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Some early exploration sketches I made for a project about Usain Bolt for Gatorade. It was a lot of fun trying to capture his athleticism in a pretty simplified/flat style, and the short turned out awesome - check it The Boy Who Learned to Fly! Art & film property of Moonbot LLC

(Fun fact, I also ended up modeling teen & adult Usain. And the sweet sweet pupper who hits his head.) 

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Gatorade and Moonbot Studios made a web ad too pretty for me to click through.

“The Boy Who Learned to Fly,” a gorgeous short animated film about Usain Bolt.

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Guardians of Childhood Jack Frost

ISBN: 978-1442430433
Released Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 48
Author: William Joyce

Discover how Jack Frost keeps the hearts of children happy in the third picture book in Academy Award winner William Joyce’s New York Times bestselling and “dazzlingly inventive” (Publishers Weekly) The Guardians of Childhood series.

Before Jack Frost was Jack Frost, he was Nightlight, the most trusted and valiant companion of Mim, the Man in the Moon. But when Pitch destroys Mim’s world, he nearly destroys Nightlight too, sending him plunging to Earth where, like Peter Pan, he is destined to remain forever a boy, frozen in time. And while Nightlight has fun sailing icy winds and surfing clouds, he is also lonely without his friend Mim. To keep the cold in his heart from taking over, he spreads it to the landscapes around him and earns a new name: Jack Overland Frost.

But a true friend always comes through, and on one particularly bleak night, Mim shines down and shows Jack a group of children in great peril. Through helping them, Jack finds the warmth he’s been yearning for, and realizes bringing joy to others can melt his own chill. It is this realization—that there will always be children who need moments of bravery, who need rosy cheeks, who need to build snowmen, and who are then eager for a spring day—that makes Jack realize why he is a forever boy, and worthy of becoming a Guardian of Childhood.

William Joyce’s Q&A

Check out some of William Joyce’s answers about Rise of the Guardians, The Guardians of Childhood and… the ROTG SEQUEL?!?!

thatbrat: Dear Mr. Joyce, I know many people don’t give him much thought when talking about the movie, Rise of the Guardians, but for me, the character I was able to relate to the most was young Jamie Bennett. I saw so much of myself in him from when I was a child, and can still relate to his wanting to believe in fantastical beings and pursuit for the truth of the supernatural. I also thought his relationship with Jack was especially endearing and significant. So, getting down to it, my question is: can we expect to see more of him, specifically in Guardians of Childhood? Also, if you’ve given any thought to it, what would he be like as a teenager? What would his aspirations be?

WJ: Jamie was our way of giving the audience a sort of identifiable every kid. So as his character took shape we just thought of the things we wanted him to embody that we all had felt about belief and imagination and that sort of fall from grace when you have to accept the fact that a lot of these things aren’t real. But the belief in them is really the most awesome part of the experience, and in the way it makes these characters real. I want to leave Jamie exactly as he is and let people like yourself imagine his further adventures.

KSClaw: Dear Mr. Joyce, where did you get your initial ideas for Nicholas St. North from your Guardian of Childhood series? How did you come up with that he started out as a Bandit King?

WJ: 1. I came up with the idea when i was in the 3rd grade when I saw my first James Bond move with Sean Connery and I thought Santa Claus must be as cool as Sean Connery and I came up with an early idea of what his life must be like: a super cool spy bandit from bandit from long ago.
2. Sort of the same thing it seemed more interesting that he started out as not a totally good guy, but became a good guy because of what happened to him. It was sort of merging Robin Hood and James Bond because Robin Hood was a normal guy and became a hero because of what was going on around him. He became a hero for the underprivileged, and kids are always treated as second class citizens and Santa Claus’ mission was to make their lives easier and inventive and full of imagination.

rareapplepie: Hello! I have a couple of questions of you! 

1. Is there going to be a book for Pitch in the Guardians of Childhood series?
2. Are we going to get a Rise of the Guardians sequel? I’ve heard whispers and rumors, but I wanted to ask you guys~
3. Will there ever be any hope of actually getting good, quality merchandise for Rise of the Guardians? Things like…Jack’s Hoodie, maybe a toy Ruby Memory box, stuffed plushie Nightmares, maybe even something cute like a Sandman Nightight? All of your fans would -love- to have stuff like that!

WJ: Maybe. I’m thinking about. I just finished the Jack Frost book. Everyone who wants a sequel to happen to call Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks studio, and not to hang up until you talk to him. Tell them how essential it is that another Rise of the Guardians film be made. As for the merchandise, call Jeffrey Katzenberg [laughs] send him telegrams, letters, fruitcakes, pints of blood, anything that’ll get them to do this very simple, profitable, and necessary extension of our global culture. And bless you all.

KSCLaw: What was the inspiration for Bunnymund from Guardians of Childhood, and how chocolate affects him (such as the transformations)?

WJ: The inspiration for Bunnymund was a play from the 1950s – and a movie – called Harvey starting Jimmy Stewart. In which Jimmy Stewart’s best friend is a six foot all knowing all powerful invisible rabbit named Harvey. Harvey is described as a Pooka a creature of Celtic mythology. I loved that play and movie as a kid and I still love it. So I made Bunnymund the last of the Pooka’s and gave them a history that amused and delighted me and I tried to do honor to the original concept of Harvey. The chocolate thing, it just made narrative sense.

JokulFrosti1: William when you were making Rise Of The Guardians do you ever planned on naming Jack’s sister? And if so what would be her name?

WJ: That’s a closely guarded secret, but if you contact Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks Studios to know the answer in a sequel to Rise of the Guardians I think that’s the best shot you have to knowing the answer.

JokulFrosti1: Did Jack meet his “family” (the one we see in flashbacks in ROTG) between his (as Nightlight) battle with Pitch but before he officially became Jack Frost?

WJ: Yes, but they couldn’t see him.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore | Moonbot Studios

One of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011 in the 84th Academy Awards.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studios

Nominated for Best Animated Short at this years Oscars.

Go on, escape for 15 minutes or so, you’ve earned it.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore Trailer

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“Of Oz” mock trailer for Moonbot Studio’s workshop

Feel reel made for Moonbot Studio’s workshop where we had to take an open intelectual property and do something new with the story.  Our group updated the Wizard of Oz with concept art, character designs, and a feel reel. We set the story 50 years in the future where the Scarecrow rules Oz and the Tin Man and Dorothy have to infiltrate Oz and lead the resistance to overthrow Scarecrow…
other team members - Uri Lotan, Shaun Ellis, Justin Volz, and Jason Long

HOLY FUCK. HOLY SHIT. OH MY GOD. THEY WON. THEY WON THEY WON THEY WON I'M DYING I CAN'T EVEN HANDLE THIS THIS IS AMAZING.

In case you didn’t get it, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore just won the Academy Award for the Best Animated Short Film, directed by Branden Oldenburg and William Joyce.

If you didn’t already know, William Joyce is the man who created Rollie Polie Olie, a.k.a. the man that gave me 70% of my childhood. 

I’m so excited. Congratulations everyone, this is so great for you. I’m so happy for everyone at Moonbot. You all deserve this so much!