UPDATE: Gareth provided a link to a version of the Bill Peet interview that contains all of the images and the whole thing on one page. Thanks, Gareth!
Recently, John K. posted some excerpts from a Bill Peet interview that was published in "Hogan's Alley" magazine about 13 yhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifears ago. Back then I worked really hard to track down a copy of it, but since then I had completely forgotten about it, so I'm really glad that John excerpted it and brought it to light. I didn't see a link to the whole thing on his blog, so just in case anyone missed it, here's a link to the whole thing. It's the most honest and forthright animation interview ever published, given by a guy who contributed a lot and didn't get as much credit as he felt he deserved.
He makes some fascinating claims in the article, most notably that he animated a whole section of "Dumbo" for Bill Tytla. I've heard a few people grumble over the years about Bill Peet saying that but no one's ever denied that it's true. If you ever looked at Bill Peet's Dumbo boards in the "Paper Dreams" book you'll see it's entirely possible. His drawings of Dumbo are amazingly appealing and "on model" before there probably was a model. This also suggests that there's truth to the rumor that Bill Peet felt like he did a lot of the character design works in the storyboard stage but animators got all the credit for designing all of the Disney characters when basically all they were doing was taking his designs and animating them.
Years ago John Cawley wrote a book called "How to Create Animation" that contained interviews with some different animation artists. All of those interviews are now online here. Unfortunately the artwork from the book is not reproduced because there was some great development stuff. If I can find my copy of the book I will scan it and post it someday, but anyway the interviews are great to see because there are some great animation artists included in the collection that one rarely hears about.
Simply put, there are two types of great animation artists: those you've heard of and those you haven't. The ones you haven't heard of are just as great as the "famous" ones, they just haven't been in the spotlight. Be sure to check out the interviews with Ed Gombert, Mike Giaimo, Chris Buck and Darrel Van Citters (founder of Renegade Animation) to learn something about some great animation artists that you've probably - and shamefully - never heard of.
One only wishes that John Cawley would update the book and re-do the interviews because everyone in the book has done so much more since the book's publication. But in any case, it's great to be able to read these interviews for free, go check them out!