A project nearly two years in the making, finally getting near the end of the initial phase of development and near the beginning of the first publication detailing the history of Disney Television Animation.
Dear fellow animation fan,
For the past two years I’ve been gathering all the information available on the history of Disney Television Animation to write a book about the history of the division, the people and the shows they produced.
“Why?" you may ask. Because I’ve been waiting for a book on this subject myself for over a decade. I used to scour the forums and fan sites for information, often finding that a lot of it contradicts other sources or has no official source at all. So I want to settle this once and for all. What first started as an idea to chronicle the first twenty years quickly grew out of proportion. The people I interviewed often said that one decade in itself contained so much information, that the book would be hard to read and handle. The result is the first volume of a series chronicling the history of the division on a per decade basis.
But there is one bump in the process: although I have all the information I need to deliver an interesting read, I also want to offer you an interesting book to look at. I located many of the original show pitches and development artwork, but to feature these in the book, I will have to pay The Walt Disney Company to license the images. Licensing is a quite expensive process that neither the publisher or myself can carry to show the artwork to you. To break even on the cost of just one image, we would have to sell ten books… and that is not counting the costs to print and distribute the books.
The book features information collected from many sources. Let me show you what I'm working with and what information I can offer you in return:
Sourcing from a number of private archives, often held by former employees, the resources cover a lot of ground not only in production, but also on the inner workings of the studio, contact with overseas studios, budgets for the productions, invitations for screenings, studio parties and interesting insights of how many ideas changed between the inception of the idea and the completion of the first scripts for a new series.
Dig in to the world of animation and learn more about the different stages of animation production, taking a look at pre-production, the overseas animation and post production. I’ll present a closer look to a few hit series, with a very detailed overview of one of the hit shows of the Disney Afternoon.
A detailed view on the development of the shows that ended up on the screen, but also an interesting look at how many shows changed during pre-production. Ever wondered how Double-O Duck differed from Darkwing Duck and what sort of adventures he would’ve gone on? What Gus Monigan and Colt Cheddarson were up to in Metro Mice before they were replaced by Chip ’n’ Dale to end up as the Rescue Rangers? What DuckTales would’ve been like if Duckburg was a city on an egg shaped planet in outer space? Or how they turned B Players around in a few weeks to create TaleSpin?
The book does not only focus on the shows that made it to television screens around the world, but there will also be a big chapter on the shows that didn’t make it. Some ending at the idea stage of development, while others would be developed to pitches with artwork and completed scripts.
While the shows were developed in Los Angeles, an unfinished episode would spend most of its production time overseas at one of the many studios that Disney employed or opened overseas to deal with the actual animation. I will offer you a history told by the personnel who were at the main overseas studios (Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, London and in the second volume Vancouver and Toronto) and how Disney picked their first subcontractor, TMS, that would eventually grow a Disney operated studio
The information in the book is not only sourced from documents, but also on the stories told by the people who were there. Having spent half of 2015 in Los Angeles meeting with a lot of people, using Skype, telephone and e-mail, the oral sources for this volume go well over 200 hours of information from more than 140 persons involved (not counting the sources collected for the second volume) at the many different levels of production. From animators to producers and storyboard artists to executive directors. And I’m still taking interviews to get the most complete view on the history of the division.
Sadly not all of the information and materials I found during my research are suitable for the book. Audio (auditions, song demos, …), video (complete storyboard comparisons, television promos and specials, recording sessions) and artwork. So head to http://www.dtacentral.com to have a look at an interesting part of Disney Television Animation history. Just remember that the daily updated blog is just the tip of the iceberg!
So to come to a conclusion: I need your help to get the artwork published. What will you get in return? As a backer, you will get the book when it is published as a thank you for your support and you will get a mention in the book to acknowledge our appreciation and your support.
Another perk is an exclusive blu ray (or dvd, if you prefer) with exclusive storyboard reels, audio and other media that won’t be published online OR sold. I’m talking about media that should have been extras on the official dvd sets (if they put an effort into it). You can find a taste of what I’m talking about on the blog.
Please join me in this adventure by visiting the blog often and supporting the crowdfunding campaign to license as many images as possible.
Risks and challenges
My goal is to have the book ready to ship by October, but the finished manuscript and ALL the images I want included, must be approved by Disney's legal department. If they don't agree with a part of the content, I have to change it and resubmit the manuscript and images again. This process could cause a delay in the actual printing and publishing of the book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (50 days)