Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-five shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Action Analysis Class - March 5th, 1936 (II)

As promised, here is the second part of this interesting trip back in time when the artists needed to analyse what made some of their films so good, and what didn't. We don't need to do these things now, of course, as we are just perfect. No, I don't mean that, folks! Remember that the wide paragraphs are Don Graham talking - asking questions etc. When were you last in a class with fifty others, organized by your work?
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Leave a comment, let me know what you think.
And again, for those of you who haven't yet had a look at my company showreel intro, have a look below!

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Action Analysis Class - March 5th, 1936 (I)

This is the first part of Don Graham's Action Analysis Class basically discussing Elmer Elephant. It also asks the question why Building a Building was so good. Well, that's my favorite film - personally, I like its upbeat nature.

It's Thursday, most likely from 7 to 9 pm. Join the unsung animators Lee Morehouse (1911-1997) and Paul Allen (1898-1963), with Bill Shull, Jim Algar and Milt Kahl in this group of fifty men, as we disect the shorts. The second part follows tomorrow...
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A clearer look at 1945

At this address, Kevin Koch from the Animation Guild posted some great pictures of 1945 issues of the Screen Cartoonists Guild's newsletter, The Animator. I thought it would be nice to have a clearer look at the images, hence the images below, with raster screen removed. Be sure to have a look at the Guild's blog and at the original images of the newsletters on the page linked above!

For simplicity, I have copied the captions below the images, a plethora of famous names, like Frank Thomas, Ambi Paliwoda, Bernie Wolf, Rudy Ising, Jules Engel, Frank Onaitis, John Hubley, Rudy Larriva, Manny Gonzales, Bill Hurtz, Bill Hannah and Joe Barbera, Ray Patterson, Ken Muse, Dave Deteige, Jack Parr, Andy Engman and lots of others...(Click to enlarge!)
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Note the big smile on Hubley after winning over the Disney team...
Find the original images in their largest size here, here and here.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A closer look at The Reluctant Dragon

When looking at The Reluctant Dragon again (after looking up Walt Kelly on the draft), I stumbled over a few things I want to share with you here - so here are a few frame grabs. The first couple show maquettes from Peter Pan (1953) and Lady and the Tramp (1955), a fact that I see is mentioned in IMDB's trivia section. The grabs from the Baby Weems sequence show modelsheets from the same projects casually stuck to the walls. I thought that was pretty interesting, as The Reluctant Dragon premiered June 20th, 1941 - during the strike - and of course was finished well before that... (Click to enlarge!)
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Another fun thing I notice is the background in the Traffic Dept. If you look behind the actor in the middle (left image), you see the outline of the Animation Building as it was intended, but never finished. The outline is light, the exsisting part of the building is dark, so it seems to be a 'future project'.
The middle image is a closer view of the same frame grab, and the right is a fantasy image of how it would have looked if it had been finished according to KEM Weber's original plans... (Click to enlarge!)
Frame Grab 5 Frame Grab 5 Close-up Fantasy

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Walt Kelly in Features (II)

Here is the second bit of The Reluctant Dragon with Walt Kelly scenes, as promised yesterday. As to the relative merit of the animation, well, it is very much action-based. The few acting scenes of Walt Kelly's are solved in a very simple manner. They seem to be adequate, even a bit "old school", especially in relation to Woolie's dragon, which is quite more sophisticated, with well thought-out "animation in place". Sharing this character with Fred Moore (obviously the lead) and Paul Murry, it shows he still had some way to go before stardom - but he was given a chance anyway. It is in itself interesting that he got credited with name and caricature on this film.

I must note that Seq. 12.3 ("Hurray for Sir Giles, the Dragon Killer") is missing in my draft, and has been since the count of the BGs on the BG Morgue in 1964, it seems. Hence the hand-written notes about Seq. 12.3 at the bottom of a few of these pages.
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Much of the dragon later in the film was animated by Ward Kimball. A note to those who think Kimball may have had anything to do with the Goofy animation that Ward is seen to be flipping: the draft credits this to "Steve Bosustov (Woolie)". Leads me to believe that it was animated by Woolie Reitherman, but the "person to see" about this was Bosustov, OR Bosustov animated it under Woolie's supervision.

See Mark Mayerson's mosaic of these here!

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Walt Kelly in Features (I)

Well, I took a quick peek at all my feature drafts, to see what Walt Kelly actually has been credited for. And there wasn't that very much. Excepting the bit in Dumbo, I found a few scenes with Gepetto catching tuna, and three scenes in Fantasia with fauns. Most of his scenes, though, were in The Reluctant Dragon, the actual short film inside the film, animating the boy opposite Woolie Reitherman's dragon. Here is the first batch of his scenes (more tomorrow) - it is Prod. Nr. 2005:
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Note that these drafts are from February to April 1941, JUST before the (in)famous strike. Maybe Walt Kelly was on the brink of animation stardom anyway?

Meet also Tom Oreb, Paul Murry and Fred Moore - and what was called "Music Room" previously, is now "Unit 3-D" - which must be the director's offices on the 3rd floor of D-wing...

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Don't, or pay!

Here is the little form I spoke of in a previous comment. It is a printed form, in other words, someone meant business!
"...necessary to charge back to the Animators the cost of all mistakes..." There is no date on this Form P-204...
Don't!< Click on it!
And now I'm back from Cannes Lions. We didn't stay for the prizes or the party afterwards. I must admit that I am very disappointed by the festival itself - it is one big money machine, with a speciality in having people NOT network and speak together, and the weather was not nice either, most of the time. Change of strategy required.
I'll get the hang of this yet ;-)
Thanks for all the comments this week, which I found I could manage to moderate and answer from my cell phone.
By all means keep the comments coming!

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Monday, June 19, 2006

Sweatboxing...

Obviously, a Director's Change is "the director changed his mind", while the Animator's Change is "redo it as it isn't right or just not good enough". But were there repercussions? Were Director's Changes compensated in footage or payment? Were Animator's Changes deducted in salary?
We remember the caricature of Dave Hand in the late 30's "The Mousetrap", with the caption "It's an animator's change..." It seems to be a VERY important distinction!
Sweatboxing... Dave Hand in The Mousetrap < Click on it!
I look forward to hearing your comments, and your answer to above questions. I may not be able to answer or moderate immediately, because I'll be a week in Cannes, France, to look at commercials. (Yes, I'll do anything to make A. Film L.A. a plausible entity!) See you in a week!

For those of you who haven't yet had a look at my company showreel intro, have a look below!

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Prod. 2725 (2016) - La Pinata (Seq.1)

This is "Intro. to Charro", the first sequence of La Pinata (Prod. Nr. 2725), a short that is part of Prod. 2016, The Three Caballeros. It introduces Panchito, and the song about the three happy chappies. Dated 9/13/1944, directed by Gerry Geronimi and layout by Hugh Hennessy and Herb Ryman (here mistakenly called Hyman).
Main animation by Ward Kimball, with Fred Moore and Ollie Johnston. And another soundtrack by Josh Meador with Milt Neil ducks...
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Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Feild trip - a closer look...

Once in a while, I find it nice to look closer at an image that "just always was there" - in this case a picture in Robert Durant Feild's 1942 The Art of Walt Disney, fig. 23, "View of the plant from the air." I descreened it for clarity, and we see a new "animation factory" on 51 acres in Burbank. The paths around the animation building show the original intent, not eight but twelve wings, as drawn in the plan on the previous page in the book (image on right)...
From the air Ground plan < Click on it!
As Dave Smith teaches us in Funnyworld No. 20 (1979), a deposit on the plot was made August 31st, 1938, the Pinocchio camera dept. moved in August 1939, and the Bambi unit moved in fall 1939, as the lease on 861 Seward Street ran out. The general move from Hyperion Ave. took place between Dec. 26, 1936 and Jan. 5, 1940, and other depts., such as ink and paint, moved in spring. Finally, in May, the move was done. So what we see here is probably some time around the move - there don't seem to be any people present. Or is there someone in the field, where the J wing could have been?

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Prod. 2248 - The Little Whirlwind

We all remember Freddie Moore's wonderful modelsheets for this one. But do we really know which scenes he animated? And Les Clark? Or Kimball, Ken Muse, John Elliotte, Jim Armstrong, Walt Kelly?
(I suspect Jones is not Volus but Fred Jones, effects animator).
Directed by Riley Thomson, Asst. Dir. Ray de Vally, Layout by Charlie Phillippi and Chuck Connors. Draft 4 of 9/26/1940 by Vi Zimmerman. Released 02/14/1941.
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