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The animators who move us

April 19, 2007|Alex Chun

Behind every "Lion King" or "Kim Possible," tens if not hundreds of animators go largely unrecognized by the public. Tonight, however, animation fans will have an opportunity to learn more about and meet many of the artists who help create their favorite movie and TV shows at the Van Eaton Galleries' Animation Book Look.

A mini animation convention, the event brings together 19 artists and authors who will sign and talk about their latest animation-related books. Among those slated to attend are Disney chief archivist Dave Smith, animator and Playboy magazine cartoonist Dean Yeagle and character designer Nik Ranieri, whose credits include Disney's "Hercules" and "Beauty and the Beast."

"Animators are bonded in their love of making drawings move, and by seeing the artwork in books and outside the context of movies, hopefully people will appreciate the form a bit more," says Jerry Beck, who, along with authoring 12 books on animation, also co-edits the blog

In addition to "art of" and animation history books, the signing will feature self-published artist sketchbooks by the likes of "Kim Possible" character designer Stephen Silver.

"It's always fun to see sketches instead of finished drawings, because then you get to see the thought process behind the work," says Silver, who's always happy to show off his talents by embellishing his books with a doodle. "And while the sketchbooks are very popular with aspiring artists, a lot of industry people also like to pick them up -- you can learn a thing or two by looking at each other's work."

Alex Chun


Animation Book Look, Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 6 to 10 p.m. today. Free. RSVP at (818) 788-2357,

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