I arrived in Los Angeles! It was about
12pm on Thursday February 24th,
2011. I hurried to our hotel and
immediately connected with our
Hollywood correspondent, King
Green.  Despite my jetlag, I wanted to
make sure that Green and I picked up
our credentials in time to attend our
first symposium at the Samuel
Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.  The
weather was not good, and we were
running late; we got lost, all the while
wondering, “This is the Animation
Symposium; how good can it be?”





We finally arrived at the theater, and
to my surprise, the auditorium was
packed! There were three amazing
directors attending the symposium.
Disney, Pixar, Dream Works!!!! Really?
I was immediately hooked! As an
actress, I felt like I was with Charlie in
the Chocolate Factory! Yummy!
Listening to the directors talk about
the creation of their movies that have
become box office hits was priceless!
We often watch movies like Toy Story,
How To Train Your Dragon, Monters,
Inc., and Finding Nemo, and we can’t
tell what inspired the scenes, the
story, or the animations? We simply
don’t know.





Director Lee Unrich explained how a
scene from Toy Story 3 was inspired
by his grandmother. The audience
listened quietly, wondering what part
of the movie he was referring to. He
told us that, on one occasion, he knew
he was seeing his grandmother for
the last time; and when it was time for
him to leave, he turned back and took
a mental picture of her. That is exactly
what happens in the movie when Ady
looks back to see Woody now in the
hands of his new owner! The scene is
full of emotion, and thanks to Unrich’s
explanation, I now understand where
those emotions come from.





Fascinating!  It was hilarious to learn
that the ugly baby was “born “after
numerous visits to different daycares.
Unrich says “every daycare managed
to have a big baby missing a leg or
arm with a blurry eye, maybe with
markers all over one arm.” He is right
on target! Years ago, I taught toddlers,
and I can definitely vouch for big baby!





It was equally interesting to hear
director Chris Senders and Dean
Deblois talk about How To Train Your
Dragon, and how Night Fury’s flight
into the water and back up is actually
a remake of a scene from Superman!





I have to say, I loved every second of
the symposium. These moviemakers
are genius and
extremely inspiring! This is my first
time covering the Oscars, and I am an
aspiring actress. I can only say, my
trip started on the best note! Even
though I was told I couldn’t take
photos or record the symposium
(What a shame!), I am still glowing!
This is more than what expected!!! Let
the 83rd Academy Awards begin.


Carolina de Athey
Vice President-Red Carpet Concierge
of Chicago.
Sanders (right), "How to Train Your Dragon", prior
to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences' Oscar nominated Animated Feature
event on Thursday, February 24, 2011at the
Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The
Academy Awards for outstanding film
achievements of 2010 will be presented on
Sunday, February 27, 2011.

credit: Ivan Vejar / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Animated filmmaker Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3",
prior to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences' Oscar nominated Animated Feature
event on Thursday, February 24, 2011at the
Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The
Academy Awards for outstanding film
achievements of 2010 will be presented on
Sunday, February 27, 2011.

credit: Ivan Vejar / ©A.M.P.A.S.
(From left to right): Animated filmmakers Dean
DeBlois, "How to Train Your Dragon", Chris
Sanders, "How to Train Your Dragon", Lee
Unkrich, "Toy Story 3", and Host/Animator Tom
Sito prior to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts
and Sciences' Oscar nominated Animated Feature
event on Thursday, February 24, 2011at the
Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The
Academy Awards for outstanding film
achievements of 2010 will be presented on
Sunday, February 27, 2011.

credit: Ivan Vejar / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Filmmaker Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3", during the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences'
Oscar nominated Animated Feature event on
Thursday, February 24, 2011at the Samuel
Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Academy
Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010
will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

credit: Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.
(From left to right): Host/Animator Tom Sito with
filmmakers Chris Sanders, "How to Train Your
Dragon", Dean DeBlois, "How to Train Your
Dragon", and Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3", during
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences'
Oscar nominated Animated Feature event on
Thursday, February 24, 2011at the Samuel
Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Academy
Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010
will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011.

credit: Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.
Best animated feature film of the year
Lee Unkrich
FILM: "Toy Story 3"