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You're HOW OLD?

I was on the faculty as a technician in the film/video/animation department of UICC for eight years, between 1987 and 1995. In the fall of 1989, a new adjunct faculty member joined the staff to teach animation. Pat had an impressive resume with several big animated film projects under his belt (I envied him). He had just formed an independent company, in Chicago, and immediately got a contract to do every aspect of producing two short animated films, which involved, among many other things, writing the script and hiring, directing, and recording actors to perform it; designing and stylizing each character; creating backgrounds for every scene, and drawing every frame of both films. Pat hired me to create some sound effects, recording them in the new MIDI digital format on "floppy discs," and to markup acetate audiotapes that contained dialog, so that the animator could synchronize the lips of characters on the film to the real actors' voices; and, I was also painting cels. A lot of cels. He kept me busy and I loved it. Pat, Steve (his partner in the company), several other employees, and I, would listen to movies as we worked in a small apartment. I've only heard “A Clockwork Orange,” not seen it (not sure I ever want to see it.)

One day, Pat and I got to asking about how old we were. Each of us had a notion about the other that turned out to be wrong in a funny, interesting, unique way. Pat thought that I might be two or three years younger than him, but I just can't remember exactly why he thought that way. Maybe my close association with college students, many years younger than me, was "keeping me (looking, acting) young?" Maybe it was because Barbara and I had our first baby on the way, a “new family.” On the other hand, I was under the impression that he was a few years older than me - he was in demand in the animation film industry and, Hey! He owned a successful company! Well, it turned out that I am three days older than him – only because it was a leap year in 1960. I was born on February 28, and he was born on March 2. We had a good laugh at that. All this goes to show that impressions can't be trusted. If you wanna know how old someone is, you gotta ask.

Pat stayed on as an adjunct for only a couple of years. Our paths haven't crossed since then. I hope he is doing well.

Encyclopedia Britannica's: Tales from Around the World. 1990. Pat Morita hosts.

Notice how Rumpelstiltskin's cane stays up on its own; one of many witty, and clever, embedded jokes in the film. Pat and Steve also produced "Beauty and the Beast" for the eight-film series.

UICC: University of Illinois Circle Campus. Now simply, UIC: University of Illinois Chicago


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