Laci Morgan's Art Blog

Freelance illustrator/animator Laci Morgan's latest projects, helpful advice, and news!

Review of Disney's "Tangled"

I finally had the opportunity to go see "Tangled" last week, Disney's latest 3D animated movie. This was shortly after reading the article in the Los Angeles Times that stated that "Tangled" would be Disney's last princess/musical flick (noooo!!!!), so I definitely had some mixed feelings walking into the theater. Also, since I work mainly in 2D animation, I was a little grumpy about the fact that this film was in 3D...I hate to see 2D die! I had been seeing the previews for "Tangled" for the last few months, and kind of thought that Rapunzel looked a little too "Barbie-ish" and plastic.

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I actually saw the initial impressions were so wrong! This movie was one of the few I saw this year that actually made me laugh out loud, yet it wasn't so slapstick and "dumbed down" as a lot of children's movies are these days. Rapunzel is a strong, spunky heroine (and I loooved the fact that she's an artist...hmm, wonder why?) She was not as Barbie-perfect as I thought she'd be portrayed, and her abundance of emotions gave her a lot of appeal. Mandy Moore was a nice choice to provide her voice, giving her more of a down to earth feel than previous princesses. Maximus the horse stole the show, and I was greatly impressed by his animation (trust me, you've NEVER seen an animated horse do the things that Maximus does!) Mother Gothel makes a great villain, in a wonderful "Mommie Dearest/Ursula" broadway diva way.

I have to grudgingly admit that the movie did, indeed, work well as 3D animation. I found myself entranced with studying the textures onscreen and marvelling over the little details like grass and Rapunzel's hair. It didn't lose the "Disney quality" that a lot of classic 2D features had, and I think the whole film was improved by the extra use of space. I saw the film wearing 3D glasses, and liked the layering of the film's elements and how they didn't try to make it too "gimmicky."

To sum it up, I highly recommend this film...Disney seems to have gotten it right again, finally! I hope they'll continue to tell good stories like this one in the future.

And all I can say about the ending is....*SPOILER ALERT*

wow, finally a princess that I resemble! I know what my costume next year will be..... :)

Animation Examples

I've been realizing that I have NO examples of animation on my website, so I've been trying to put together some work I've done for school projects. These are not necessarily my best work...they're still works in progress, and need a lot of clean-up and refining. But they at least show that I can animate! Enjoy.

I'm hoping to continue to refine this in the next year and add more 3D and 2D clips, in order to complete a more "official" animation reel as I continue to go through my classes.

Why you should hire professionals for your design work

I came across this awesome article yesterday while working on a new logo for a client. I think it sums up EXACTLY why it's important to hire a professional designer for your design work, instead of relying on the cheapest option.

Next time someone says "but I can get a logo online for $5! Can't you lower your price?" I'll direct them to this. :)

My Outer Space entry submitted!

I spent all last night working on finishing my entry for's contest. I had to take a voice clip from William Shatner, then animate it as an ad for the website using Toon Boom Animate Pro. The winner gets the full software (which costs thousands), free animation courses, and a spot on their animation team to work on a series. Cool!

It took a while to learn the software, but I have to admit, I really like the Toon Boom programs. It seems a little more "artist-friendly" than the typical Flash that's used for 2D web animation, and I've really appreciated how responsive Toon Boom seems to be in their forums when I have technical problems. Also, there's lots of tutorials on their website that explain everything in a really clear, easy to follow way.

Anyway, above is a screenshot from my animation. Does anyone recognize the "creature" behind him? (hint...think Disneyland and cheesy 3D....) I'll post the full video once I find out for sure if I'm allowed to...don't wanna accidentally disqualify myself! Plus, if I make the finals, I'll need a lot of votes... :)

Getting my butt in gear

I recently found out that I'll be a student volunteer at the annual Creative Talent Network's Animation Expo (CTN-X) next weekend. That means I had better put together a decent portfolio to show off, because there will be all sorts of reviews and majorly talented artists there. The problem is that I've been concentrating mostly on my freelance stuff this year, which consists mostly of illustration work and character design, which is great, but I haven't developed much decent animation to show off just yet.

So this week will be spent working hard to put together some of the animation I HAVE done in the past, so that I at least have something to show. Wish me luck!

About Me

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I'm an animation student at the Art Institute, as well as a budding freelance illustrator and graphic designer. I tend to specialize in Disney-like character designs and 2D animation, but I also have the ability to do professional graphics like ads, logos, and photo effects. This blog will follow current projects I'm working on, provide advice to fellow designers, and just celebrate anything in the world of art that happens to catch my fancy!

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