Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I had a great idea the other day. I can't post that much these days because alot of the work we are doing is keeping us busy with stuff we can't talk about or I gotta get creative keeping up with this blog at times. I was thinking about a Glen Keane story I'd like to share soon and a drawing he did in my personal sketchbook that goes with it (coming soon), then I realized that I may want to post a few of the drawings in the sketchbook. This is one of those black sketchbooks that people take around to cons and get artists they are fans of to sketch in them. I never did this until one year I was going to Calif. for a work trip with Disney. I realized I was going to be seeing some of the best artists in the world, why am I not "documenting" this visually. I don't like taking pictures with artists I'm a fan of, but a sketch from them is so much more memorable to me- and something I would treasure forever. So, I got the sketchpad. Turns out, the next couple years I met alot of famous artists between the comic cons, working at Disney, and becoming a member of the National Cartoonist Society. The sketchbook is about 5-8 years old now and not quite full, maybe 20 more pages left. I forget about it for a year or so, then meet someone and dust it off for a sketch. BUT it has sketches from some of the best animators, comic book artists, and comic strip cartoonists in the world! It took a long time and a lot of guts to ask some of the more intimidating ones, but it's a treasure I'll never part with! So, from time to time I will post a sketch and a story of meeting someone that I am a fan of. I think you all will like it to. First up: John Lassiter!

I just read this great article that was in Fortune interviewing John. He has such a great personality and warmth about him. Here's a great comment he made at the end of the article:

" Let me tell you a funny story. I took the family to see this film one weekend - I'll go to see almost any film that's good for the whole family. And so we're sitting there watching this film, which I won't name, and there are long stretches that are just not very entertaining. My little son - he was probably 6 at the time - was sitting next to me, and right in the middle of this dull section, he turns to me and says, "Dad? How many letters are in my name?"

I must have laughed for five minutes. I thought, Oh, man, this movie has lost this little boy. His mind has been wandering, trying to figure out how many letters there are in his name. So I told my wife, Nancy, what he said, and she started laughing, and then the story went down the row through my whole family, our four other sons, and we're sitting there as a family giggling and laughing.

And I thought to myself, If ever a child anywhere in the world leans over to their daddy during one of my movies and asks, "How many letters are in my name?" I'll quit."

I've been fortunate to meet him a few times during my career at Disney. On one of those times, I got the nerve to ask him for at sketch. Most people don't think of John as an artist, but he went to CalArts (same as me) and was in cleanup at Disney way back when. He was standing in the hallway just outside my office when we small talked and he sketched the above drawing. I think we were taking about CalArts and working on student films there for some reason, because he sketches his character from his student film (on the right) and the ant (can't remember his name now) from "A Bugs Life", which was just about to come out when he did this. (I think he was at Florida Disney doing a press junket for that film, if I remember right.) Not one of the best drawings in the Celeb Sketchbook, but he's one of the nicest guys to put it in there!


Tom Bancroft said...

Hey All. I've gotten some very nice comments about this blog. Unfortunately, I have been monitoring them because of some jer--uh, unwanted posts. That is not working as well as I liked so I am trying another option. Thanks for posting the nice comments and things should be working much better now. Here's one I remember:

Tim said- It's "Flick" Tom, Flick!


Miah Alcorn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Miah Alcorn said...

Man Tom that sketchbook has got to be such a treasure! Really lookin' forward to seeing/hearing more about it when you get the chance. Take care buddy.

jeff atwood said...

I just don't think that Lassiter guy is going to make it in this business...just look at that picture he drew for you...that is not very pretty, and not a fairy to be seen anywhere in it.

Frankly Tom, I don't see why you keep him in your book. Last thing I heard his company got bought out by some other someone that has to sell their company...does that sound like a celebrity to you...?

sushipajamas said...

Unwanted posts? Really? How does that happen?

And I dont know Jeff, there is a striking resemblance. ^_^

Awesome that he signed your sketchbook.