SPOILER Animation Specials: Jerry Rees (The Brave Little Toaster, Tron)
Written by lincoln on 11th September 2017
In the first in a short series of very special episodes of Spoiler, Andy attempts to demonstrate how underrated animation is by interviewing some of the brightest talents associated with the medium.
In this extraordinary feature-length episode Andy talks to American writer, director and animator Jerry Rees. Jerry joined Disney at a key transitional time and worked as a character animator on the 1981 classic ‘The Fox and the Hound’. Jerry shares tales of his immense good luck in finding a position with Disney at such a young age, his encounters with legendary animators and the frustrations experienced by a new wave of animators trying to innovate within a rigidly established regime. Jerry also shares his experiences of working on the computer effects for the 1982 film ‘Tron’ and the differing reactions to computer animation in its infancy.
Fascinating as this all is, both Andy and Jerry are clearly keenest to talk about Jerry’s own animated directorial debut ‘The Brave Little Toaster’, a film that Andy believes to be one of the top five animated features of all time and which Jerry poured his heart and soul into getting made. Along with insights into the production process, the voice casting and the music of this underseen masterpiece, Jerry shares details of how to find the perfect sound effect for a lamp bedding down for the night, how to motivate an actor to record all of their lines in a single voiceover session and serenades Andy with his pitch-perfect impersonation of Jon Lovitz.
You can find out more about Jerry and his work at his website Jerryrees.com and about the prospect of a ‘Brave Little Toaster’ sequel at Reflectionsofatoaster.com. You can also check out Andy’s list of 1001 Animated Shorts You Must See at andystoons.wordpress.com.