Eric Goldberg directed 2 shorts in Fantasia 2000.  He animated the Genie in Aladdin. He’s currently animating on the upcoming “The Princess and the Frog“.  He is also author of the Animation Crash Course.  What else? His credit list is huge, look it up.


Although it came out last year, I just listened to Part 2 of Goldberg’s podcast interview.   Many animators would say that this stuff is common knowledge, but as a technical 3D guy who doesn’t deal with this kinda stuff on a daily basis, it helps to hear it from someone with such experience. What are some of the bits I’ve learned?

  • About how, in 2D, you can capture the feeling before you have to worry about the anatomy.  The importance of gestures, again, rears it’s head. Capturing this in 3D is a bit tricky sometimes. Another reason to pick up pencil once in awhile and/or work on a 3D solution to simulate this.  😉
  • In regards to FX or secondary animation, in 3D, with everything we get for free, we loose control over key story telling elements.  He gives the example of the fur in Monsters Inc.  It’s all controlled dynamically, but if it’s dynamic, we cannot use the fur as a tool for enhancing the movement, or even the emotion.
  • He notices how rigs are usually animated via the torso first, and how this makes CG walk-cycles feel very floaty and difficult to feel the energy.
  • He sometimes approaches his animations from the eyes outwards, drawing the eyes first, then the nose, then the cranium around the eyes.  The expression builds the shape.

If you want to hear about Goldberg’s recollection of animating Robin Williams as the Genie, or directing Pocahontas, check out the podcast over at  I’ll have to go back and listen to Part 1, as I’m sure there’s great stuff there also.

Finally, I have to include a link to a clip from the Magic Lamp Theater @ Disney Sea in Japan. I had the pleasure of working with Teunis de Raat, who worked with Goldberg in order to make this 3D version of the Genie come to life. That must have been one hell of an experience. Maybe I can convince him to divulge some details.