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Wonderful World of Animation Comes to Germantown Campus

Free Movie Night on Thursday, October 24th, in the Globe Hall Theater was no ordinary movie night. It was a look into the men and women who brought childhood favorites such as Lion King and Toy Story to life. Sponsored by the Student Life office and the Arts Department, Professor Jeff Golden took the audience on [the educational and entertaining journey of a professional animator.

Golden highlighted six short films produced by five influential creators in the world of animation. Names like Pete Doctor, Chris Sanders, Henry Selik, Brenda Chapman and Carlos Saldana. Do these names sound familiar? If the names don’t, their movies will. Pete Doctor worked on Wall-E, Chris Sanders on Lilo & Stitch, Henry Selik on Coraline, Brenda Chapmen on Brave and Chris Saldana on Ice Age.

Although brief clips were shown from each of the feature length movies, these clips weren’t the focus of the evening. Golden selected six short films from the DVD “Giant’s First Steps,” as well as short interview segments with some of the creators. Each short demonstrated a unique styling and perspective of the creator. Each short also left one feeling something at the end, whether it was melancholy, philosophical or plain old happy.

Golden explained that leftover emotion from a short film is a key element to its success. Short films tell a story in a limited amount of time, he said. Within that time, the short film can “bring new insight into ourselves” he said.  The film must connect with it’s audience. Golden likened a short film to “a good joke.”

Much like short films, Golden had limited time to communicate the experience of animation, but it seemed that many of the attendees were hooked. Golden displayed several animation books, and at the end of the lecture a crowd had gathered. Antonio Santiago, a first year general studies student, said that he felt that it was great that the College had this lecture. Santiago found the interviews and short films interesting as well, he said. Cody Randolph and Yusuf Rasul, second year MC students and an animating team, were both enthusiastic about the event. Randolph explained that he had been drawing forever and is leaning now towards art as his MC major. Randolph felt that plenty of people would be interested in the lecture, but that “the event could have had better advertising”, he said.

There is good news for those of you who missed movie night and are interested in animation. Professor Golden will be offering GD140, Intro to Animation this coming spring, on the Germantown campus. Golden encourages “any art student to give it a try” and says “Stick with it. It can get quite tedious, but is worth it.” One piece of advice from the animator who brought Woody and Buzz to life, to those who are on the fence about the course, “keep yourself open” he said.

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