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  • Tom LaBaff

Animating an Eyeball - Sketch Brawl Ep. #13 - Jim Jackson VS. Trey Finney


Spending countless hours competing with somebody, is how you really get to know them. Trey Finney is the kind of dude who never says no to a game of ice hockey, basketball, football, roller hockey or darts. Hell, we even use to make up stupid games to play in the hallways when we worked at Disney. In fact, we did this so often that the pod a bunch of us worked in during the production of Lion King was nicknamed the ‘party pod.’

Trey is known for his ‘by-the-book’ methodology. One time while I was working on a storyboard based on Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, Trey noticed I was drawing the marlin incorrectly. He quickly snatched a piece of paper and whipped out a perfect anatomical drawing of the fish. In his thick southern accent, he said something like, “Tommy, ya see this here marlin has a dorsal fin that looks like this, and their tails are more like this shape right here.”

Currently, Trey is a master plein air painter who’s work hangs in several galleries in the U.S. He paints landscapes and wildlife from his home studio in Asheville, NC. In his early career, he spent over a decade working at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Orlando which is where I got to know him. And foul him several times on the court.

Jim Jackson and I have a very similar relationship. I have too many stories to list here, but one I love to tell is about the day he wore white shorts to work. Or maybe I should save that for another time. I can say that Jim is a ham. He dances, sings, and does a wicked good Mick Jagger impression (just ask him).

Currently, Mr. Jackson works at Blue Sky Studios as an animator. You can see some of his recent work on movies like Peanuts, Rio, Ice Age, Epic and the upcoming Ferdinand the Bull!

At the time of this post, we have a story with no ending. Head over to my Facebook page and cast your vote, and help make an epic ending to this brawl. Check out Trey's work here.

And Jim's art here.