So, let me get right to the point, and then I'll give you some more details after the movie.
Famed artist, Kevin Kidney recently created a set of paper art pieces to promote the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases. Hopefully, this video can help to draw even more attention to their organization.
Watch and enjoy (Note: tablet and phone users, view in portrait orientation.)
So, how did I get involved in this? Serendipity.
1) I've always been a big fan of animation, especially Disney animation, and that includes the wonderful stop-motion puppet animations that Bill Justice and Xavier Atencio were probably most famous for. 2) As a Disney fan, you gotta love the Sherman brothers, and Annette too! I have the 3-CD set "The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song" which I listen to often, since it's on my iPod. 3) I've also been following Kevin Kidney's blog for at least a few years now. I love his - and Jody's! - design sensibilities. So, when I noticed recently those wonderful new paper cut-out designs he created, I recognized the style immediately. And when he posted the first two lines from "Mister Piano Man" in the description of the Golden Horseshoe Revue Annette on his flickr page, I could just picture in my mind what she would look like in motion, singing that song. In fact, I really wanted to see it! And what's more, I believed I had the skills and the tools to make that happen.
So, I animated the first 11 seconds and sent that to Kevin to see if he wouldn't mind if I used his character in my animation. Well, let's just say, he didn't seem to mind. In fact, he asked me if I wouldn't mind sharing the finished piece with the folks at Annette's Fund to help draw more attention to their organization (and, happily, they thought it was a good idea too!) Well, naturally, I was delighted by the idea! That would give my little animation a purpose in life, rather than being some little thing I did just for my own amusement.
Now I have not-totally-selfish reasons to hope this video gets as wide an audience as possible. So now that you've watched it, I hope you enjoyed it, and (even if you didn't) I hope you'll think about kicking a buck or two (or more) to Annette's Fund. Or why not get yourself a nice keychain, or any one of dozens of other products featuring Kevin's inspiring puppet design in their zazzle store!
Unfortunately, Annette herself will never see this (that we can be sure of), but the Fund lives on, and the Research continues…