The eighth edition of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival is honoured to host a masterclass by the veteran Disney animator Robb Pratt, in which, together with illustrating some of his expertise, he will also present his newest work: CARMAN – The Road Rage Anti-Hero.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Robb Pratt has always lived a few miles away from the Walt Disney Studios. Working there soon became his childhood dream and this led him, as soon as he graduated high school, to enrol in the animation courses offered by the Cartoonists’ Union.
In the midst of the “Renaissance era of American animation” of the early 90s, Disney was looking for new talents and Pratt is hired in 1994 to work on the production of Pocahontas.
He animates characters for classics such as Hercules (1997), Tarzan (1999), and Atlantis – The Lost Empire (2001). Then he goes on to create storyboards for Disney Channel’s most popular series, such as Kim Possible (2002 ) and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (2006), and directs the hit series The Replacements – Agency substitutions (2006). As an independent filmmaker, he has also produced and directed the critically acclaimed animated short films Superman Classic (2011), Bizarro Classic (2012) and Flash Gordon Classic (2015), in which, he explains, specific traits of a character are rolled up into one concept.
The same old-school style of the Classic short films is also present in his latest work CARMAN – The Road Rage Anti-Hero, of which Pratt had already started to film a live-action version in 1990. After working for Disney he personally explores the idea in animation. The result is a brilliant mini-series in seven parts with an explanatory animation tutorial at the end of each episode. The idea for the series comes as a representation of the road rage in the streets of Los Angeles. As Robb Pratt says, “when coming up with the concept of your story, the first rule is to write what you know”.