A New Cow In Town

So, did you miss me? The blog and I both had a strong hit of summer lassitude, but we’re back and, like kids going back to school, we’re ready with our figurative crayons and erasers for a new season.

Not everyone has been as lazy as I am and I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Dan Lund and his team.  Over a year ago, Dan contacted me about animating a song written by Howard.  I didn’t think the song he was interested in was great for animation but I had another idea.

Howard and Alan wrote Aria For A Cow before they hit the Little Shop of Horrors jackpot.  As a matter of fact, Howard was sleeping in a literal hole-in-wall, an alcove in his office space at the WPA Theater.  Alan has written a great piece about that time in the team’s career and I’ll be posting it in a few weeks.

But back to Aria.  I have always loved it.  It’s a silly song, written on spec for Sesame Street (they turned it down).  In the past few years, I’d pitched it to a few children’s book publishers with no success.  So there it sat.

Until this guy shot me an email asking about animating a song of Howard’s.

Now, as it turned out, Dan was, and still is, an animator at Disney.  So Bill and I checked him out and figured we’d give him a chance.  Alan said sure and the whole thing started.

It’s taken a while and it’s still a work in progress but we’re all so excited about this little short.  It’s an outside project for Dan, who is directing it, independent of Disney.  Dan is working with two wonderfully talented young animators named Amos Sussigan and Nikitha Mannam.  Their two previous shorts, Broken Wing and Swan Cake and are sweeping up all sorts of Film Festival awards.  It’s all very exciting.

There are lots of other people involved, too.  I have learned that it doesn’t take a village to make a five-minute short…it takes a city.

I think my favorite part of this project is its theatricality.  You’ll see what I mean eventually, but for now, let’s just say that if ever some – or cows - kids got together in a barn and put on a show – or an animated short – this is it.  But I also love that a song Howard and Alan wrote is serving as a jumping-off point for a new generation of artists.  I think that would make Howard proud.

Here’s a very first sneak peak of a logo.