Welcome to my web page, and thank you for taking an interest in my work.
Throughout my career, I have always worn several hats, so you may be interested in my work as a filmmaker, writer, animation historian, teacher or artist.
Scroll down this page to see what I am doing currently, or click one of the buttons at left to learn more about me and my work.
I have recently added a new section featuring a gallery of my watercolor paintings. The ARTWORKS button at the left of the page will take you there.
John Canemaker and co-producer Peggy Stern accept the Academy Award for
THE MOON AND THE SON: An Imagined Conversation.
Watch John and Peggy before and after the Oscar ceremony!
Now Available on DVD for Home Video, Libraries and Educational Institutions
NEWS & EVENTS:
John Canemaker Curates Pinocchio Exhibition at
Walt Disney Family Museum Opening May 18, 2016
The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio.
On view from May 18, 2016 to January 9, 2017, this never-before-seen exhibit allows visitors
to step behind-the-scenes to explore the artistic processes of one of the most influential animated f
ilms ever produced: Walt Disney's 1940 feature-length masterpiece Pinocchio.
Guest-curated by John Canemaker - an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning
independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author - this immersive exhibition invites
the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into
how legendary animators worked and thought.
Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibit
allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios,
assembled here for the first time since the film's production. Featuring more than 300 objects (including
original animation drawings, cels, concept art, backgrounds, and maquettes), the exhibition takes a closer
look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, style, and costumes of this remarkable film,
which has remained a beloved classic for more than 75 years.
Canemaker lecture on May 21
On Saturday, May 21, at 1pm, John Canemaker will give an illustrated lecture at the Walt Disney Family
Museum Theatre on how Pinocchio came to be made, and the challenges that Walt Disney and his
production team faced in adapting the original children's story to animation. Canemaker will analyze
the work of the film's master animators - whose exceptionally detailed and sensitive animation still
impresses audiences - with particular attention to the creative contributions of Vladimir Tytla and Milt Kahl.
Seating is limited - for ticket information click here.
John Canemaker to Present Richard Protovin films at MOMA
Two animated short films by independent filmmaker Richard Protovin (1945-1991) will be featured in this year's
Orphans at MoMA presentation. They are part of the annual To Save and Project collaboration between MoMA
and the NYU Orphan Film Symposium, which features an eclectic variety of rediscovered films.
Protovin founded the animation program at New York University in 1980, and was its director until 1988.
John Canemaker, who began teaching with Protovin at NYU in 1981, succeeded him as director of the
animation program. Protovin died in Florida, in 1991, at age 45, of complications from AIDS.
Canemaker will introduce Protovin's films Straw Pib (1979) and Film Fan (1985), from, respectively, the collections
of the New York Public Library and The Museum of Modern Art.
To Save and Project: The 13th MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY
Tuesday, November 24, 7:00 p.m.
The Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic: A John Canemaker Lecture
and Screening of Fantasia, introduced by John Canemaker
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 6:30 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
The dazzling special effects in Walt Disney's early Technicolor features, most notably Fantasia (1940),
have fascinated generations of viewers, though the secrets behind their creation were long forgotten, even
within the studio. John Canemaker, author of The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of
Walt Disney's Movie Magic (Weldon Owen, 2014), explores the complex mechanical and optical processes
that enabled Disney to delight the eye with dancing snowflakes, flying wraiths, erupting volcanoes, and other
visual treats, as detailed in a recently discovered notebook, compiled by photographer and effects specialist
Schultheis during his 1938-41 tenure at Disney.
A Q&A and screening of Fantasia (1940) follows Canemaker's one-hour lecture.
A book signing of The Lost Notebook precedes the lecture in the Titus 1 gallery at 5:45pm.
Disney-Pixar's Inside Out: A Special Advance Screening and Q&A
with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera, moderated by John Canemaker
John Canemaker and Pete Docter
Presented by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences & SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street
New York, NY
Friday, May 29, 2015
7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
On Friday, May 29, after an Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' screening at 7 p.m.
of the new Disney-Pixar feature Inside Out, John Canemaker will moderate a Q&A
with the film's director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera.
Unfortunately, the event is SOLD OUT!
John Canemaker Presents "Tyrus Wong at The Disney Studio" at Museum of Chinese in America
John Canemaker and the legendary 104-year old artist Tyrus Wong at the opening of Wong's
retrospectve at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City on March 26, 2015
On Thursday, May 14, at 7:00pm, New York's Museum of Chinese in America will host John Canemaker
in a profusely illustrated analysis of Tyrus Wong's influential and unique contributions to the art direction
of the animated feature film Bambi (1942), and his personal experiences working three and a half years at the
Walt Disney studio.
The presentation is in conjuction with the Museum's exhibition, Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong,
which runs through September 13, 2015.
For ticket information, click here.
An Evening with Glen Keane and John Canemaker at MoMA
On Monday evening, April 6, to a packed audience at MoMA in New York City, John Canemaker introduced
and participated in a discussion with Glen Keane, a master of character animation at Disney for nearly four decades.
Glen Keane has brought some of Disney's most beloved figures to life. More than a few of them, including Ariel, the Beast,
Aladdin, Tarzan, and Pocahontas, have become immortal through his unique artistry. Keane's indelible contribution to the
medium has been to preserve the subtlety and warmth of the hand-drawn animated line while also pioneering, and assimilating,
cutting-edge digital technologies that make gravity-defying motion and three-dimensional depth and volume possible.
This special Modern Mondays featured the New York theatrical premiere of Keane's most recent project, the soaring,
gossamer Duet (2014). An independent collaboration with Google's Advance Technology and Projects Group (ATAP),
Duet is an interactive hand-drawn animation that explores spatial and sensory awareness.
Keane traced his career in richly illustrated film clips and other imagery, from his mid-1970s Disney apprenticeship to his
groundbreaking experiments in situating hand-drawn characters in computer-generated environments. Keane, who retired
from Disney in 2013, then took part in an onstage conversation with Canemaker.
The Lost Notebook Now Available
John Canemaker's latest book, The Lost Notebook: Herman Schultheis and the Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic
is now available. This behind the scenes look at the special effects wizardry of the Disney studioat the height of
its Golden Age, 1937-1941 is drawn from a series of lavishly illustrated and detailed notebooks composed
by studio effects engineer Herman Schultheis.
Reviews have praised the book:
Animation scholars and fans alike will never look at the classic Disney films in the same way
after reading The Lost Notebook, one of the most unique and informative animation history
books ever published.
-- Amid Amidi, editor, Cartoon Brew
Just when you think there is nothing else to know, nothing left to uncover, Canemaker and
the Disney Family Museum put this major piece of animation/Disney/special effects research
and Hollywood history on the table ...Beautiful to behold, a rare artifact and important reference
material -- what more can I say?
-- Jerry Beck, Cartoon Research
This book should spark a lot of ideas for working artists interested in exploring
pre-digital film technology, and it will offer a wealth of insights for animation history fans.
-- James Gurney, Gurney Journey
An unfailingly graceful writer, Canemaker puts Shultheis' story into perspective, following the ambitious
(possibly overly ambitious) self-promoter through his years of world travel and exploration...I was captivated
by the multiple layers of its story -- and all those fascinating pictures.
-- Leonard Maltin, Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy
During his brief tenure at Disney, Schultheis created these books for his own use. They were never published and remained hidden
for nearly 50 years until their discovery in the 1990s. They are now part of the permanent collection of the Walt Disney Family Museum
and provide an extraordinary document of the production secrets behind Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi and other Disney films.
To order the book on Amazon, click here.
Canemaker Research Materials Donated to MoMA and NYU Fales Collections
John Canemaker has made a major donation of personal artwork and related materials spanning more than 50 years
to the Department of Film of the Museum of Modern Art. The contents include personal journals, scrapbooks and
correspondence; original storyboards and production art from nearly all of his films; and published illustrations,
idea sketches and commercial art projects.
After receiving the donation in March, MoMA associate curator Ronald S. Magliozzi wrote, "We were moved by the magnitude
of this gift." The materials have been re-housed in archival boxes and are available for research and study at the museum.
In 2011,Canemaker deposited for film preservation purposes, negatives and 35mm and 16mm prints of his films at MoMA's
Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center located in Hamlin, Pennsylvania.
This year Canemaker also made a significant addition to the John Canemaker Animation Collection at the Fales Library
& Special Collections of NYU's Bobst Library. The new material, listed in the collection guide as "Accretions 2012,"consists of
documentary material, audio and video tapes, production information, correspondence and items relating to his recent major projects,
including films, books, periodicals and lectures, including documents, letters, brochures and photos regarding the 78th Annual Academy
Awards (2005) in which Canemaker's film The Moon and The Son won as Best Animated Short.
A complete guide to the John Canemaker Collection can be found here.
The Moon and the Son Featured in New Book on Animated Documentary Films
John Canemaker is one of seven international animators profiled by Judith Kriger in Animated Realism: A Behind-the-Scenes look at the Animated
Documentary Genre, published by Focal Press. Krieger analyzes the work of Canemaker, Yoni Goodman (Waltzing with Bashhir); Bob Sabiston
(Waking Life); Marie-Josee Saint-Pierre (Passages); Dennis Dupicoff (Chainsaw); Chris Landreth (Ryan), and Paul Fierlinger (My Dog Tulip).
In her introduction, Krieger observes, "Animation is not usually associated with documentary filmmaking, yet the directors profiled in Animated Realism
are exemplars of this hybrid form of expression by telling unforgettable stories using iconic imagery. This book was written because it's important for
directors and students of both the animated and documentary forms to understand how these forms of storytelling can be combined together in uniquely
powerful and imaginative ways."
Krieger's profile of Canemaker is accompanied by many examples of original art and concept sketches from The Moon and The Son:
an Imagined Conversation. Regarding its exclusive use of hand-drawn animation, she comments, "Part of the pleasure in viewing this
film is in seeing the charm in the imperfect splashes of paint and 'boiling' pencil lines used to bring the audience into Canemaker's world
It is as if the contrast between the very real pain conveyed in the script and the hand-drawn, very intuitive techniques chosen to produce
The Moon and the Son: an Imagined Conversation serve to heighten the intensity in Canemaker's story. There is a vigorous connection
between the artist's head and heart; technology never gets in the way."
Golden Books Publishes A Mary Blair Treasury with Foreword by John Canemaker
In 1950, the influential artist and designer Mary Blair added book illustration to her diverse portfolio, with the publication of Baby's House,
by Geolo McHugh, the first of five Golden Books that Blair would illustrate over the next 14 years. All five titles are now being reissued in
A Mary Blair Treasury of Golden Books, with a foreword by John Canemaker.
Blair was the subject of Canemaker's 2003 biography, The Art and Flair of Mary Blair.
In addition to Baby's House, the Mary Blair Treasury includes I Can Fly, The Golden Book of Little Verses, selections from The New Golden Songbook,
and The Up and Down Book. This collection offers a wonderful opportunity for adults to appreciate the scope of Blair's artistic style, and her gift for
storytelling. Her work is suffused with warmth and humanity, immediately drawing readers into the world of her imagination and engaging them
with her fanciful imagery.
Canemaker Animation Featured on MoMA Kid's Website Destination Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art has selected John Canemaker's 1998 animated short, Bridgehampton, as the centerpiece of a learning module about filmmaking at its new interactive learning site for children, Destination Modern Art.
Destination Modern Art is a virtual museum that allows children to explore various works from MoMA's renowned collections of painting, sculpture, design and film. Users can "enter" the works of artists such as Picasso, Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Romare Bearden, sculptor Umberto Boccni and architect Marcel Breuer, as well as access a variety of related learning activities and projects.
At the site's Movie Theater, one can watch the full six-minute film Bridgehampton, as well as select individual scenes and see original storyboard sketches from Canemaker's painterly study of the seasons on eastern Long Island.
Learning activities include a step-by-step example of how animation is done and a downloadable flip book, both of which were designed and animated by Canemaker specifically for the site.
For more information: http://www.moma.org/destination/
Ward-O-Matic Two Part Blog
All the photos featured in this Ward-O-Matic interview (and more) can be viewed together in a
Flickr photoset: John Canemaker's Oscar Experience
The Evening Class Blog
Official HBO The Moon & The Son Page
Animation World Magazine
John Canemaker: Marching to a Different Toon
Available in stores and online on DVD and VHS!
Distributed by Milestone Film & Video - 800.603.1104 - www.milestonefilms.com
Available in stores and online!
You can also find it at www.amazon.com!
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