Veteran animator James Lopez is a man on a mission. He wants to keep the art of 2D animation alive. He and his team of artists and filmmakers have put together an intriguing project called Hullabaloo which they hope to bring to fruition via the crowdsourcing site Indiegogo.
At the San Diego Comic-Con Hall H presentation for LAIKA’s upcoming feature The BoxTrolls, LAIKA head Travis Knight told the enthusiastic crowd that he wants to help “hand-drawn animation make a comeback.” In fact, he’d like LAIKA to create an entire 2D hand-drawn animated feature film.
Long before I knew it was him, Nik Ranieri has been entertaining and inspiring me with his character animation. Nik is a talented artist whose bold personality has translated into Lumiere, Hades, Kuzco, Buck Cluck, Lewis Robinson, Charlotte La Bouff and my dad’s favorite animated character, Meeko—all characters he supervised. I first heard Nik on Clay Kaytis’ Animation Podcast and I have been an ardent fan of this passionate animator ever since. I asked him if he may be game for an informal interview over Facebook about various topics related to the state of animation today and he very kindly agreed. Nik is such a kind person, yet he will not sidestep the truth to appease popular sentiment. It was an absolute pleasure getting to interview one of my heroes.