The Animation of Don Bluth, Part IV: A Last Hurrah and a Look Forward (1997-Present)

Previous Parts

Part I

Part II

Part III

The Seven Ages of Disney Animation


After an abysmal series of failures in the early 1990s, Bluth and Goldman were able to rebound from the terrible offerings and produce Anastasia (1997) and Titan A.E (2000) with Fox Animation Studios. These would be the last feature films to be produced by Bluth, as much of the time since then has been spent providing the animation for various videogames. However, there are plans from the team to continue producing animated features, but funding remains an issue to this day. Regardless, this period should be viewed not as a petered-out ending, but as a brief return-to-form for Bluth’s particular style of animation.

Continue reading “The Animation of Don Bluth, Part IV: A Last Hurrah and a Look Forward (1997-Present)”

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The Animation of Don Bluth – Part III: The Failure of Don Bluth Entertainment and Another Bankruptcy (1992-1995)

Previous Parts

Part I

Part II


 

Competing against the Disney Renaissance would be a challenge for any production company, animation or otherwise. While Disney was creating consecutive masterpieces, the films coming from Bluth and his newly created studio Don Bluth Entertainment steadily declined in quality until Bluth actually disowned a film because he despised the finished product. For fans of Bluth, this is a hard period upon which to reminisce. There are isolated moments where the magic of Bluth’s skill is still apparent, but by and large this period is a straight downward spiral. We start with a story featuring a rooster Elvis Presley with amnesia. Seriously.

Continue reading “The Animation of Don Bluth – Part III: The Failure of Don Bluth Entertainment and Another Bankruptcy (1992-1995)”

The Animation of Don Bluth – Part II: Sullivan Bluth Studios and Commercial Success (1986-1989)

Previous Parts

Part I


 

In 1985, Don Bluth, John Pomeroy and Gary Goldman joined with Morris Sullivan and formed Sullivan Bluth Studios. The studio was initial founded in Van Nuys, California, but moved to Dublin, Ireland to take advantage of various financial incentives and escape union pressures. Their first two projects were collaborations with Steven Spielberg, but they eventually pursued independent projects as well. For this short period of time in the late ‘80s, Don Bluth animation reached its pinnacle of commercial and artistic success with three spectacular films: An American Tale, The Land Before Time, and All Dogs Go to Heaven.

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The Animation of Don Bluth – Part I: Leaving Disney and Early Independence (1979 – 1984)

On September 13th, 1979 Disney animator Don Bluth turned 42 years old. He had worked as an animator on Disney feature films for the previous eight years, and was dissatisfied with the cost-cutting measures being employed there. Also, he felt that Disney had abandoned their roots of character-driven storytelling and meticulous animation in favor of churning out banal crowd-pleasers. This led Bluth, along with Gary Goldman, John Pomeroy and nine fellow Disney animators to abandon Disney and form Don Bluth Productions, their very own animation studio. Through financial struggles, ever-changing partnerships, and industry-wide strikes, Bluth and his collaborators were able to produce their own animated masterpieces which continue to delight.

Continue reading “The Animation of Don Bluth – Part I: Leaving Disney and Early Independence (1979 – 1984)”

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