Movie Interviews

Published on June 17th, 2016 | by Tracey Barrientos


We Talk Finding Dory With Michael Stocker Of Pixar

Recently I took part in a round table interview with Michael Stocker, supervising animator of Disney/Pixar’s latest film Finding Dory. I was dying to find out what he had to say.
-As a supervising animator, what are some of the things that you do? 

I’m one of two and our job. As animators were actors.  We need to make sure that Andrew and Angus the directors are getting the acting that they want. We have to make sure that the performances are right, we have to make sure that maybe there’s thirty people animating Dory so we have to make sure that Dory looks like Dory in every shot. It’s just like when somebody draws a picture, they have just a way about how they might draw something. It’s slightly different than somebody else. Sometimes you get a little off model sometimes or Dory might not do it quite like that. So we are the gage for that. We also have to make sure that all of our animators, we look at their strengths and weaknesses in terms of who is great at action sequences and who might be great at her inner turmoil. We cast the right shots to the write animators to make sure they get what they want to do and to set them up for success. The two of us are on really early so we’re building everything that you see in the show. We’re building all the characters, we’re rigging everything so that they can move around in preparation for our crew. I think seventy animators when they come on so they can just go and sit down and just animate away. That’s what I do in a nut shell.

-For those of us that haven’t seen the film, can you tell us a little about the new characters? 

We obviously have our normal ones. We have Hank the octopus who is a new character. We have Destiny who is a whale shark and Bailey a beluga whale. We have some sea lions, a loon and it’s sort of like if you were to visit a coast of California If there happened to be an aquarium that lived on the coast of California you might visit all of the animals that habitat in that area. It’s great because they all provide this comedic relief. They are all really funny and it was fun to play with all of the different species.
-Do you have a favorite between 2D and 3D animation?
I don’t. I watch a Miyazaki movie and I’m blown away, it’s beautiful. The immersive environments that he builds and the stories that he tells are beautiful. I think the way that Disney and Pixar are making movies are beautiful so I love it all. A good animated movie is beautiful to me so I don’t have a favorite.
-Are there any “Easter eggs” you can tell us about?
If I told you…would they be hidden. Yes there are some. You’ll have to find those on your own. There’s a handful. There are some of the ones that are in every film.
-Do you have a favorite Disney movie? 
I don’t, I really don’t. Even my kids are like “Dad, what’s your favorite”? I’m like I don’t have a favorite. I like movies for different reasons. My experiences working on the movies are different. I love Ratatouille, I love The Incredibles. It was my first movie there and I love both of those movies. Their both Brad Bird projects, I like that. I like Cars because I loved working with John Lasseter. It’s interesting working with all the directors. I think I’ve worked with most of them and their all different and amazing to work with so its hard for me to pick a favorite because my experiences are so tied to the movies.
I would like to thank Michael Stocker for his time and be sure to just keep swimming on into the theaters to catch Dory in an all new adventure on June 17th. 

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