Show 010 – Eamonn Butler, Part One

Eamonn Butler (on the left)

Interview with Eamonn Butler (he’s the one in the tux), Animation Supervisor on the films “Chicken Little” and “Reign of Fire.” Eamonn recalls his animation career from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” through “Chicken Little.” Part one of two.

Get the MP3 here: Show 10: Eamonn Butler, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 10 MP3

(17.5MB, 38:06 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only in Quicktime or iTunes
Get the AAC here: Show 10: Eamonn Butler, Part One
Animation Podcast Show 10 AAC

(9.8MB, 38:06 minutes)

Continue for Show Notes…

  • 0:00:00: The Intro Voice
  • 0:00:05: Theme Song by DJ Sweettooth
  • 0:00:49: Welcome
  • 0:01:06: Intro
  • 0:01:33: Starting at small studios
  • 0:02:29: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”
  • 0:03:02: Moving toward features
  • 0:03:12: “Freddy as F.R.O.7.”
  • 0:03:49: Career advice for beginners
  • 0:04:20: Working in Europe
  • 0:05:02: “Bonjour La Famille”
  • 0:05:38: “Felidae” Animation Supervisor
  • 0:06:58: Working on a computer game
  • 0:07:56: Call from Disney for 3d animators – Dave Brain
  • 0:08:22: “Fantasia 2000”
  • 0:12:16: Budget & time constraints
  • 0:14:01: “Dinosaur”
  • 0:20:19: Software on “Dinosaur”
  • 0:21:44: “Wild Life”
  • 0:22:20: Developing animation tools
  • 0:23:02: Pose to pose animation approach
  • 0:26:28: Cancelling “Wild Life”
  • 0:27:51: “Reign of Fire”
  • 0:31:51: “Chicken Little”
  • 0:32:37: “Chicken Little” animation style
  • 0:33:46: Eamonn’s take on Animation Supervisor
  • 0:35:46: Conclusion
  • 0:35:54: Feedback info
  • 0:36:17: Phone calls

14 Comments on “Show 010 – Eamonn Butler, Part One

  1. Welcome back, Clay! It’s been a while since your last show, but it was worth it. Eamond Butler’s interview was pretty interesting. I don’t plan on doing CG, but I think what he said was helpful. In the mean time, here’s a list of suggestions of other animator’s you can interview(not all of them might live in the LA area)

    Eddie Fitzgerald
    Eric Goldberg
    John Lasseter
    Mark Kausler
    Glen Keane
    Art Leonardi
    Jon McClenahan
    Bill Melendez
    Jim Smith
    Chris Sanders
    Vincent Waller

    Those are just mere suggestions. Good luck.

  2. Awesome!!!!! I show up to work, not expecting anything….power up everything and start Itunes to happily see that AP is updating with another podcast. Thanks Clay…..keep it up!!!!


  3. Simply Great Clay! I love this one. Best surprise of the new year to power up and get a new podcast. I love it. Eamonn has some very interesting and inspiring words to say. His career story is a good lesson to those who think the way to features is a straight line. I can’t wait for the second part! Thank you Clay!

  4. Please stop! My head is close to exploding from all this inspiration ;). To calm down I quickly ordered a copy of Felidae to see some of Mr Butler’s earlier work. Ok – now that I’m calm again: Don’t stop! With every new show I’m amazed at how diverse the career paths have been for these current Disney heroes. I especially appreciate that they (and you, as the editor) don’t censor out the sometimes not so great aspects of the work and “politics” involved. Thank you for all your efforts and keep up the great work!

  5. Fantastic stuff!!… great to hear about his trails and errors and how he eventually comes through. Its great to hear his opinion on the other aspects that can influence an animator such as the supervisors approach towards the animators.

  6. Welcome back , Clay !!!

    Great interview with Eamonn Butler.

    BUT , where’s the rest of the Nik interview ? There seemed to be much more …. ?

    I would also like to vote for interviews with Eric Goldberg, James Baxter, and Mark Kausler. Another great animator that I’ve worked with who I would like to hear interviewed is Franz Vischer.

    Looking forward to your interviews in the new year.

  7. Nicolas – Awesome list – I’ll add them (the names I didn’t have) to my wish list.

    Ryan – It’s like coming back to the table from the restroom at a restaurant and finding your meal waiting for you! It’s the little things, right?

    Joel – I’m glad you liked it! I couldn’t be happier to know that each show has had something for everyone. I think you’ll like part two more!

    Christian – Wow, I never imagined I would bump up the sales of Felidae. I hope it’s good. I had never heard of it before. Let us know how you like it. My new goal – make Christian’s head explode via podcast. I think as long as we’re not giving away trade secrets, it only makes sense to be honest. This isn’t an official Disney podcast, but they do know I do it, and they’ve been gracious enough to give me a wink of approval.

    Dan – No matter who I interview, there is a pattern of determination that is unmistakeable – something we can all learn from.

    David – I will not leave the Nik interviews blowing in the wind. My next task is to get back and put those shows together. There’s a lot of audio, but I have a feeling most of you out there won’t mind. Yours is the third request for Mark Kausler – I’ll definitely pursue that. Of course, I’m already going after the others you mention.

    Corey – Thank you!


  8. Another interesting show.

    I listened to it on the freeway last weekend. I think it’s funny that you guys were talking about getting your foot in the door any place you can and keeping your eye on the prize. I almost had a job at JibJab, but got beat out at the last minute for it. So, I’m now an intern at CubeVision. I think it’s funny: I’m a punk from small-town Nevada who has never seen or heard anything Ice Cube has done, and now I work there. Oh well, hopefully I can work on Grandmaster Flex (David Cohen’s new project) and get some valuable experience outta there.

    Keep up the great work pal!

  9. Hi Clay,

    Thanks so much for this podcast, truly inspiring stuff. I love hearing about all the different paths each animator has taken to get to where they are. It’s amazing what you can learn on your way, as they say…it’s the journey…

  10. Brenton – It’s been said before and I’m sure we’ll hear it in future interviews: work where you can and always improve your skills. Good luck at CubeVision and have a great time. That’s why we do this, right?

    Anthea – Thanks for commenting! Although, you could have just walked down the hall and thanked me. 😉


  11. Hey Clay,

    Excellent job man! I love these! They are such an inspiration. I listen to them when I am animating and they really seem to help me stay focused when I am straying. You’re doing a good thing! Keep it up!


  12. Although I know I’m REALLY LATE in leaving a comment here, I just wanted to state that I’ve seen “Felidae” and actually enjoyed it! It has never been released in the US, although an English-dubbed version of the film exists. After watching the film I had to track down a copy of the original novel to read as well (a lot more descriptive and thorough than what could be put on film but it was worth it). Too bad we haven’t seen anything like that being made over here, or I probably wouldn’t have lost too much interest in domestic animation as I have a fondness for foreign-produced works.

    Being reminded of also having to see Disney’s “Dinosaurs” in the backseat of my sister’s boyfriend’s car or such when they decided to take me to see that film at a drive-in way back then. I don’t know if I had a headache or neckache due to the cramped nature of my predictament! 🙂

  13. Jimmy – thanks for that. You didn’t have to, but I’m glad you said it!

    Chris – I’m late in responding to your late comment. Felidae is one I haven’t seen, but if I ever come across it, I’ll give it a gander.