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My Winter Wonderland Animation Tour…continues in Jersey and Never Mess with Mother Nature


The next stop on my Winter Wonderland Animation Tour was Old Tappan, New Jersey. Kathy Kirschbaum and Tenafly High School hosted me for a two day animation workshop.

 When I arrived (meaning finally found my way to Old Tappan – thanks Bob, for coming out and finding me – I was about to lay down breadcrumbs.) Kathy and her husband Bob hosted a dinner with friends, co-workers and family. For me, the dinner was a throwback to those large family gatherings I experienced as a child when I grew up in South Philly (Philadelphia). The long table with a white embroidered table cloth, plenty of delicious food and great conversation; I felt immediately at home. I think it is a Northeast custom and a wonderful one at that.

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Early the next morning, we were on our way to Tenafly High School where Kathy teaches animation and graphic arts. A chat about animation jobs was scheduled in the library. A TV studio set is the focal point of the library. Here the morning’s daily announcements are made. The entire set-up was very impressive.

 So, I was all miked up and ready to go.  I began my chat with a lengthy run down of the possible positions available in the industry… everything from storyboard artist to rigger to producer. Next, I showed Pete’s Odyssey, as an example and mentioned the positions involved in such a project, then…


 A barrage of wind and rain attacked the school. Water poured in from a bank of windows and the wind gave an added dimension to the end of the 2D film.

 Then the lights went out!

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animator in the dark                                                 Can we draw by candlelight?

More students were added to the library as they escaped from the blacked-out hallways. Now, I had a full house with hundreds of students in attendance.

 To be honest, the questions from the teachers and students were intelligent and insightful. Light was provided by the drippy bank of windows. So we went on for an hour and a half more – and just talked animation. Finally a voice over the loud speaker proclaimed the school closed and laid out the plans for the early dismissal.

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A few of the students and moi

The next day was an all out animation workshop. We began with some basic concepts and built on these. The students were into it! In fact, they were so involved – we ran out of time to shoot their work.


At the conclusion of the day, Kathy and Rose Ann awarded me a plaque for my devotion, time and effort on behalf of the students at Tenafly High School. I was really touched.

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I really enjoyed my time at Tenafly High! It is an amazing place! Many thanks to Rose Ann of CSI and Kathy and her family for their hospitality.

My next stop was Bloomfield College for an animation masterclass…as my Winter Wonderland Animation tour continued.

Always Animated!