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Animators Bluth and Goldman Offer Gift to Savannah College

Includes original animation art from Bluth and Goldman's 30-year creative partnership (November 07, 2005)

With the signing of a major gift agreement, the Savannah College of Art and Design recently was designated as the recipient of a significant collection of more than 1 million pieces of art including animation cels, drawings and sketches by producer, director and animator Don Bluth and his artistic partner Gary Goldman.

The collection, valued in the millions, includes original animation art from Bluth and Goldman's 30-year creative partnership, including art from the well-known animated classics "The Secret of N.I.M.H." (1982), "An American Tail" (1986) and  "All Dogs Go To Heaven (1989)," and their classic video games "Dragon's Lair" (1983) and "Space Ace" (1983).

"Don Bluth and Gary Goldman are icons in the animation world," said SCAD Dean of the School of Film and Digital Media Peter Weishar. "This collection will enhance academic studies and understanding and inspire new creative endeavors for the more than 1,750 students in the School of Film and Digital Media. Students studying animation, broadcast design, cinema studies, interactive design and game development, and other disciplines will benefit from this magnificent gift. We are very fortunate and grateful to Don Bluth and Gary Goldman."


The Savannah College of Art and Design's reputation and growth in the School of Film and Digital Media led Bluth and Goldman to donate the collection to the college. "We are very familiar with SCAD's recent accomplishments in the field of animation and their large animation student population," said Goldman. "We felt that having access to our archive of animation art would be of value to SCAD animation students and faculty."

Goldman went on to say that he and Bluth felt that students would benefit from studying the collection whether seeking a career in traditional or computer-generated animation. "A thorough knowledge of traditional or classical animation and its history will help teach new artists in the field of animation," he said.  "Having access to the original art for storyboarding, character and FX animation, layout and background painting, will enable the students to see the analyzation and research involved to bring animated characters and environmental phenomena to life."

Spanning 50 years, Bluth's illustrious career includes work with studio giants such as Walt Disney Productions and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. Bluth has distributed his independent films through MGM/UA, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros and The Samuel Goldwyn Company all produced at his own studio, Don Bluth Entertainment. Originally an English literature major at Brigham Young University, Bluth auspiciously began his career in 1955 as an assistant animator to John Lounsbery on Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (1959).

Bluth has worked in all categories of traditional animation, from mixing colors for ink and paint to writing scripts, directing scenes and even composing songs. His career took off at Disney, where he served as an animator for "Robin Hood" (1973), directing animator for "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" (1974) and "The Rescuers" (1976), director of animation for "Pete's Dragon" (1977), and producer and director for "The Small One" (1978).

Bluth's name came to the public's attention in 1979 when he resigned his position at Walt Disney Productions along with long-time partners and fellow animators Goldman and John Pomeroy to start Don Bluth Productions. Since that time, Bluth has written, directed, produced and designed characters and environments for 12 films, one featurette, the two-minute animated sequence in the film "Xanadu," and three laser disc video games. Along with "The Secret of N.I.M.H.," "An American Tail" and "All Dogs Go To Heaven," his noteworthy films include "The Land Before Time" (1988) and "Thumbelina" (1994). Working with Fox Animation Studios, Bluth also created "Anastasia" (1997), "Bartok the Magnificent" (1999) and "Titan A.E." (2000). His video games include the well- known "Dragon's Lair" (1983), "Space Ace" (1983) and "Dragon's Lair II: A Time Warp" (1989).

Bluth's partner, Goldman began his career in 1972 on the animated motion picture "Robin Hood" as a rough assistant animator to supervising animator Frank Thomas. Goldman's career continued as an animator on Disney's "Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too" (1974) and "The Rescuers" (1976), and as directing animator on "Pete's Dragon" (1977) and "The Small One" (1978).

Goldman worked as a directing animator, producer, co-director and supervised post-production on all of their independent films including "The Secret of N.I.M.H.," "Dragon's Lair," "Space Ace," "An American Tail," "Dragon's Lair II: A Time Warp," "The Land Before Time,"  "All Dogs Go To Heaven," "Thumbelina," "Anastasia," "Bartok the Magnificent" and "Titan A.E." Goldman's last three films were produced in Phoenix, Ariz., for Fox Animation Studios, which Goldman co-helmed the establishment of in 1994 at the invitation of 20th Century Fox executives Bill Mechanic and Peter Chernin.

The collection is currently being assessed and cataloged and permanent plans for the collection will be announced.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. SCAD will honor Bluth and Goldman at the Savannah Film Festival with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Animation.


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