Now, I'm not trying to stir anything up. I'm a clueless wannabe-artist from the other side of the country and I have no idea of what things might be like at CalArts, and so I've no interest in its denigration. My curiousity is sincere, and my intention is to go to the best art school I can find. I've been told that CalArts is considerably "better" than "other" art schools, and that it has higher standards for prospective students than does any other art school with an animation program. I thought that an open forum would be a good place to test the veracity of that information and the consequent reputation of CalArts as I perceive it, and so...
I know that in the course of any education, "you get what you give." Let's leave that factor out of the equation for now.
Apart from that, however, I don't want to put any conditions or boundaries upon whatever information you choose to give. If your opinion is informed, I'm glad to read it. If it helps, however, I submit the following data about myself:
My primary interest is animation, however I believe that technical proficiency in art is of more importance than formal instruction in the principles of animation. I believe it also necessary to add that I was not impressed by the great majority of animation in the student showcase section of CalArts' website (that I watched, which was most entries but not all of them); apart from "Watambi," most everything seemed awfully "simple" for a school that's supposed to have, according to the information given to me, standards that are equalled only by those of the industry itself. Even more perplexing, nearly all of the animations that had been singled-out for awards seemed to be of lesser quality than many of the animations that had gone without awards.
Offhand, without searching through mountains of books and DVD's, I would say that the two instructor-artists whose educational materials have appealed the most to me are Vilppu and Mattesi. I have zero experience in painting, ink and watercolors; I have spent %100 of my time trying to learn to draw properly, and goofed about in Painter just long enough to know that I'm not ready for it yet. I am terribly keen to become proficienct in those areas as well, however.
That's all I can manage to think of as being useful here, for now. Thanks for reading, thanks for your advice. Bye.
EDIT: Ah, also, before some very precious person decides to tell me that my thread is pointless, I just wanted to add that it was previous searches for information on the subject as well as prior conversations with various people which collectively led to my posting this thread. I've spent, cummulatively, perhaps a week's worth of time trying to achieve comprehension of the matter, and am still not confident in my appreciation of the various factors in the situation.