Lightbox Expo 2023: A Conversation With Dean Yeagle

Interview Wi

  • Date: 10/28/2023
  • Location: Lightbox Expo 2023

Anime Herald: You had been initially focused on turning into a Disney artist.

Dean Yeagle: I’ve animated Mickey Mouse and Pinocchio for a business. I’m an official Disney artist. I’m allowed to attract Disney characters. They put you on a listing. If anyone desires somebody to attract their characters, they will go to Disney, and Disney will inform them who’s allowed to.

Anime Herald: Was getting placed on the checklist one among your life achievements?

Dean Yeagle: I didn’t even know I used to be on it till somebody informed me, “Yeah, we known as them, you’re on the checklist.”

I by no means labored on the studio. I additionally labored for Disney’s New York workplace. That was merchandising; tee shirts, and video games, and characters, and so forth.

I additionally did character design. One of many producers from Disney got here out to New York. He had an hour to remain. He requested everybody to do a design for a TV that they had been going to make. It was about an alien canine. It turned a TV present and stuffed toys, and I bought paid for an hour’s price of labor. I realized so much from that.

Anime Herald: What was the title of the present?

Dean Yeagle: It was known as “Fluppy Dogs.” It was not precisely a windfall for me. They finally determined to make it a bunch of canines, for merchandising.

I at all times carry that up as one of many issues I realized about designing characters. Design them your self, not once you’re working for them, or for anyone. While you design them your self, they’ve to purchase the copyright from you, and so forth. There’s plenty of issues to be taught.

Once I was eight years previous, I discovered that human beings made animation. While you’re a child, it’s simply magic. While you notice individuals do it, I believed to myself, “Possibly I may do it.” I caught with that thought from once I was eight.

By the point I used to be able to work at Disney, individuals had been leaving in droves. It wasn’t a very good time at Disney in any respect. However I had already labored in New York. They didn’t even wish to take a look at animation. They weren’t prepared to rent anyone. So I by no means bought into the studio. I simply labored with them as a freelancer.

A painting by Dean Yeagle labeled "The Boss", which depicts a stegosaurus in a suit smoking a cigar as he looks, nonchalant, at the camera.A painting by Dean Yeagle labeled "The Boss", which depicts a stegosaurus in a suit smoking a cigar as he looks, nonchalant, at the camera.

I did storyboarding, and layouts, and backgrounds, and no matter was wanted. I realized the entire course of. Finally, I opened my very own studio (Caged Beagle Productions) with Nancy Beiman. She finally turned a instructor. She’s a terrific animator. We did commercials. I labored on Ice Age. Ice Age was accomplished close to us in New York. Any type of animation or cartooning that was wanted, in all places, was what I’ve accomplished. Books, characters for company shoppers. 

You need to hold your eyes open as to what’s occurring within the enterprise. 2D animation took a dive when 3D got here in; it’s a must to hold transferring to completely different potentialities. However there’s at all times one thing on the market. Someone who wants cartoons. Gaming got here up. I by no means did something with that, however it’s there. Then I did cartoons for Playboy Journal, which is a wholly completely different factor, apart from the truth that I saved the identical type. I labored for them for fifteen years. That was a very good factor, as a result of it allowed my work to be seen and my title to be seen, because you get to signal your work. You don’t try this in animation.

In animation, you get to be recognized by different animation individuals. Playboy allowed me to be recognized by the general public typically. Folks acknowledge my type. That modified my complete route. I’ve a personality named Mandy. She’s my character. For her, I’ve had three gallery reveals in Paris.

Anime Herald: Arludik Gallery?

Dean Yeagle: Arludik sure, and Galerie Daniel Maghen. They love cartoons in France. Lots mates of mine have had reveals there, significantly at Arludik.

You by no means know the place your subsequent job goes to come back from. You simply should be prepared.

Anime Herald: You’ve made a big impression within the kids’s cereal market.

Dean Yeagle: Sure. That’s going again a methods. I did the design of the Cheerios bee. That was one of many very first issues I did in New York. That was at Zander’s Animation Parlor. We did a few of their commercials. Finally, everybody in animation did that bee someplace alongside the road.

That’s the opposite factor. Should you design a personality that lasts for years and years, it’s good to have accomplished that straight by your self. There I used to be working for one more firm.

An advertisement for Cookie Crisp cereal that features the characters cutting through the page to get at the breakfast food.An advertisement for Cookie Crisp cereal that features the characters cutting through the page to get at the breakfast food.

I’ve accomplished plenty of characters for meals corporations. I did Kool-aid packages for years. I did all types of foodstuffs. A whole lot of cereals that disappeared.

Anime Herald: Cookie Crisp continues to be round?

Dean Yeagle: Sure. Those I did with my own company. Nancy Beiman labored on a few of these too. I did these for a very good eight years. They had been plenty of enjoyable. Humorous little Tex Avery-style cartoons. The characters modified as I labored on them. I made them just a little extra stretched and squashable. A bit extra Disney-eque. That they had began out in a 1950’s flat TV type. I attempted to provide them just a little extra character, and just a little extra motion. Extra capability to precise their personalities. That was a enjoyable job and it lasted a very long time.

Anime Herald: Switching gears, Mandy has gone to varied museums and dressed just like the artwork.

Dean Yeagle: Sure. I did that as an entire sequence. I had her standing in the identical place, completely different items of artwork, dressed, or undressed, as no matter she was .

Anime Herald: What was your favourite artist to have Mandy imitate?

Dean Yeagle: She didn’t truly imitate the type of the artists. As I say, she wore the garments. Or with Rubens, she needed to get fatter, and extra bare.

Anime Herald: Extra rounded.

Artwork by Dean Yeagle that depicts Mandy, a blonde woman, from behind as she's dressed in a pattern matching the painting she's looking at.Artwork by Dean Yeagle that depicts Mandy, a blonde woman, from behind as she's dressed in a pattern matching the painting she's looking at.

Dean Yeagle: Sure. That was the essential thought. I didn’t attempt to attract like the unique artists.

Anime Herald: While you had been nineteen, you bought one 12 months of faculty training, and then you definitely went to work. What was behind that call?

Dean Yeagle: It was a small artwork faculty in Philadelphia. I went to that artwork faculty, after which in the summertime, I bought a job at an animation studio. It was a small animation studio, and it was a great way to start out in animation. They had been paying me, so that they wanted me to have one thing to do on a regular basis. In the event that they wanted me to do animation, I’d do animation. I did storyboards and character design. It was a great way of studying the entire course of. I noticed that’s what I used to be doing, so I simply stop artwork faculty. They hated cartooning in artwork faculty anyway.

Anime Herald: What faculty was this?

Dean Yeagle: It was known as “Hussian College of Artwork.” A small little faculty. It had nothing however artwork. Purely an artwork faculty. I noticed that I used to be studying how you can animate.

Anime Herald: That was what you needed.

Dean Yeagle: Sure. So, I didn’t go to high school for animation. There wasn’t any such place. There have been some faculties in New York that had lessons on animation, however they didn’t educate you animation itself. How one can transfer a personality as a personality from one place to a different. As merely as that. They targeting type, on approach. Sand approach, spit approach. All types of how of doing it. All I needed to be taught was how you can truly animate. I’ll care for approach once I’m in a position to do it.

Concept art for Chip, the Cookie Crisp dog.Concept art for Chip, the Cookie Crisp dog.

Now, there are lots of locations the place you’ll be able to be taught animation. Actual animation. Everywhere. And, in fact, Disney opened Cal Arts. That’s the place Nancy, my eventual associate in animation, got here from. She was the primary scholar to graduate from Cal Arts. She was taught by Disney animators. They taught there.

Anime Herald: Did you go there?

Dean Yeagle: No, I by no means went there. However, I used to be in California, in fact. I used to be working in New York. I used to be already in animation at Zander’s. She got here to Zander’s. That’s how I met her. She was instantly employed by Jack Zander. Jack Zander was an old-time animator. He labored on the previous Tom & Jerry cartoons. He was terrific. He appreciated actual animation. While you had been engaged on commercials in these days, the animation was Disney-style. Within the sense that it was full. It was a terrific place to work and be taught.

Artwork by Dean Yeagle of Mandy: a busty, blonde woman with pigtails, wearing a coverall denim skirt. She's holding a daisy as she smirks at the camera.Artwork by Dean Yeagle of Mandy: a busty, blonde woman with pigtails, wearing a coverall denim skirt. She's holding a daisy as she smirks at the camera.

Anime Herald: What was the primary agency you joined once you had been nineteen?

Dean Yeagle: That was Animation Arts Associates, in Philadelphia.

Anime Herald: After that, you jumped from there to Zander’s?

Dean Yeagle: From there, I jumped to the Navy. It was Vietnam-era. In the end, I used to be going to be drafted, so I made a decision to hitch the Navy. I used to be within the Navy for 4 years. Once I bought out of the Navy, I went to Jack Zander’s in New York.

Anime Herald: I see that you just labored with Hanna Barbera, Marvel, and Jim Henson. Any enjoyable tales from any of these three?

Dean Yeagle: I by no means labored at these locations, so I by no means had an excessive amount of reference to them. There’s an attention-grabbing story about Jim Henson, although. Once I was working on the studio in Philadelphia once I was nineteen. Jim Henson, who no one knew on the time, got here in to point out a reel. No person knew who he was. The reel he was displaying didn’t even have puppets in it. It was known as “Time Piece.” It was a surreal little piece of movie. 

He was displaying it round to get work and determine what he needed to do finally. There was nothing he may supply to an animation studio on the time. However after he left, all of us stated to one another, “We’ll see him once more. He’s not going to vanish off the face of the Earth. That man is aware of what he’s doing.”

That’s once I first met him. Once I finally did some work for him, as a freelancer, I met him. I used to go [Henson’s] Christmas events. I met him at one of many Christmas events and I reminded him of his go to to our studio once I was nineteen. That was attention-grabbing. He was a really good man.

Anime Herald: He knew you had no energy over the choice. And his life labored out properly anyway.

Dean Yeagle: He was simply taking it round to anyone who labored in movie close by. Nevertheless it was a pleasant, professionally made piece of movie. He was in it too. I’d like to see it once more.

Anime Herald: Why can we cage the beagle? What did the beagle do unsuitable?

Dean Yeagle: (Laughs) The three of us who began Caged Beagle had been Cagle, Yeagle, and Beiman. We squished all of them collectively, and got here up with Caged Beagle.

Concept art of a frog carrying a tote bag.Concept art of a frog carrying a tote bag.

I did a personality of a beagle in a birdcage. It was a means of getting an organization title with all of our names.

Anime Herald: That poor pooch. What’s Cagle’s full title?

Dean Yeagle: Daryl Cagle. He turned an editorial cartoonist. He runs a web site of editorial cartoons, so he’s round. He places out books of editorial cartoons.

Nancy labored for us for some time.

Anime Herald: After which she turned a instructor?

Dean Yeagle: First she went to Disney. Nacy wasn’t terribly completely happy working for herself, with an organization that generally wouldn’t have any work. I at all times thought-about the lulls as holidays, however Nancy needed to work always. She finally went to Disney. She labored on Fantasia 2000, and Hercules. She was there for some time. She had a horrible auto accident and determined she didn’t wish to be in California anymore. She labored in Australia, Sweden, and Paris earlier than turning into a instructor.

She’s an excellent instructor. She put out a couple of books with Focal Press. One known as Prepare to Board about storyboarding. She at all times places stuff in about how you can make actual characters. Put together for the way they’re going to maneuver. There’s so much to be taught from her work.

Anime Herald: Are there any items of knowledge you’d care to share out of your years within the business?

Dean Yeagle: Every time anyone asks me that, I inform them a narrative from once I labored at Jack Zander’s. After lunch every single day I used to be sleepy. I nonetheless am, that’s the way in which it’s. I used to be working for a bit and I made a decision I used to be too drained.

Artwork by Dean Yeagle that depicts a penguin, inebriated, and yawning heavily as he leans against the rail of a boat.Artwork by Dean Yeagle that depicts a penguin, inebriated, and yawning heavily as he leans against the rail of a boat.

I laid my head on my desk. I may hear Jack’s footsteps approaching. I rapidly awoke and pretended I’d been working the entire time. Jack got here into my workplace to see what I used to be doing. He seemed over and we talked. He began to go away after which rotated and stated, “Oh, by the way in which, just a little bit of recommendation: While you go to sleep at your desk, don’t put your head in your animation disk. You’ve bought peg holes in your brow.”

Anime Herald: That is superb recommendation. Thanks very a lot.

Thank to Dean Yeagle for sitting down with us. Due to Lightbox Expo for making this interview potential. You will discover Dean Yeagle at his web site cagedbeagle.