Animation Magazine

We’re Halfway to Seventy, Woo Hoo!


Since this issue marks the 35th anniversar­y of this publicatio­n, I was searching high and low, trying to find something profound to say about this milestone. As expected, there was no shortage of silly quotes about turning 35 online: “You’re 18 with 17 years of experience!” and “Turning 35 is a false assurance that you are not as old as 40 and not as immature as 30!” and my favorite, “Your midlife crisis is just around the corner!” But none of them applied to our resilient, indie magazine which never seems to run out of awe-inspiring projects and unbelievab­ly talented artists to write about.

I thought about the day I got that life-changing call from the then publisher of Animag, the amazing Rita Street, who told me that there might be a job at the publicatio­n for me. I remember how excited I was to be able to write about my favorite artform and wild artists all day and every day. Getting to work with the terrific team here at the publicatio­n has been a true blessing: I don’t think I’ll ever meet a kinder, more dedicated and talented group of people in this life, and I thank my lucky stars that I have had the chance to cover such a constantly evolving and creative industry for so many years.

Putting together this massive anniversar­y/Annecy Festival issue was not an easy task. Not only did it seem that there were more new movies, TV shows, VR projects and specials premiering at the French festival than ever, this summer seems to be one of the busiest animation seasons of recent memory. We had several movies competing for the cover this month, but we finally managed to narrow the field down to Pixar’s Lightyear and Netflix’s The Sea Beast, both of which are quite fascinatin­g in their own way. The eagerly awaited Warner Bros. show Gremlins:

Secrets of the Mogwai found a home on our special Comic-Con cover.

There are too many fun behind-the-scenes features and interviews included in this issue to single out: But I do recommend reading our chat with the amazing Jennifer Lee, CCO of

Disney Animation and the director of the Frozen movies, who was kind enough to answer a few of our burning questions. We also had a lot of fun putting together a collection of quotes from some of our favorite animation heavyweigh­ts from the past 35 years, as well as thoughtful essays on the changing landscape of animation by beloved experts such as Jerry Beck, Ray Richmond and Charles Solomon.

I also have to give a shout-out to artist Tracey Hollingswo­rth, who had the very challengin­g task of fitting as many of our favorite animated characters on our special anniversar­y cover collage. Believe me, I wish we had several more pages to devote to these beloved toons. And thanks to our dedicated art director Susanne Rector, who made sure everything followed our general cover requiremen­ts. (Susanne even planned her wedding for the weekend after this issue goes to the printer — now that’s what we call true dedication! Congrats, Susanne, on your special day, from your Toon Town family.)

One big lesson that we took away from this particular task was that there are way too many outstandin­g animated movies, TV shows and shorts to fit in one simple anniversar­y issue. We could have created five special collages, and we still wouldn’t have enough room for everyone. Then again, isn’t it wonderful that we have so much to choose from — from the days of Gertie the dinosaur and Oswald the rabbit, all the way to 2022’s Lightyear and Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby’s new short The Flying Sailor! Isn’t it another reason why we love animation so much? Because we all feel as if these characters are our old friends, and the special connection we all have with these living and breathing drawings is undeniable and independen­t of our age and the passage of time. We grow older and weaker, but they remain as colorful and vibrant as the day they premiered.

So, here’s to all our animated friends and the gifted women and men all over the world who have devoted themselves to making the best projects they possibly can — to entertain us, to make us laugh and cry, and help us dream of a better world. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we’re so proud to have been a witness to your greatness.

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Editor in Chief ramin@animationm­
Ramin Zahed Editor in Chief ramin@animationm­

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