Meeting the Legend

Posted on Friday 26 November 2010

I promised in the earlier entry that I would write a brief report about my visit to the animation legend Frederic Back a few weekends ago. My visit to Montreal was very short and yet probably one of the most memorable moments I have experienced in my life.

I was in art school when I was introduced to Man Who Planted Trees.
I was a serious oil painting student at the time and wasn’t too interested in animation yet. But his film that looked like an animated pastel painting was such a shock to me. And through his beautiful moving images, his strong social statement reached out to me not through head, but through heart. I became such a fan of his work ever since. All Nothing, Crac!, Mighty River…..all have such strong social statement through their beautifully executed work of art. He reminded me of Hayao Miyazaki who continues to bring social statement through his entertaining animated films.

15, 16 years later, could I have never imagined even in my dreams that I would be visiting this man who inspired millions of people for generations.
Mr.Back embraced my visit with his open arms. He was quite humble with his own success but still didn’t hesitate to show his passion towards his mission with such a bright sparkle in his one able eye. He said, “we must use our means of expression as artists to bring light in the world. If we are drawing, painting, or animating just for sake of them, there is no point”
His words struck my heart and his presence was overwhelming. I came home feeling that we must somehow follow his path. His legacy needs to be passed on….

He has a wonderful brand new website that just was launched last Monday!


Take a look at this film trailer. It was directed by Jeremy McCracken, filmed by David Dunville, Music by Zach Johnston. A talented bunch who volunteered to help our project. They did this piece in a few days and I cannot believe how well they captured this special moment!

15 Comments for 'Meeting the Legend'

    November 27, 2010 | 1:45 am

    Wow, THANK you so much for sharing this… what an amazing story. that little video was incredibly inspiring. and beautifully filmed too.

    November 27, 2010 | 8:22 am

    Dice, seeing The Man Who Planted Trees on me had a similar magical effect on me. I asked to borrow it from my teacher so I could rewatch and rewatch it.

    Thanks for planting some seeds of your own.

    November 27, 2010 | 9:48 am

    What a beautiful little film sharing such a historic moment! I’ve also been inspired by Frederic Back since I was in college and was lucky enough to see one of the original frames from The Man Who Planted Trees at the Annecy Animation Festival this past summer. Thanks to you both for sharing the inside of Frederic’s studio, what an amazing experience that must have been!


    November 27, 2010 | 5:46 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the video..It is really amazing… I will definitely go to Mr Frederic Back exhibition in 2011 in Japan. I was really impressed on the video !! 🙂

    November 27, 2010 | 6:16 pm

    “Never restrain from what you can give”

    November 28, 2010 | 12:15 am

    wonderful, Dice.. just wonderful.. :’)

    November 28, 2010 | 4:39 pm


    November 29, 2010 | 6:19 am

    Wonderful video!! And Frederic Back is such inspiring man!! It was really moving and beatiful!

    Thanks Dice!

    November 29, 2010 | 8:57 am

    My animation history teacher, Kaj Pindal, screened “Man who planted the trees” back when I was in college. I remember being glued to my seat for at least 15 minutes after everyone left the auditorium, sitting there alone contemplating what I have just seen. That film, and its message resonated very deeply with in me even to his day. I watched your interview with Mr. Back with relish. Dice, thank you so much for posting it for us to see. I simply can’t wait to see Sketchtrawel to be published… Also, thank you for such a nice compliment on my blog.

    November 29, 2010 | 3:42 pm

    It was so inspiring to watch this during the Sketchtravel panel at CTN.

    November 29, 2010 | 3:56 pm

    […] video is all sorts of wonderful … really touching too. Great job Dice and the SketchTravel crew. And as a bonus here’s a link to Frederic Back’s newly […]

    December 1, 2010 | 5:22 am


    December 3, 2010 | 12:07 am

     Sketch Travelの本の出版とても楽しみです。

    December 6, 2010 | 9:39 pm

    Thank You Seo!
    Did I ever comment that your caricatures are some of the most amazing? I saw your blog and saw Ronnie del Carmen’s and oh man, you nailed him. I have to tell him.
    Don’t know, but you have some charm in your work. I love them.

    Thanks David. I agree! He is amazing!

    Long time no talk! And yes, he was just unbelievably powerful in person. I can still remember the aura of inspiring presence.

    Yes, you will study him quite a bit at CalArts!

    I know. I am with you.

    by the way, I went to your blog for the first time. Thanks for stopping by. Another amazing artist’s blog I discovered!




    I knew you would like it Tatiana!

    I bet you are especially intrigued by his work. His work is like a moving pastel paintings. So amazing..

    thanks Eli!

    そうです! 是非お買い求めください。なかなか手頃な値段ですよね。


    February 28, 2011 | 4:52 am

    That was so beautiful.

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