Just about one year to the day since Disney Television Animation's Phineas and Ferb enjoyed a visit from the heroes of Marvel Comics -- or an epic crossover event, if you like -- Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh' critically acclaimed and very popular musical comedy series will be the first to mashup with Star Wars since creator George Lucas' company was acquired by Disney last year.
Premiering next Saturday, July 26, on Disney XD, Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars takes place in what the studio actually terms "an alternate universe" in which the title characters and their supporting players inhabit the iconic roles of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
Hosted quarterly in the Glendale offices of Disney Television Animation, the staff art openings are very cool expressions of the sense of fun, creativity and camaraderie that for which the storied studio has earned a reputation within the animation business, and which viewers have seen manifest on current series like Wander Over Yonder, Gravity Falls and the recent Mickey Mouse. As I've written before, these events recall the legendary Thursday night art openings of California Institute of the Arts, the school that’s shaped legions of animation’s best talents (from Tim Burton to Pixar co-founder John Lassetter to Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch and Wander Over Yonder's Craig McCracken), and help to remind the audience that before animation becomes the filmed entertainment we all love, it begins as drawings on a page (or tablet). That’s why we spend a lot of time on this site talking about comic book artists, illustrators and visual storytellers, because the great paradox of their work is that one of their best measures of success is how much of it is, in a sense, invisible. They deserve recognition.
This quarter's event, called Man Vs. Machine, invited professional artists as well as DTA's office assistants, producers and writers to show off their vision of robots at the gallery opening last week. Given our long established affinity for robots and enduring hope that we will all become slaves to a malevolent artificial intelligence in the very near future, ComicsAlliance was invited to take it all in and gossip with the execs about what's coming up for fans of DTA shows in the future. We can't really say what those things are, but we can offer up this array of event photos provided by Disney. There's some real cool stuff in here.
The thing about animation is that it's art. I know that seems a little obvious, but what makes an animation wonderful is when you forget that you're looking at something someone drew, painted or sculpted and believe completely in the world of the characters and their story...
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