On Creativity and Technology, with Legendary Animator Glen Keane (Google I/O'19)
Morning. Thanks. For for. Making it here early, in the morning you. Know, looking, at looking. At some of those pictures of me years. Ago I noticed. Something. That was kind, of missing now yeah, like all. These characters, have been animating, Pocahontas. And. Rapunzel. It's like I'm making up for the lack of something in my life and not. Sure what that would be. But. I've got this, strange. Belief. That. The. Characters, that. I've animated. Created. Design. Exist. Before. I draw, them and, that. Was the case with the Beast which, I'll. Show you. Okay. I didn't, know what the Beast was gonna look like and. My. Assistant who is standing just like weird Jason. Is he didn't have a camera but he. Said so what's the Beast gonna look like I don't know it's it's, gonna I. Kind. Of like this Buffalo. Like head, shape, there's. Kind of a sadness to the Buffalo, and, I. Had. The buffalo head on my wall, maybe that's why looks. Sad I don't know but. There's this bear, like body, and the. Crest, of a gorilla. Head. The. Gorilla expressive. Brow like that. And. As. I was explaining to my assistant, like. I like the the. Muzzle, of a wild. Boar with the hair coming back in these tusks. That are coming up and, the. Beard though of a. Buffalo but but, Belle's got a hug, him so let's give him a mane, like a lion, there. And. They. Had the horns, they'll be sort of and I've been studying a lot of different horns and they'll, be like a combination, of these, horns and it was just just, like this I was drawing. It. Just. Kind of feeling it out like that and then I started thinking but wait a second. Bell's. Not gonna fall in love with this guy this isn't gonna work nobody's, gonna believe this. I'll. Give him cow ears, that'll make him a little friendlier, like that. But. Inside. There's. A prince trapped inside and, and. The eyes are the window to the soul and. And. So. You can see the. Prince looking, out from inside this body of this beast and. As, I drew him I said, that's. Him there. He is I, mean. I just as, long as it took me just now to draw, it for you it. Did that day and beast. Suddenly. Appeared. And. That's, kind of the, magic. Of creativity. I. Think. The key to it is thinking, like a child. There's. There's. Something wonderful, this is my granddaughter, Matisse, and she's drawing they're the. Secret to her drawing is either in that bottle of milk or the glass of merlot I'm not quite sure but. There. Was this little six-year-old, girl. And. She she. Said to her dad. Daddy. Where, do you go all day and he was a professor, of drawing. At a universities, and we'll sweetheart I teach big. People how to draw and. She. Said oh, you. Mean they forget. Picasso. Said. When, I was young I could draw and paint like Raphael. But. It's taken me a lifetime to learn to draw like a child. If, you watch him draw. It's. Pretty wonderful thing. It's. Not rushed. It's. As if he's. Having a conversation. With what he's making, he's. Listening to it says, over. Here any. Response. It's. Not a one-way, thing I. Think. This is how whether. You are. Writing. Music, writing. Code. Painting. Drawing whatever it's. A conversation you are having with what. You are making you have to be open. To it and. Drawing. Is a really interesting thing. You. Know like if you ask yourself so so what is drawing. If. You hold a pencil a, pencil. Is. Is, an amazing little, tool, it's. What. I would say is you, know. Simplicity. Is the ultimate sophistication. You. Hold it makes, a mark at this end and, there's. A line that goes straight down my. Arm to, my heart, where. What I feel what I see. I, can. I can. Communicate to you you can't see it it's, hidden inside of me and. For. Whatever it is that you're doing we. All have something inside. Of us that we. Are wanting, to touch other people with we're wanting to communicate it, somehow, and the, tools that we use to. Express. That hidden thing are incredibly, important, but. This. Is really simple and the simplicity, the. Clarity, that the, tool can communicate, what is hidden is really. Really important, if you, look at my drawings. My, drawings, look. Like that, when. I first animate, I mean I think of drawing as a, seismograph. Of my soul it's like, the line it's. Just this explosion, so, first. I draw like this and, then it becomes like that as I tie it down but. It first started, as that that, rough explosion. And, I. Want. To show this little clip from a little mermaid and it's back from the 80s so it's ancient technology.
On Video and it's. The pencil, version of, of part of your world it's just a little bit but. There's this one part where Ariel. Longing. To be up, on the surface not. Be down under the water and and. She's, she. Wants more than anything to be part of that world, and. I was a 33, year old guy and I'm being. A sixteen year old mermaid, and and. At, a certain point I realized Ariel, wants to swim up straight, to the camera looking at the audience and reach, out and then oh drift. Back down and and, I started getting kind. Of nervous like this. Is really cheesy everybody's, gonna know how sentimental I, am and I mean I was. Like I can't, do that but. I couldn't stop Ariel, she did it anyway so take a look at this little clip of animation. Today. Betcha. On land they. Understand. That. They don't reprimand, their. Daughters bright. Young. Women sick. Of. Swimmin. Ready to. Stand. People. Know, ask. Em my questions and. Get some answers, what's, a. Fire and why, does, it what's, the word. When's. It my turn. How. Does, the. Sea. Who. Wish I, could. Be. Years. After, I'd animated, that. Thank. You. Thank. You. So. Years after I animated, that I was speaking at CalArts, the. Animation, department, there and one. Of the students came up to me and said, mr.. Kenan there was this animation. From the Little Mermaid and it's. In part of your world and what where Ariel reaches, out I don't know if you remember and I said no no I remember, that yeah like, well. I was. Four years old, and I. Was in the movie theater and as Ariel, was reaching out I stood. Up in the middle of the theater and reached. My hands out to take her hands because, she wanted to be part of my world I. Said. Thank. You thank, you. Because. The thing is that. Thing that makes. Us us as, I was feeling funny like I didn't want to do that because I felt, like I was exposing, myself I was being. Vulnerable and. That. Part of us that is hidden that's the very thing that you, have to put out there the thing that you think you're the only one that feels that way. That's. What you have to go out and say the. Thing that makes you kind, of uncomfortable. Like what, would people think of me that's. The thing that you need to do in. Whatever field you were in. At. One point Ollie Johnston one, of the mentors at Disney. He. Had done Pinocchio, and Snow White and, many of these films he, said. Dwayne. You're. Gonna do greater, things at, us someday, oh. She. Never said that like. I mean how are you gonna do greater than Pinocchio, or Bambi or Fantasia, and I carried, that around with me for you know many, years and, after, about 40, years. At. Disney, I felt like something new was calling, to me I didn't know what it was.
Behind. My house it was this field. And I took the picture of that, little trail because. I felt like that's my feeling right now that there's something beyond. But. I can't see what it is but. What, am I gonna do okay I've, been there 40 years this is like this is my life. How. Can I take that step and my. Wife saw how I was feeling she, said well what would you do if you weren't at, Disney. Where. Would you go I. Don't. Know. Google. She. Said Google, they don't do animation. I know, but wouldn't it be cool if you. Took animation, to someplace that they don't do that, and. I. Read this quote. Until. One. Is committed there, is hesitancy. The, chance to draw back, concerning. All acts of initiative, and creation, there, is one elementary, truth, that, the moment one definitely, commits, oneself, and. Providence, moves to a whole. Stream, of events issues, from the decision, which, no man could have dreamed would have come his way, whatever. You can do, or dream, you can do begin it boldness. Has genius power, and, magic in. It begin. It now. So. I left. And. The. First thing that happened, was. Google. Calls, and and. We went came, up here and it's just amazing, how. How. Something, like that, what. Seems so impossible suddenly. Was because, I took that step and, we. Were working with Regina Dugan at a tap and they, had this new technology. Where you could animate and see, your animation, on a phone and there's no. Limit. To what you were doing and it was at 60 frames. Per second, not 24, and we did this little film duet, about. Sorry, about two. Little babies a little boy and little girl and, they keep crossing paths, and it's a circular story, as they, they. Grow up and you can, follow one or the other. Regina. Described, it. As as. Like a double-helix instead, of a linear story, it was, a like. Two spiral, staircases, and, was, thinking this is. I've. Never. Done this before. Picasso. Said I am always doing that which. I cannot do in order that I may learn how, to do it. It's. It's. Such an important, truth for us to get. Not. Knowing, how, to do something is. A. Great, reason to do it. Well. What's really important, is the intention, the desire, do. You have a desire to do, something, do. You do, want, to, accomplish something but you don't know how. You've. Already got, the most important, part which is the desire it's, about taking, that step and everything. Starts coming together when. We came up here to Google to do this animation I had no idea but. Found in working, with this. Wonderful group of programmers. Folks. That were, just. As creative in their, field as I was, in mine we, started to work together at night, I would teach them figure drawing and then, they would teach me about algorithms. And. We. Did this little film duet. Which. I'll show you a little piece of here. This. Is a theatrical version, that. You. Really, on the phone you could watch the characters, go any. Direction. But. This we had to cut it so it works in the theater. So. Think you can you can see the rest of it on download. The app from spotlight, stories. By. The time Coby, called. And. Asked. If I would animate. A letter. That he wrote to, basketball. Called, deer basketball, I, realized. That what Ollie Johnson, had said to me that. You're gonna do greater things on, us someday I. Was. Wrong about that that he he. Wasn't talking about greater, in quality, he was somewhat greater in application. To, take the things that you learned and apply it in, places. In ways that, Ollie. And, those. Nine old men never could have imagined, and and. Here. Was Kobe inviting, me now, into, NBA. To, to. Do basketball as I just, told Kobe, I said look you got the worst, basketball. Player on earth animating, you he said no that's good that's that, way everything you learn about. Basketball. Is going to be through studying him and. So. He wrote this this letter really, from the point of view of a six-year-old thanking. Basketball. For giving him. The. Little six-year-old, boy his Laker dream, and. I think that this is a wonderful, truth that that. Six-year-old. Version, of you, is. Still with you now. We. All have that six-year-old. Kid. That, had something to do with why you are, sitting here today. And who you are and what you are doing that's, six-year-old that child, that has that spark of creativity that is, that. Essential, thing is still, there but. Sometimes we become so professional. We. Become so good at what we do we forget. We. Forget who. We are that. That little six-year-old. So. Listening. To Kobe talk. I have a little clip here where where. Kobe is talking, about. Hand-drawn. And john, williams who did the music for it was. Talking about thinking like a child, and it's, this wonderful. Blend. Of these things that. They. Could take a listen here is the disco. Bee and John's talk apparently, copic can call anybody in the universe and get him to work on his film because he got John, Williams to do the music for us I think.
There Has to be a, level of hand-drawn. Touch. To it you know it has more texture to it it has more soul, to it it's, so personal, was. Very. Stun used to always talk about music, and inspiration. And he would. Reference. The. The, idea that an artist should be always in touch with this childish. So the the, first eight years before, you really understood, what was up and down a sense, of magic, and a sense of discovery, right, you know when you reinterpret. A piece of music or you conduct or, sing, or whatever the blank canvas yeah that to. Bring that kind of openness, and and. Exposure. Of yourself, do, to audiences, is, the. Thing that we get older we forget how to do. When. We get older we we forget, how to do here's. This guy who's, 86. Years old and he's talking. About like hanging, on to that thing. Like. Don't. Forget don't forget that. That. Part of the adventure, that you have as a child. The, scary, part like, I don't know how to do this that's, okay. Maybe. That's what you really need there's this element of fear that that's, always. Keeping. You on the edge. I've. Always felt like the one thing we all have in common. Is. That. If anybody, knew how much we're faking it we'd all get booted out of here. That's. How I've always felt my, whole career. So. I. Want, to show you a deer basketball. The. The. Theme, of. This. Child being still, part of you, as an accomplished. Professional. Are. Really. What the, message, is underneath, this this could be called. Deer. Whatever. The field is deer programming. Deer. Architecture. Do. Your basketball deer, animation, let's. Take a look. Dear. Basketball. From, the moment I started rolling my dad's tube sucks. It, shoot an imaginary, game when it shots in the Great Western forum I. Knew. One thing was real. I fell, in love with you a. Love. So deep I gave, you my all, from. My mind and body, to. My spirit in soul. As. A six-year-old, boy and deeply in love with you. I. Never. Saw the end of the tunnel, I, only. Saw myself running out of one. SOI. Ran I. Ran. Up, and down every Court after every, loose ball fear. You, ask muscle. I gave. Him a heart. Because, it came with so much more. I played, for the sweat and the herd. Not. Because challon's called me. But because you, call. I did, everything for, you. Because, that's what you do when someone means you feel as alive as you've made me feel. You gave a six-year-old, boy his lady dream. And. How always, looking for it. But, I can't love you've obsessively, for much longer. This. Season, is all I have left to give. My heart can take the pounding, my. Mind can handle the grind, but. My body knows it's time to say goodbye. And. That's okay. I'm. Ready to let you go. I. Want. You to know now so we both can savor every moment we have left together. The, good and the bad. They. Have given each other all that we have. No. Matter what I do makes I'll. Always be that kid with the rolled-up socks, garbage. Can in the corner five. Seconds, from a clock all. In my hands. Five. Four. Three. Two. Love. You always. Kobe. Thank. You. That. Was a lot of fun I knew nothing about basketball, but I. Gotta. Say after I animated. It I've, been studying Kobe's. Jump, shot and. One. Night, on the Lakers training, court I got, out there and grabbed one of the basketballs, and I. Thought I'm gonna do this I know how to do it it's, like there's. Just you, throw you, jump up and you're leaning back, you got your left hip out a little bit your right hip is back, and then you 90-degree, angle with your hand, I studied, it all I knew it and I. Jumped. Up and. From-from, way out, a three-pointer, and the. Ball was just like I couldn't, believe it it's just straight. For the basket, and it, fell ten feet short but. But. For a moment it was so cool. So. I want, to leave you with this term sprezzatura. It's. It's. A word that was coined, about. 500 years ago. And. It. Was used to describe the difference between. Michelangelo. And. Raphael. This. Was an art critic and he he, saw that Michelangelo. Had such a knowledge. Of. Anatomy. It. Was all out there, was on the outside, you could see all the muscles in the structure, and. Where's. Raphael, who, knew the same. Anatomy. As, Michelangelo. It was, it. Was all hidden as he would paint the Madonna and Child it, was very, smooth, forms, and and. So he came up with this term spread, cetera. That, means art that hides its, art.
It's. Really the. Art of becoming invisible. I. Thought. Wow this is this. Is a really a pretty wonderful thing. That. It. Means that taking that. That. Invisible, thing inside of you and make it going it become visible, the, better you are at. Taking. That thing and making. It become visible. The. More visible, it becomes, in the more, invisible. You. Are and, that's. The goal, it's. Not about you it's about the thing that you're making. It's about you touching, somebody, else and. I. I, don't, think I really. Understood that until. One. Day at Disneyland. I, was. Gonna I have, a silver pass so I can get in anytime I want. Comes. After 40 years at Disney. So. My. Wife had, family, and friends come. Out for Minnesota, and we were walking up to Disneyland, and there's a big line of people to get into the park and and, they you, know our friends gotten. Back of the line I said no come, on follow me so. We walk up to the front of the line and. And. I pull out my. My. Wallet, and I, realize. I've, forgotten my, silver pass I can't. Get. In without, so. I said look. Excuse. Me I I. Have. A silver pass but I left, it at home. Anything. I said sorry you can't get in I said yeah well look. Can, you just look it up on your computer here's, my Disney ID. He. Said no, sorry, can't do that you, know and our family, friends coming around what's what's the problem no no no that's all right sorry, and. This voice in my head is saying. Don't. Do this. But. I couldn't not and, I said. So. Look did you see. Aladdin. He. Didn't say anything at, me. I. Did. That that design, that character that was that was me you. Know, no, reaction. Well. You, see the Little Mermaid. Still. Like this skeptical, look and I said, that that, was me I designed, an animated, aerial. There's. Still no reaction. And. Then I said, well. Did you and before I could even get the third one out he said look I don't care who you are you're, gonna get back line like everybody else. There's. All family, and friends around there and and, I, I. Want. I said I guess we gotta go in the back of the line and they're all following me kind. Of like yeah Glen, big deal I think. They were really enjoying it I was, furious. Got. In line got up to the front bought, the tickets from the guy thank you and. Then went. Into the park and I. Was just. Okay. You guys go on a ride I'm just gonna have to I gotta. Cool off so. I sat on the bench. Disney. Park bench there and. And. Along comes the Beast, the park beast. And. He stops, and he, looks. Towards. Me and he comes walking straight, towards me, and, he sits it on the bench next. To me so. It's me and the Beast I. Said. Hi Beast. I'm. Thinking, isn't, this ironic I. Designed. You I can't even get into the park. Just, like. And. Then I hear this little girl. Beast. Beast. And. She comes running up running. Straight up to be some jumps, up onto, his, lap hugs. Him and starts, kissing his tusks, I mean. The very tusks, that as I was drawing them I was remembering, I was thinking bells. Never gonna fall, in love with this guy here's this little girl just. Loving. The Beast that. I I, didn't even, understand. That lesson, of beauty's only skin-deep, you know that I didn't, I didn't, understand it but now I did and and here's, this little girl believing, in the Beast I, never. Felt so invisible. It's. Just so happy, to be invisible. Beast. Was real and. That little girl, saw. Him that way and. The. Rest of the day at the park I had the best day of my life there, it was it, was wonderful, and.
I. Think, this is the thing is taking that. That. Thing inside of us translating. It so you can see it to touch somebody, else. I'd. Like to finish with just this one. Drawing. Except, it's it's. Bringing, technology. Into, a new way of drawing for me I've, never seen drawing. As just a flat piece of paper I've always imagined, it as. Sculptural. Drawing, dimensional. Drawing. I. Think. Of it that way so. Google. Has. This. Wonderful tilt, brush that allows me to draw in virtual, reality. And. And. This. Is really the way I see, it in my head anyway, that. You don't, see it this way but I do. Thank. You all right. Okay. And. Hopefully, I don't fall off and the people in the front row they're. Okay. Maestro. Maybe. He's right maybe. There is something the matter with me, I just. Don't see how. Wonderful. Things. Could. Be bad. Look. At this stuff. Wouldn't. You think my collections complete. Sure. She's. Got everything i've. Got. Gadgets and. Gizmos a-plenty. I've. Got. Whozits and. Whatzits the. Lord. You, want thingamabobs, like. A 20. I would. I. Want. To see Oh. They. Understand. That they, don't reprimand. Their. Daughters. Bright. Young women. Six. Women. Ready. Thank. You. Thank, you very much. Thank, you.