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!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Plight of Fred Moore

Here is a bit of animation, the penultimate scene of the shelved Prod. 2428, The Plight of the Bumble Bee, directed by Jack Kinney in 1951, animated by Fred Moore. The drawings were originally only marked with Fred's name, but it has been mentioned previously on a forum following my sending a few images to Cartoon Brew (and which ultimately made me start this blog) that the last part of the scene may have been finished by Cliff Nordberg. More on Didier Ghez' blog.

In the files (a QuickTime and an animated .gif) I have not held the drawings until the next ones, as that gives a false timing - I have inserted blanks. There are several schools of thought on this...
I exposed the drawings according to the numbers, though this may be too quickly, as I believe the dialog to be something along the lines of "Oh, boy! A violin virtuoso! With his talent and my brains, we'll hit the tops, heh heh heh!"
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[Addition: Keith Lango brought up an interesting point: that CG animators aren't used to seeing linetests with inserted blanks. Somehow, I do feel that one should get an eye for timing using only the available keys. I learned to add blank sheets of paper between my keys before flipping my drawings, to not cheat myself on estimating my timing - and I heard this was done at Disney's as well by several animators. But for those of you who do not have the feeling for this yet, here are the two files again, but this time with the drawings held until the one following it. It looks more smooth, but still...
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Note that some viewers may not support animated GIFs!
Remember to have a look at the A. Film showreel while you are here!

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Cars...

Another little pearl from the Babbitt/Hubley reel...
Gives a whole new meaning to lip-synch!
I really love this one! It is so simple yet excruciatingly precise!


For those of you who want to know my position on Neil Gablers book on Walt (I know this really is an after-the-fact note): I actually LIKE a book that is a summing up of notecards that describe the history - "summing it up so I don't have to...". Being stuck in Europe, I have not enjoyed the same access to the archives, acknowledging the great people who populate it (I have visited twice, in 1978 - thank you, Dave Smith and Ron Miller! - and 2005 - thank you, Becky Cline!). I just would like any book to not have errors, and as such,
I think it is good to have an ajoining list of these. Only a pity that the book seems to be less than inspired by interest in the animation medium, ultimately my "in" into the material. In the end, hopefully, our opinion is based on a cross-section of all the available data...

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Mickey's Polo Game Anecdote

My old mentor Børge Ring shares this anecdote with us, which he was told by Dave Hand around 1950, when Hand was in Denmark at the Ring, Frank and Rønde studio. In his own words:

"Dave Hand kept urging Walt Disney to let them do a WHOLE film in ruff. Walt was reluctant but when Dave was preparing "Mickey's Polo Game," Walt was traveling and Dave had all of Polo Game ruffed without informing him.

Disney saw Polo Game finished in colour and gave his OK. Only then did Hand show him the complete linetest in ruffs and Walt's reluctance evaporated."

(To me, this story shows that Hand must have had a BIG star in Walt's book, because Walt seems to not have been anyone you'd spring a surprise like this on, and keep your job. This wasn't long before Hand became Supervising Director of Snow White...)

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mickey's Gala Premier Anecdote

Here is a story that Børge Ring told me - Art Babbitt told it to him...
The director of Mickey's Gala Premier handed out a scene to Art, with four members of the audience sitting, then two of them, Douglas Fairbanks and Jimmy Durante, fall out of their chairs and roll in the aisles laughing. Art asked: "Who are the other two?" "Anyone you like." So, back at his desk, he decided he'd draw Freddie Moore and, for contrast, a lady of his own invention.

When the answer print arrived, the animators invited their wives to the studio at night to see the animated celebrities. According to Art, Freddie's first wife was very dumb. When she saw Fred in the background, she jumped up, and clapping her hands she exclaimed "But that's you Fred, it's you!" Then the lady next to "Fred" caught her eye, and she asked furiously "WHO IS THAT NEXT TO YOU?"
Here is a frame grab from sc. 37, so you can see for yourself...
By Art Babbitt< Click on it!

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Prod. UM38 - Mickey's Polo Game

Another film with animated celebrities, it became known as Mickey's Polo Team. This one directed by Dave Hand, released 1/4/1936.
As one can read in many publications incl. Finch's Art of Walt Disney, p. 138, Will Rogers was removed from this short during pre-production, after his death in a plane crash.
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I have one more short draft prepared, but then it is features until I return to the States...

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Prod. 2004 Seq. 7 - Sorcerer's Apprentice

OK, here it is: the Sorcerer's Apprentice, the film that originated the "Concert Feature" (Fantasia) as recorded in glorious Fantasound by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, based on the story and the music of Paul Dukas' L'Apprenti Sorcier, which in turn was based on Goethe's 1797's "Die Zauberlehrling" which was based on Philopseudes by Lucian of Samosata...

Directed by James Algar, this draft 3/6/1940 - released 11/13/1940, re-released in 1946, 1956, 1963, 1969, 1977, 1982, 1985, 1990, and part of Fantasia/2000, released 12/17/1999.

James Algar (1912-1988) started as animator, and later directed Mr. Toad and the True-Life Adventures. Layouts by Zack Schwartz. Yen Sid the Sorcerer (Disney backwards, only named so in the comics, not in the film/draft) by Bill Tytla, and Mickey & Brooms by Riley Thomson, Les Clark, Marvin Woodward, Preston Blair, Ed Love, Art Palmer and Bob Wickersham. Effects by Ugo D'Orsy, Cornett Wood, Dan McManus, George Rowley, Josh Meador, Cy Young and a Dawson.

A most ambitious Mickey Mouse on all levels...
Note: there is no info on any of the 2 different Fantasia drafts I have on who did the scene of Mickey shaking Stoki's hand in silhouet!
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Back in Denmark for a while, where I only have few shorts drafts at my disposal...

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Prod. UM15 - Mickey's Gala Premier

Another request. Directed by Burt Gillett with music by Frank Churchill, released 7/1/1933. Again Ben Sharpsteen in his role as first Supervising Animator. Moore and Babbitt are now flying on their own power, and Cy Young does effects.

This I lifted straight from IMDb: This cartoon was the last thing to be broadcast on BBC television on 1 September 1939, two days before England declared war on Germany. It was thought that the VHF signal from the broadcast would serve as a homing beacon for the enemy planes closing in on London. This cartoon was also the first thing broadcast when BBC television resumed broadcasting on 7 June 1946. The continuity announcer, Jasmine Bligh, introduced the cartoon by saying, "Now then, as we were saying before we were so rudely interrupted." [Do we know this to be factual?]
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Legend Imagineer Don Edgren Dies

It took nearly a month for the media to notice that Disney Legend Don Edgren, who was principle engineer on staff at WED/Imagineering, and who engineered such feats as the Matterhorn in Disneyland, had died, Dec. 28th, 2006, age 83.
Read more in the L.A. Times.

Here is a short clip, the end of his Disney Legends acceptance speech, which I recorded October 9th, 2006 at 4:21 pm:

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Prod. UM13 - The Mail Pilot

Not all drafts are filled out completely: here is one of those.
Directed by Dave Hand, released 6/13/1933...
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Rural Backdrop

Here is the same gentleman as in my previous post. With a very nice rural backdrop: Walt Disney's Studio as it was in the 40s...
Who?< Click on it!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More Conumdrum...

Here is another set of pictures, of which I would like to know more. The gentleman is using and 'fixing' a Disney animation camera...
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Monday, January 15, 2007

Coincidence?

Yesterday at the NFFC Disneyana sale in Garden Grove, CA, I bought a 1955 Disney fan card, sent Nov. 8, 1962, with an In Search of the Castaways cancellation stamp. A bit curious, as it of course has no Sleeping Beauty or One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Davy Crockett's coonskin cap was old hat. Drawn by Bob Moore, it is 5x7".
This morning, I find that Michael Sporn wrote about the fan cards he received in the 50s: "I remember one which was very different. It must have had fifty characters in it - a lot of the feature characters (somehow I remember Brer Rabbit) - were set within drawn frames and gathered on this card. That’s right, about fifty frames on a little card - maybe 5×7 - so all the characters were small."
Did it ever come up before? No! But here it is! How weird is that?
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Remember to look at the pictures in my previous post, and write me if you know more about the people and the event!

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Conundrum...

In a stash of photos, I have these three pictures, which were taken at the same time, at the Disney studios. It seems there is a drawing of a drawing table and a dancing Goofy on one of the pictures, which makes me think of The Reluctant Dragon. In some way, I think it MIGHT be Norm Ferguson behind the gentleman serving coffee(?) in the middle picture, but I have no way of being sure.
Can anyone tell me who and what we are looking at?
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(Neg. Nrs. on the back: 32-206, 32-204 & 32-203).

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Prod. UM6 - Klondike Kid

Another request, directed by Wilfred Jaxon, released 11/12/32.
New animators under the wings of Ben Sharpsteen are Marvin Woodward, Charlie Byrne, Chuck Couch, Harry Reeves, Louie Schmidt, Roy Williams, Archie Robin (one 'b'), Ed Love, "Ol' Flop-ears" George Drake, Fred Spencer, Fred Moore, Bab (Art Babbitt, I would think) and Frank Tipper (1887-1968). They share the limelight with "old hands" like Johnnie Cannon, Frenchy de Trémaudan, Hardie Gramatky, Les Clark, Tom Palmer and Gerry Geronimi. The star of this short is undeniably Norm Ferguson.
It isn't Building a Building (UM7, the next film in line) by far, the narrative is not too exciting, and much of the animation erratic and clearly the work of many novices, but it does have a certain charm...
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Friday, January 12, 2007

Layouts vs. Animation

In this Class on Color Composition of July 15th, 1936, led by Phil Dike, we hear Les Clark and McLaren Stewart's versions of how the cooperation between the layout man and the animator should be...
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McLaren Stewart (04/29/09-05/14/92) was art director on Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi, and drew layouts for many of the features that followed. In 1946 he occupied room 2B-3 with Claude Coats and Bob Ferguson, in the same hallway as Wilfred Jaxon, Ken Anderson, Ernie Nordli, Charles Philippi, Jim Algar and Frank Thomas. In the 60's we find him in 2A-4. He was designer on Bedknobs and Broomsticks (and was in April 1971 in room 233-S).
He also art directed the animation in Mary Poppins.

Which brings me to this night's Sing-along! It was fun, and it was on film (well, DLP), but they used the print they used for the DVD, with the wrong colors (see yesterday's post). Also, they didn't use the original 2.0 track, but the "enhanced" 5.1 with the "fake" foley (extra sound effects added for the DVD), which made it sound like mono with added sound coming from the rear! Sigh...
I honestly believe they MEAN well, they just don't KNOW...
At least they did something right in getting Richard M. Sherman to entertain before the screening, nicely MC'ed by Tim O'Day.
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