I thought this sketch had long since disappeared. What a surprise to see it published so many years later. I made the sketch while working as a story artist at Pixar Animation Studios back in the nineties. Who knew this zany idea would one day appear in a Pixar book along with several other wacky drawings. Remember, cartoonists don’t necessarily draw gags so they’ll live forever. Funny gags are spontaneous bursts of fun, passion and anger. They’re meant to be enjoyed for the moment and are often forgotten. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that someone saved these goofy sketches and that someone else decided they should be compiled into a book.
If you’ve not seen the new Chronicle Books publication, “Funny, 25 Years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room” I advise you take a look at this entertaining tome. Especially if you enjoy the special raucous humor of the Pixar story artists. Of course, drawing gags in a cartoon studio is hardly anything new. This goofy tradition goes all the way back to Walt Disney’s Hyperion studio in Los Angeles’ Silverlake district. Artists have always engaged in this very special kind of humor while working in a cartoon studio. Everyone is fair game in this zany enterprise and that includes your friends, colleagues and the studio management.
It was a Pixar Wrap Party that inspired my personal gag in the book. A gag that I had long since forgotten. It actually made me smile to see the goofy joke that was drawn so many years ago. However, the gag is authentic and It’s one of the many truths about this crazy business of making animated films. When the movie is finally completed and we’re all decked out in our finest at the studio wrap party it’s clearly a love fest and we can’t kiss each other enough. Yet, just a few weeks earlier we were clearly considering strangling our fellow workers on the motion picture that was driving us all crazy. That’s the delightful business of making an animated feature length cartoon, and that’s the wonderful fun that contained in this new Pixar book. If you like to laugh I recommend you grab a copy of “Funny” from your local bookstore and you’ll get to see the zany gag I sketched while working on “Toy Story2.” My gag closes the book and I’m delighted that Pixar Animation Studios gave me the last word.