Show 022 – Dale Baer, Part Two

Dale Baer

“When things get down and people get scared and they get nervous, are they’re running around, like, saying, ‘What’s happening? The world’s coming to an end,’ it’s just part of the – that wierdness of this business.”

Dale Baer came to Disney’s as an animation trainee in the late sixties, when the era of the Nine Old Men was coming to a close. He has worked for Filmation, Disney, Ralph Bakshi, and at his own studio, Baer Animation. Dale has been back at Walt Disney Animation Studios since The Emperor’s New Groove and his credits include supervising the characters of Yzma, Slim from Home on the Range, and Wilbur from Meet the Robinsons. Dale recently finished animating on the latest Goofy short How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, and he’s currently working on the upcoming film The Princess and the Frog. This is part two of a two part interview.


Continue for Show Notes and audio file download links…

Get the MP3 here: Show 22: Dale Baer, Part Two
Animation Podcast Show 22 MP3(20.7MB, 45:02 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime, iTunes, or iPods.
(Includes pictures and links in addition to the audio.)
Get the enhanced podcast here: Show 22: Dale Baer, Part Two
Animation Podcast Show 22 Enhanced(19.2MB, 45:02 minutes)


  • 00:00 The Intro Voice
  • 00:05 Sponsor

  • 00:22 Intro – Dale Baer at IMDB
  • 01:10 Working with Ralph Bakshi
  • 05:10 Working for Richard Williams and Quartet
  • The Animator's Survival Kit
    Mike Lah – Wikipedia

  • 07:37 Striking out on his own
  • 10:26 Facilities & equipment for a studio
  • 12:21 How to improve at drawing
  • 13:22 EPCOT Living Seas Pavillion
  • 14:14 Looking for work – Roger Rabbit
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

  • 17:23 Peter Schneider & Jeffrey Katzenberg
  • 18:30 Working with the crew on Roger Rabbit
  • 20:20 Keeping ties with Disney – Black Cauldron
  • The Black Cauldron

  • 22:01 Keeping a working studio
  • 22:46 Disney changed – Bluth out, Eisner in
  • 23:58 The cyclic nature of animation
  • 25:46 Working for Peanuts
  • Peanuts Animation

  • 27:12 Storyboards for Hanna-Barbera
  • The Hanna-Barbera Treasury

  • 29:47 Advice for freelancing
  • 32:31 Pros and cons of your own animation business
  • 35:18 Making a cozy studio – Jay Ward Productions
  • 36:36 A studio is like a family
  • 37:42 A saving grace: digital Ink & Paint
  • 40:19 Winding down after ten years
  • 43:11 The Emperor’s New Groove
  • The Emperor's New Groove

  • 44:01 Conclusion and feedback info – Link to Voicemail
  • 44:44 Sponsor

17 Comments on “Show 022 – Dale Baer, Part Two

  1. Thanks again Clay!

    Everytime I listen to an interview by someone who have worked with the Nine Old Men I can almost feel and imagine what the feeling would have been. There is a line in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” where Johny Depp`s character is talking about the time of the end of the 60`s with the words “There was madness in any direction, at any hour….” Everytime I listen to the words I just can … feel what it would have been.. The same “feel” gets me when I listen to someone like Dale.
    Thank you guys for rolling the wave back.


  2. Excellent conclusion to a wonderful interview Clay. It’s just fascinating to hear those kind of stories. It was so cool hearing about his times with Disney, Ralph Bakshi, Richard Williams, AND Jay Ward. It’s sad to hear that Jay Ward’s old studio is now a Animal Beauty Parlor. It’s just as sad to hear that Hanna-Barbera’s old studio is now a gym. Nobody has any respect for history.

  3. Wonderful! You know, when I see “Home on the Range” on DVD and see a picture of Mr. Baer, I get a funny feeling that Alameda Slim might be a caricature of Dale Baer. I can’t wait for you to do our next guest, Clay.

  4. I almost forgot. If you buy the “Emperor’s New Groove” soundtrack, Clay, you’ll find a song called “Snuff Out the Light”, which was orginally a song for Yzma, sung by Eartha Kitt, and was originally going to be animated by Mr. Deja, before Mr. Baer got on board. The song was going to be in “Kingdom in the Sun”, originally was about to be directed by Roger Allers. If you don’t have the soundtrack, I think I can mail it you by e-mail.

  5. Great interview, Clay.

    Dale Baer has had one heck of a career. It’s hard to believe he was just a kid when I met him back in 1972. I’ll always be grateful that he let me assist him on “Robin Hood.” I still consider that an honor.

  6. Martin – great comment! Reminds how worth it all this is.

    Eric – I just drove by Jaw Ward’s this past weekend. I could almost picture a 16 year old Dale knocking on the door. Thanks for commenting.

    Dan – I’m not sure how much of himself Dale put in Slim, but he’s definitely got the cowhand vibe going on.

    A good deal of “Snuff out the Light” was animated for Kingdom in the Sun. It was a fun sequence. All the zombies were based on various rock stars from the 60s. I don’t know if it’s available anywhere. Maybe if Groove comes out on Blu-Ray they will have room to include it.

    Floyd – Your comment almost got swept away but I dug it out of the spam filter! I’ve got to work on that system. Anyhow – thanks for commenting! As I drove in to work today, I looked in the rear-view mirror and said, “That’s Floyd Norman behind me!” Good to see you, sort of. We’ll definitely talk about all that stuff when I get my interview claws on you.

  7. This was great as always, Clay. We all appreaciate it.

    I was a little disappointed you didn’t get around to talk about TENG more. Yzma is by far my favorite villain. At least now I have a voice and a face to put with the her banging her head with her fists or the guesture she makes when asks Kronk for coffee. Pure gold.

    Merry Christmas from Eastern Europe

  8. Another inspiring interview Clay! I don’t work in the animation industry but every time I listen to one of your podcasts it gets me more interested in the medium. Thanks to you and Dale for doing this interview!

  9. Merry X-mas, Clay!

    I’m free from high school, hooray! And let’s hope we have more guests in the new year. Last year was a little bit of a hold-up, wouldn’t you say? Have a Happy Holiday with your family. Ho,ho,ho!

  10. Happy New Year Clay! Thanks guys for another very good, interesting podcast. Dale you sure seem like a very positive force to me in the community, despite a few of the ups and downs you talked about in your interview. Good on ya for that. Thanks again Clay and Dale!


  11. Hi Clay,
    Love the podcasts. I just listened to Ron and John part 3 the other day and was wondering when the next part was coming.


  12. Hi Clay! Well, I JUST started listening to your podcast the other day at work. Today, I finished listening to every single one of them, and they‚Äôve been great! Right now at work they have me modeling, when I want to be animating, so it’s nice to have something to get me through the day that also motivates me to do animation. A topic that seemed to come up quite a bit in the interviews was having to do pencil tests. I’m pretty sure I know what they are, but my question is… how do you, and other animators, decide WHAT to animate for a pencil test? I guess what I’m wondering is what can I animate to practice animation? I know about the different types of walk cycles, and the bit where you take a clip of dialog from a movie, but what about the physical/non-dialog practice stuff that helps you practice the motion? I’ve only done 3d animation up to now, but I want to start doing pencil tests not only to build 2d skills, but also to have a better foundation for when I jump on the computer. I hear a lot of animators talk about how they practically plan and time out their shot in 2d, then basically transfer that performance onto the 3d puppet. I‚Äôd like to start working this way so I can see very quickly if my poses work together instead of spending a lot of time posing a 3d puppet only to find out that the poses don‚Äôt work. Would you recommend this type of workflow (keyframes, breakdowns, timing, etc. on paper, then use that as a guide for the computer). One last thing. When working on the computer, when do you time out your poses? I‚Äôve heard of other animators timing out their scenes right after blocking in the key poses, while others add all of their breakdowns and anticipations before timing it out. Thanks so much for what you‚Äôre doing, and keep up the great work!


  13. Clay,..these interviews are bittersweet for me as I often shake my head in disgust with myself as I wondered about what “may have been” if I had lived in California and pursued animation as a career back in my youth. At 43,..I know now that those hopes are dashed and that I’m just going to have to be happy creating graphics for a large corporation here in Tennessee. I still love hearing such wonderful stories and you are very good at letting your guests have the floor without the usual interruptions that most amatuer interviewers throw in. I would love to hear more about the unsung heroes too that worked in the Terrytoons studios, UPA and others as well as Disney. As I pursue my little web comic from my little corner of the world,…I continue to get motivation to draw from your podcasts! Thanks again!

  14. Hey Clay, I emailed you about this a while ago, but how are pencil tests done and what stuff do you need to do them? Love the show!

  15. Clay,

    Your podcast is one of the highlights in this form of media. The content is top shelf and your guests are inspiring. The stories behind the work is what really motivates me personally. My goal is to spend less time with the mouse and more with the traditional tools that have not seen much action since college.

    I’m currently reading Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination and have got to the early 1940s.Being able to mesh what is to come with your interviews is an absolutely enjoyable ride.

    It’s also great to see you are tied in with Animation Mentor now. I’ve looked at their curriculum from the beginning and it looks like an excellent program.

    You do great work, keep it up when you have time.

  16. Great Podcast for young animators like me.


  17. I’ve been a fan of the Animation Podcast since day 1, but you’ve really outdone yourself with the Dale Baer episodes. What a fantastic guy with a great story to tell. Such a varied career, and he’s still a happy, positive guy. I really dug these episodes Clay – well done!