News Items from UNC Greensboro

Watching Pixar films like “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille” is great fun. Designing characters in these films must have quite an experience.

But directing an Oscar-nominated short that appeared before every big-screen showing of “Toy Story 3”?

Pixar artist Teddy Newton will speak Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at UNCG’s School of Education Building, Room 114. The topic of his public talk is his animated short “Day & Night,” which he created with producer Kevin Reher.

UNCG professor Heather Holian (Art) has extensively researched Pixar. She notes that Newton’s business card title says “Professional Muse.” He has explained that much of what he does at Pixar since joining in 2000 may not end up in a movie, but it may act as a creative springboard.

Newton began his professional career at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he story boarded on the animated features “Pocahontas,” “Fantasia 2000” and “Mulan.”

From 1997-2000, he was at Warner Bros. Animation, where he story boarded and designed characters for “The Iron Giant” and developed the television series “The Atomic Family.”

In addition to his work designing characters, he has been instrumental in the creation of the “end titles” of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” He contributed to visual development on “Cars”, “WALL*E” and “Up.” And he is often cast as a voice in Pixar films, including the role of Chatter Telephone in the feature film “Toy Story 3.”

His art is a part of “Pixar: 25 Years of Animation,” an exhibition that is currently on tour abroad. Holian was invited to speak at the closing weekend festivities for the exhibition earlier this year in California. She used the opportunity to continue her research at the Pixar Animation Studios.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Art and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Holian, who regularly teaches the popular course “Art of Disney and Pixar (ARH 210), says, “In my opinion, Teddy is one of the most versatile and talented artists working in studio animation today. He can do it all! From story boarding to character designs to directing to writing and illustrating children’s books. And he’s just as comfortable and effective working in marker or collage, as he is in graphite pencil, which is his favorite material. He is a virtuoso.”

By Mike Harris


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