At the Animation and Story Master Class which took place recently, we caught up with Matthew Luhn to get his thoughts on animation. He has worked on some of the biggest animated films produced, including Toy Story and Toy Story 2, Monsters’ Inc., Finding Nemo and Up. Prior to joining Pixar in 1992 Matthew worked on The Simpsons as an animator.
What is the key to a great story?
For me, it’s all about compelling characters, an engaging story structure, and a gripping world where it all comes together. Get those three elements and you’ve got yourself a great story.
What are your favourite story lines from animated films?
I’m biased, but I’ve got two that both come from the first Toy Story. People forget that not only was the animation groundbreaking, but the story was really sharp as well, with great writing. It kills me when Buzz Lightyear says to Woody, "You are a sad, strange little man, and you have my pity" even now, and I can’t stop laughing when the Aliens say," Ooooh the Claw!”. Great lines.
What does it feel like to have worked for two of the biggest names in animation?
I feel incredibly lucky and extremely humble. You’re working with people at the top of their game, the best in the world, on projects that are so much bigger than you, that are going to be watched and talked about years after you stopped working on them. Both fantastic experiences.
How has animation changed over the years? How is technology helping raise the bar in animation?
There’s no limit to what can be achieved with animation, and as long as we have creative people coming up with exciting ideas we’re going to see the way films are animated constantly evolving. Technology is going to help us push the boundaries of what’s possible, creating an ever greater experience for audiences which, coupled with great stories, will knock peoples socks off.
If you're interested in finding more about Animation and the course we teach here at Escape Studios, dont hesitate to get in touch.