Blast from 1992

Duckman Eric Darnell
Duckman signature from Gábor Csupó and Eric Darnell for Gas Planet.

Total geek out moment here. I was cleaning out my office, uh, doing my taxes, when I came across this program from the 1992 Ottawa Animation Festival. Those that were there remember it as the big jump the shark show, or the end of the innocence show, or simply the show EVERYONE came. PIXAR, Sony, ILM, Disney, all of ’em. I was offered a job on the spot to fly to LA and interview for a roto/wire-removal gig at Sony Imageworks, unless I had a film to show (I did the year before) then I could sign up in the animation department. Everyone was dot-com’ing and the dot boom hadn’t happened yet.

As I recall this was the year wildbrain.com or was it atom had a boat on the Rideau running basically a four day party.

Duckman

Anyway, a few films were standouts for me, I got a first glipse at Duckman and spit my proverbial drink at the screen with the crude lewdness of it all. It starred among others Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame and was animated by the very talented crew at Klasky Csupo.

Gas Planet

But the standout above all was the clever 3D animation from one of the biggies in the CGI world at PDI (now part of Sony). Animator  Eric Darnell produced the easy to watch and very funny short “Gas Planet“. I’ll always remember the crazy eye animation, in particular the twitching near the end when one character eats all the fart-fruit.

Anyway, back to the reason for the post and the scan at the top, look who I got signatures from. I believe Duckman was Gábor Csupó himself. And the signature for Gas Planet – Mr. Darnell himself, signing what I imagine was only his first autograph of many during his successful career. He was co-director of Antz, and one of my favourite movies of all time Madagascar. He is currently directing Madagascar II The Crate Escape.

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