Knick Knack commentary with Director John Lasseter and Technical directors Eben Ostby and Bill Reeves. Version 1 from 1989.


  • LASSETER: Now, Knick Knack was, was special because we were so exhausted after Tin Toy we decided that we wanted to do a cartoon. A... You know, something that's made of geometric shapes. No human characters. Just, you know, something the computer could do really well.
  • OSTBY: Plastic. A lot of plastic.
  • LASSETER: A lot of plastic, yeah. But also, Knick Knack was made in 3D, Stereo 3D. We got really quite interested in 3D photography and so we did actually two eye views. A left and a right eye view of Knick Knack. And so Knick Knack was actually a 3D movie and it worked out really well. But I... It's one of my favorites actually 'cause it's just, you know, pure cartooning. I remember, I remember what it was, was we were working on Tin Toy, and Roger Rabbit came out. Remember I was dealing with the baby and have, moving it around like a real baby kind of thing and then I went to see Roger Rabbit and it just was pure animation, just wild and crazy. And I came back and I was like... I felt like I was animating some, animating something that was standing still. So I thought, "Oh, we gotta do just a cartoon, like a Chuck Jones cartoon." And that's what the inspiration for Knick Knack was, pure Chuck Jones and Warner Bros. cartoons.
  • REEVES: This was when particle systems was in here too, you know, in, on the, the flakes inside the globe.
  • LASSETER: Well, I remember...
  • REEVES: Eben, you worked on that.
  • OSTBY: Yeah. There was a simulation we had...
  • REEVES: Right.
  • LASSETER: Fluid...
  • OSTBY: ...a simple fluid simulation...
  • REEVES: Right, right.
  • OSTBY: know, with blowers and things to make those particles move around.
  • LASSETER: I remember when we did the storyboard, I went to Eben and Bill and said, "Okay. Tell me now whether we can do the snowflakes floating around. Because if we can't, let's come up with a different idea." 'Cause it is so fundamental to those snow balls to, to do... You know, to make them float around and that's when... I always love giving these guys challenges 'cause they always figure out a way to do it. Um, it was pretty difficult to work with but I think it in the end... Every single shot had to be tweaked numerous times but it actually worked out pretty well. It was really funny when it, when it broke. Remember that?
  • OSTBY: It broke in terrible ways.
  • LASSETER: And those snowflakes went everywhere like at lightning speed and stuff. It was pretty funny.
  • OSTBY: I think it's more common that they broke than that they didn't.
  • LASSETER: We had a computer monitor where we could actually see the left and right eye together. And we had these, um, glasses that we would put on. And it was so exciting when these starting being rendered and seeing them in 3D especially with the snowflakes floating around. And then when, when Nick, the snowman, falls into the, the aquarium at the bottom with those, the rocks floating around, it looked just amazing in 3D.
  • REEVES: We actually couldn't see it animated in 3D, could we?
  • LASSETER: No, it's just the stills.
  • REEVES: All we could see is stills, right.
  • (chorus vocalizing)
  • LASSETER: Deirdre Warin came up with the ending with mermaid in it. I remember sitting in her office in a little story meeting, she came up with that idea. And it was like, "That's great. It was perfect." And we went with it. I think that story was created in about two days.
  • REEVES: Is... It... It's amazing.
  • LASSETER: Yeah.
  • (fade to black)
  • (chorus vocalizing)
  • Bobby McFerrin: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
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  • Bobby McFerrin: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
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  • Bobby McFerrin: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
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  • Bobby McFerrin: Blah, blah, blah-blah-blah, blah, blah-blah-blah.
  • (chorus vocalizing)

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