Show 32 – The “Unofficial” Tangled Animators’ Audio Commentary

Tangled Animators' Audio Commentary

“You knew that every ounce of energy put into it, you were going to get it back in the theaters.” – Zach Parrish

Wreck-it Ralph comes out this week in America and it got me thinking that I should do some sort of lead-in to it. Everyone in this podcast also animated on Wreck-it Ralph, but in a completely different way and it’s fascinating to me to follow that progress. So I dug up this recording I made on April 14, 2011. It’s been a long while, but most of the gang’s all here for your listening pleasure. I wasn’t sure how it would come out so I sat on this one for a long time and NEVER listened to it. Shameful, I know. I played it this weekend and had so much fun listening and laughing, that I knew I had to get it out. After far too long, THE ANIMATION PODCAST LIVES!!!

Show 32 is a departure from the regular format. It’s an experiment. After Tangled (Amazon link) was released, I heard so many people wondering why there wasn’t any audio commentary on the DVD or Blu-ray, so I got all the animators who were available to join me in watching Tangled to talk about the experience of making it. Here it is: the UNOFFICIAL Tangled Animator’s Commentary made by the biggest group of animators you will probably ever hear in one room.

Here’s the plan: queue up your copy of Tangled to frame 1 of the actual film (before the castle logo) and hit pause. When we count down 3-2-1-PLAY, you un-pause and hear us talk through the film. Like I said, it’s was an experiment and we may not always talk about what’s on screen, but it’s a great opportunity for you to hear many of the voices behind the film.


Continue for audio file download links, and comments. No show notes on this one but plenty of links for all the animators…

Get the MP3 here: Show 32: Unofficial Tangled Animators’ Audio Commentary
Animation Podcast Show 32 MP3(97.71MB, 1:46:30 minutes)

HUGE thanks to all my fellow Disney animators who pitched in on recording this (in order of appearance):
Amy Smeed IMDB
Adam Dykstra IMDB
Jennifer Hager blog youtube IMDB
Miyuki Kanno-Long blog IMDB
Adam Green website IMDB
Daniel Peixe website blog IMDB
John Wong IMDB
Zach Parrish website IMDB
Marlon Nowe website IMDB
Doug Bennett blog IMDB
Joel Reid IMDB
Mark Mitchell IMDB
Kira Lehtomaki blog IMDB
Patrick Osborne blog Twitter IMDB
Darrin Butters Twitter Facebook IMDB
Becky Bresee IMDB
Chris Cordingly website Student Film IMDB
Chadd Ferron IMDB
Clay Kaytis IMDB
John Kahrs Twitter IMDB
Chad Sellers website IMDB
Jason Figliozi blog IMDB
Malcon Pierce blog blog IMDB

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this podcast are those of the individual speakers and not those of The Walt Disney Company or any of its affiliated divisions.

It’s good to be back. So what do you think? Should we do this again for Wreck-it Ralph? Let me know how this little experiment works for you in the comments!

37 Comments on “Show 32 – The “Unofficial” Tangled Animators’ Audio Commentary

  1. Welcome back Clay! I’ve been listening since halfway through my studies and have been hooked ever since. Many of the episodes have been listened to well over 30+ times. I never stopped returning to the site, checking my iPhone for a new animation podcast update. So to my surprise, this frosty October 31st, I am happy to hear you back!

  2. Thanks for doing this. It’d be great if you could do it again for Wreck-it Ralph!

  3. So cool!!!! Thanks a lot Clay.

    I had assumed there would be some commentary when I bought the Bluray and was extremely unpleased when I found out there weren’t any.


  4. This is a great idea!!! Thanks so much for doing this. I hope you can continue. Thanks again

  5. Clay! Glad to have ya back, man. I went to the Paperman presentation at the REDCAT last weekend and talked with Jeff, John and Patrick. I’m sure we all would LOVE to hear your point of view on that technology, and especially your take on Meander.. and also would of course hearing the animators for Ralph would be also awesome!

  6. So excited to see this! I started listening to your podcast after you finished the Disney talent development episode- so this is the first time I’ve woken up to a new episode. Thrilled that you’re back!
    Thank you thank you, and hope you are well!

  7. YAY, a new podcast!
    Hope this means maybe listeners can expect futures entries, too. 🙂
    I’ve listened to all of your previous recordings multiple times and drew a lot of motivation out of your talks.
    Thanks for inspiring!

  8. Clay,
    This was awesome!
    I would definitely love more in this format!
    When you have the time, of course!
    Great job! You and your fellow animators!
    Thank you!

  9. Been waiting for this for a long time! Thank you for not giving up on this and starting it up again. It’s so, SO appreciated!

    Keep em coming.

  10. This was great! As far as technicality goes, I think the queuing up did well except when I accidentally hit pause on my computer somehow. The sound was a little tough at times. I put it up really loud to hear everything, but then I heard the group laughter perfectly!

    I liked the commentary format, but I still like hearing from individuals as well. By the way, I also loved the talent development interview. As a student of animation/film stuff like that is really inspiring.

    Please keep it going! Thanks!

  11. Thank you so much for doing another one Clay. Even if you never do another one, you have made a huge contribution to the animation community with the ones you’ve done. That being said, we all would love to have more!!! You’ve got an army of fans, don’t suppose you could put out a call and have some of us take on some of the work so it would be more feasible to do more?

    Anyway, thanks a lot for this one!!

  12. CLAY! I’m so glad you’re back! I absolutely love the Animation Podcast and I’ve really missed it! I’m about to listen to the new one, and I’m soo excited. also I just wanted to say congrats on ‘Tangled’, every time I watch that movie it inspires me like crazy! Plus, I thought it was super cool that you were a supervising animator on it and your name was right next to your hero Glen Keane! So cool! Anyway, great to see you back here, I look forward to this episode and more to come! Cheers!

  13. Thank you so much you magnificent team and to you more particulary Mr Kaytis.
    That was such a great experience, can’t wait for both next podcast and movie.

    Many thanks again.

  14. Tangled is my most loved movie of all times, I really think Disney hit gold with this one. As an animator in the beginning of the career, it’s always interesting and inspiring to hear other animators at this caliber speak about their work.

    So thank you very much for this podcast, it was a good experiment. Couldn’t catch all that has been said and didn’t want to go back and lose the sync.

    If there is one thing I could propose to do better it would be to maybe do a “sync with the crowd” moments, to say in the podcast “ok so NOW is the shot where we see Pascal looking at Flynn, and NOW it’s where we see Flynn looking to Repunzel”…. or something like that, because I wasn’t always sure that I was at the exact time in the movie.

    But it was really awesome as it is, really gives me something to aspire to.

    Thanks again.

  15. Great to have your Animation Podcast back as I was one of those poor saps who hounded you about it when I met you 😉

    Come to think of it I was also one of those who asked about the lack of Audio Commentary on Tangled as well

    Awesome Podcast for a truely Amazing movie. Sound was hit and miss at times but that just gives me an excuse to listen to it a few times…… as I have done with everyone of your previous Podasts 🙂

    Thanks to Clay and all the animators who were part of this Podcast and deep felt thanks to all the unbelievably talented people who worked on Tangled.

    Can’t wait for Wreck it Ralph and even more Animation Podcasts.

  16. Hey there, Clay, it’s so good to have The Animation Podcast back – many thanks for the “Tangled” commentary…!! My one criticism – or rather my one request – would be: “Please could you widen the Animation Podcast interview net to include some of the other people involved in the animation production process…?” The greater part of the emphasis – at both Animation Podcast and Animation Mentor – is on Character Animation and the skills of the Character Animator. This is fine – don’t get me wrong – but there is a dangerous side-effect, here in the UK in particular, which is that far too many students and far too many college courses are labouring under the false impression that “Character Animation” IS “Animation” – when, as you guys were kind enough to acknowledge in your name checks for Eric Daniels and Tim Mertens, the work of the Character Animators sits within an extensive and complicated web of other – equally important – disciplines. So – please could you begin inviting some more Story, Layout, Camera, Editorial, Effects, Lighting and Modelling artists (and technicians) in to your interview room? I was lucky enough, having started out here in Scotland, to get the opportunity to work at Disney Feature myself in the late 1990s so I’m one of the fortunate few – I’ve actually had a chance to work alongside the amazing Scene Planners, Checkers etc whose work underpinned so much of the traditional hand-drawn production pipeline. But the true division of labour – in both “traditional” and CG animation – still remains a mystery to the majority of young people studying animation outside California, particularly now that Games and the Web draw in more graduates than Movie and TV animation do. Most of the students I meet here would have no idea what you guys were talking about in the section of the commentary where you discuss Character “Sups” (Supervisors). That kind of shift in the balance of things, between hand-drawn and computer work, is both important and fascinating – perhaps you could pause some time to explain it more fully? I know I should resist the temptation to use a post like this as a gratuitous plug for the book I did (about the history and importance of the Layout process in American feature, short and TV animation – available at all good book-sellers…) – but I would like at least to repeat what I said in the introduction: “…there is more than one art involved in layout because there is more than one kind of movement involved in animation” – in other words: the staging and animation of the performances matter greatly, but so do the movements of the camera and the special effects, the visual continuity, the editorial “flow” etc etc The industry simply can’t absorb as many Character Animators as the colleges and on-line courses are presently turning out – any more than a soccer team can use 11 goal-keepers or an orchestra can survive with only violin players. Having said all of that – WELCOME BACK…!! I recommend The Animation Podcast to all the students I have the good fortune to work with, here in the UK and abroad – and it’s an invaluable aid and inspiration to them all – thank you for all your amazing hard work, Clay – on TOP of the magnificent work you do in your day job!

  17. Just came back from WDW a few days ago and heard about this podcast. As someone who greatly enjoys commentary tracks, this was a real treat, especially since I am a huge fan of Tangled. I’m always looking for more backstory, insider information and trivia about the making of this movie, so I was disappointed when there was no commentary track on the blu-ray. (As a side note, I lived in Japan when this came out on DVD/blu-ray, so I’ve noticed some interesting edits for the Japanese market! Minor, but interesting.)

    Anyway, thank you for putting this together! I really admire all the humor, talent and genuine enthusiasm you and your coworkers showed throughout the commentary. I hope to hear more in the future. And good luck on future projects!

  18. Hey Clay, I havent had the pleasure of meeting u yet, but i’ve listened to all of your podcasts dating back to the first with Andreas back in 2005. They’re all fantastic. I really loved this one too and so happy you’re considering doing more. I listened to it at work without syncing up the video and I still enjoyed hearing everyones opinion…I do plan on listening to it again with picture next time. Thanks again for doing all of these, they are truelly inspiring. 🙂

  19. Hey Clay,

    I’m so excited to see your back, i can’t believe i missed this post!

    I started listening to you back when i was a sophomore here at Ringling and it’s great to hear your voice again now as a senior.

    As a huge tangled fan i really appreciated this, although it was hard to tell if the podcast was in sync or not. As a student of animation really wanting to go work for Disney, I felt it was light on substance that your other interviews have or even some of the vault episodes. Maybe if you had fewer people in the room so you could elaborate on shots might help solve this?

    I really liked how you touched based on the minimal animation, appeal/golden pose, reducing it down to one gesture (all in all not over animating and letting things read), but maybe you could of gone more in depth on creating specific acting choices, or how you made shots entertaining, finding and pushing the appeal, or how you used breathing.

    I don’t know, maybe i’m wrong and that stuff is better suited for video.

    But cheers!
    Thanks again for making this and rounding up that huge posy. Maybe you can do this again for Ralph and talk about dealing with those huge hands.


  20. Great stuff! I’m not in animation school or anything, but was just amazed by the animation in tangled. (now seeing it multiple times with my kids). I stumbled upon this site. It was really interesting to hear the people behind the animation, and their thoughts. Thanks for putting this together. I would love to hear more of these. My only thoughts on improvements would be maybe microphones on each person, I had a little trouble hearing everyone. Maybe a little more pointed, and directed conversation on the film and specific scenes, how did you get this expression, how did you achieve this, or that. Maybe a lead moderator? just a thought. There was plenty of good stuff, but if there could somehow be more. 🙂 Good job though, really nice job!!! You guys are amazing. I could really related to some of your guys favorite scenes, and the simplicity of them. The shot when Flynn leaves with the crown, leaving Rapunzel by the boat and she simply says “ok”. The simplicity and complexity in animating that simple expression, amazing. Great job!

  21. thank you for coming back! great podcast!
    very fun and entertaining even on its own (listened to it while walking my dog).

    would really be happy to have the podcasts back on a regular basis! i know you’re busy but…

    pretty pleeeeeeeease….!

    thanks again

  22. Finally got around to finishing it. I had started when you originally posted it but had to pause it and then lost track of where I left off, and re syncing was a mess. But I went ahead and started from the beginning to end. Good stuff. If you end up doing another one I think it would be helpful if you could make it so that the run times match up, so that 20 mins into the commentary is the same as 20 mins into the movie. Just a thought. Hopefully you wont have to do it this way but with Disney you never really know.

    Of course, whether they provide one for future movies or not, I’m sure your commentary would be different enough to be worth a listen. And there’s a bit more lee way anyway for what you guys can cover so I I hope to see more.

    More importantly I hope you don’t make us wait several years again for the next podcast in general. That was brutal. hah

  23. Thanks for doing this guys. It got me out of an animation funk and fueled those inspiration fires. cheers!

  24. Hey Everyone! Thanks for stopping by and leaving all your feedback. It really helps me understand what works about this show and what you want to hear. Wow, 25 comments and so much to say! I’ll probably loop back through and answer any specific comments later but I wanted to drop in and thank you all for participating.
    To preemptively answer the most popular question: I don’t know when the next show is. 🙂

  25. By the way, Clay, please convey our best wishes to John Kahrs and the Paperman team. We’re all rooting for it this month at the Oscars! Clearly, and without doubt, the best Animated Short in 2012.

  26. This is Awesome! an animators comentry, wow! so happy you came back and this happened. Making history of animators

  27. Hello! My name is Erin, i’m a high school senior going to animation, and without a doubt this is the best commentary i’ve ever seen. I love the film, and have had the absolute pleasure of meeting a few of these talented people at Disneyland, and I was just blown away by how informative and funny this was.

    Crossing my fingers and toes for a Wreck it Ralph commentary, or one on some of the older films. Thank you so so so much for putting this one together, and thank all of you for being awesome!

  28. I am not an animator, but I am a lover of animation (especially Disney animation) for the past 60 years (since Pinocchio at age 4) . Just finished watching Tangled along with your commentary and I thank you and all the participants for sharing your efforts in making this great movie. I also thank you all for talking about Glen Keene’s involvement with Tangled.

    The most heartening comment of the commentary was that many of you became “little Glen Keene’s”. Of course, each animator should bring their own talents to a project. But it is nice that Glen’s animating DNA will be passed on.

    Thanks Clay for all your work on the podcasts and hope that Wreck-It Ralph will get a commentary from you and the animation crew.

  29. So I hear Wreck it Ralph doesn’t have a commentary? I hope you come to the rescue again as you did for tangled. I seriously want to know why this keeps happening. Its inexcusable.

  30. This was so fun and hilarious! It did sync up for me, even though I had to pause for myself multiple times. If Wreck-It Ralph doesn’t have one either I’d love to see you guys record one. I think an informal roundtable would rock as well!

  31. Love it!
    Just keep this going with Whatever Disney… OK?

  32. Just finished listening. So much depth and fun – I was really sad about the lack of commentary on the Tangled blu-ray, and this is perhaps one of the best commentaries I’ve ever heard (and I listen to a lot of them). The number of perspectives, insights into not just the animation process, but the tools, history, and above all the relationships between all the team was amazing. Thank you so much!

    And if you still check the site and think about doing another one of these for Wreck-It Ralph, I adored that movie almost as much as Tangled and would LOVE to hear one for that film as well!

  33. Hi Clay,

    I just read on CartoonBrew that you’re going to direct an angry birds feature. Great news, Congrats man!

    I’ve learned so much from listening to your podcast over the years and I was so happy to see your name as the director, you definitely deserve the opportunity.

    Best of luck!