog. Currently, they are working together on a project in development.

Musker and his wife, Gale, whom he met at Disney, have three children (including twins). They live in La Cañada, California.



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