Toon-In Talk Episode 14: Interview with Jai Husband

GameStop, Inc.

Hello and welcome to fourteenth episode of Fanboy Nation’s Toon-In-Talk, your rendezvous for animation interviews.  Whitney is joined by animator, director, writer, and producer Jai Husband.  Jai comes from a great animation legacy, his father is famous Walt Disney animator Ron Husband.  Growing up in the animation industry inspired Jai to pursue animation as his own career.  Jai has been successful so far with is own projects inspired by African-American culture.  He directed Kasha and the Zulu King, but even more exciting is that he is working on an African princess trilogy with his dad!

Episode 14

  • Jai is a second-generation animator; his father was Walt Disney animator Ron husband. Since Jai grew up in the animation industry it feels very normal to him, while someone, like Whitney, geeks out when he describes his childhood.
  • Jai’s dad gave him advice, but didn’t hinder his individual creativity. Jai’s first animation job was in Disney’s CAPS department and he wanted to stay on at Disney, but his mom asked him to return to college.
  • Straight out of college, Jai was hired by Turner Broadcasting and he now has his own company where he produces his own and other people’s projects.
  • While Jai was at Turner, his show The Fabulous Ambitions of Vaughn Chocolat Éclair, starring RuPaul, got picked up by a new channel called Super Deluxe. However, Turner pulled the plug.
  • Jai left Turner, so he could have more creative control over his ideas and BET also wanted him to make a show.
  • Going out on his own wasn’t an easy decision for Jai, but wanted to try, even if he failed. He succeeded, however, and won a NAACP award.
  • Jai wrote his Academy Award speech when he was twelve-years old and he plans to still use it someday.
  • He formed his own studio in Atlanta, because he went to college in the city, had a job at Turner, he wanted to step away from his father’s legacy, and he wanted to live in an area with stronger African-American ties.
  • Kasha and the Zulu King is a South African take on The Prince and the Pauper. Jai wanted to make a movie with characters that have very colorful skin tones, ranging from light to dark.
  • Whitney and Jai want to see more animated characters from diverse ethnicities. They go into details about beauty aesthetics from different cultures.
  • Jai and Ron are working on an animated trilogy, starring African princesses. They are researching individual African cultures for inspiration.
  • Whitney recommends Jai watch Michael Ocelot’s Kirikou and the Sorceress, another animated film inspired by Africa.
  • The African princess trilogy will have a Disney look, because Ron worked at the Walt Disney Company for years, but it will also contain influences from some of his favorite styles.
  • Jai discusses his own individual style and how he pulls from other sources.
  • He hopes to release the films sometime in 2017 or 2018.
  • Links

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