Gary Goldman & Lastrego e Testa
Born in Oakland and raised in Watsonville, California, Gary Goldman graduated with honours in Life Drawing and Art History from the University of Hawaii in 1971. He began his career in animation immediately by joining Walt Disney Productions. His first assignment was alongside legendary Disney animator Frank Thomas on the film Robin Hood (1973).
In 1974 he met Don Bluth, working with him as an animator on the films Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too! and The Rescuers (1977). And also, as Directing Animator on Pete’s Dragon (1977). The pair struck up an instant friendship, based on their shared desire to revisit the legacy of classical animation in today’s animated films. Their friendship turned into a creative partnership that has lasted for over 40 years. United by the common goal of restoring the lost techniques of classical animation, Goldman and Bluth resigned from Walt Disney Productions and in 1979 together with animator John Pomeroy founded their own independent animation studio, Don Bluth Productions Inc. After leaving Disney the team produced several feature films, starting with The Secret of NIMH (1982), which won the Saturn Award for “Best Animated Feature” from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, and then An American Tail (1986), which ushered in a new era of success for the entire category, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of the time. Their third feature film, completely produced and created in Ireland, was The Land Before Time. Having returned to the US, in 1994 Gary shared creative leadership with Don Bluth at Fox Animation, producing and directing the award-winning Anastasia (1997), which won an Oscar and three nominations. They followed this up with Bartok the Magnificent (1999) and science fiction animation film Titan AE (2000). Together with Don Bluth, Goldman was also producer and creator of the animated laser disc video games Dragon’s Lair (1983), Space Ace (1983) and Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp (1991). Dragon’s Lair received the Inkpot Award for the “First Interactive Laser Disc Arcade Game” and an Arkie Award for the “Best Arcade Audio/Visuals”.
LÀSTREGO E TESTA
Làstrego & Testa Multimedia, an independent animation studio specialising in children’s TV series whose origins date back to the early 1970s when founders Cristina Làstrego and Francesco Testa began working in the children’s publishing sector. As authors they have worked with publishing houses like Einaudi, Zanichelli, Mondadori, Fatatrac, Gallucci, Carthusia, E.Elle, Gallimard, Grasset et Fasquelle, Simon & Schuster, Nord Süd, Benziger, Velber, Carlsen, Altea, Juventud, Ravensburger, Henan Science ＆Technology Press, Beijing Yangliu Classic Culture and CCPPG. Over 200 of their books have been published in 18 different languages. The books have been joined by the production of cartoons (over 280 episodes) using the digital cutout technique, used to create images similar to book illustrations. Attentive to visual quality and educational content, the animations seek to stimulate the development of children’s creativity and are driven by the values of cooperation and solidarity. They are based on the drawings of Cristina Làstrego and the scripts of Francesco Testa, a 50-year partnership in both life and art. A technique stolen from two great masters, Giulio Gianini and Emanuele Luzzati, from whom they learned that the most important thing is not the form but rather the dream and the story you wish to communicate. A real Italian story, with fairytale colours. An animation studio that has never bothered with trends or the market but that has always sought to understand the needs of children and their imaginations. Three of their most successful works will be on display at Cartoons on the bay: THE CREATION A digital cutout animation on the creation of the world of Cristina Làstrego’s illustrations for the book of the same name written by Carlo Fruttero. The environmentally-friendly MIRO’ THE CAT and his fun adventures which stimulate children’s creativity in lots of different ways, showing how to make new use of everyday materials, and the “young accidental tourist” MARCO POLO, a modern hero who travels from the West to the East, taking the Silk Route all the way to China, intrigued by all types of culture. A wonderful series, rich in imagery, magnificent architecture and natural landscapes, which form the backdrop to magical tales about people and their feelings and passions.