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!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fritz Lang's "M"

Released in Germany on May 11th, 1931, "M" is the gripping story of a child murderer played by Peter Lorre. About 17 minutes into the film, a police investigator asks around in a candy store.
Check out the decorations!
M...< Click on it!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Ducky Nash on Pantomime Quiz

A still I fell over the day before yesterday: Clarence "Ducky" Nash and his Donald Duck hand puppet with the hosts of the TV show Pantomime Quiz. The date is unknown. Pantomime Quiz ran from 1947, and was later known as Stump the Stars...
Ducky...< Click on it!
The Duck puppet was made by puppetry legend Bob Jones, who among many other things also made the Pinocchio marionette and maquettes for the Disney studios. I bet the folks living in his old house on Las Palmas in Fullerton do not realize that Stan Laurel swam in their pool!

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Somebody Else...

Another thought by Børge Ring:
"HOW DID A NICE GIRL LIKE YOU GET INTO THIS?"

A number of renowned persons in American animation originally set out to become something quite different. Here are some of them:

Walt Disney (director of live action)
Art Babbitt (headshrink)
Joe Barbera (playwright)
Ham Luske (engineer)
Shamus Culhane (archeologist)
Woolie Reitherman (aviator)
Bill Littlejohn (aviator)
Ward Kimball (magazine illustrator)
Eric Larson (writer)
John Canemaker (actor)
Marc Davis (fine arts painter)
Richard Williams (jazz trumpeter)

Of these, Joe Barbera, Bill Littlejohn, Woolie Reitherman, Marc Davis and Richard Williams managed (to varying degrees) to reach both goals.

Some of you probably know of many more;
A select few may have wanted to become jailers or dentists...

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Prod. UM9 - The Mad Doctor

Since Jeff Pepper has posted at length here and again here on this short directed by Dave Hand and released 1/20/1933, I thought it topical to post the draft here.

We see animation by Ben Sharpsteen (the junior animators under his supervision are not mentioned here), Tom Palmer, Johnnie Cannon, Hardie Gramatky, Les Clark and Jack King...
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Woman Power Revisited

Nearly ten months ago I posted a small article on Bee Selck, a lady assistant director at Disney's in the 40s and 50s, since "women in animation" was the topic around the blogs. It becomes more and more clear to me that this is an area open for a lot more research:
I had a look at who was at the studio in March 1945, and I counted 81 (yes, eighty-one) women at in the animation building alone!!! If we count a handful secretaries, assistant directors and stenographers, we are left with maybe as many as 50 or 60 ladies pushing pencils!

Below is a very short excerpt of the fateful talk Walt held for his employees on February 10th and 11th, 1941. This part deals with the rumour that the studio was hiring women to replace the higher-paid men at the drawing tables. It is still quite male-centric ("Little" Retta Scott), but one senses that he means well...
Exerpt of Walt's talk...< Click on it!
The talk itself, which I am not going to reproduce here, by the way, was seemingly fair enough - but the timing and the "angle" were all wrong: it seems to me that if Walt instead of complaining had asked for help from his employees, the strike might not even have occurred. It seems he was councilled poorly - it would have been hard for himself, as Big Boss, to come to this conclusion...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Disney Film Recording Co., Ltd.

Here is a fun ad I stubled over in the 1930 Motion Picture News Blue Book. While using Pat Powers' Cinephone sound system, the Disney brothers became the West Coast representatives for that system, and their recording truck can be seen in the baseball (sound-)footage on the second Silly Symphonies Treasures DVD set...
1930...< Click on it!

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Børge on Babbitt

This in from my old mentor Børge Ring:
When the production of theatrical cartoons dried up during the late 1950es a lot of Disney-trained animators moved over to the studios that made limited animation for TV series.
One who did not was Arthur Babbitt...no Flintstones for him. He opted for animating commercials because they had budgets that allowed for full animation. For some years he was heading a department for commercials at Hanna-Barbera winning 80 Awards for them.

"How big was the department, Art?"
"You mean the staff and the whole staff?"
"Yes."
He got up from his chair and into a soldier's pose, arms stretched down the sides and said: "You are looking at it right now."
Sitting down again he recounted: "I had everything made in free lance, even camera. My favourite animator was Irving Spence and I let all commercials be done in full animation regardless of the design style."

After some years he moved to London to the studio of Richard Williams to train Dick's young staff all the while animating on Williams's feature about "The Cobbler and the Thief" and incidentally directing a few commercials.
One day I asked Richard Williams what Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were doing about their commercials with Art Babbitt over here in London. "Oh" said Dick, "They are so big they don't even know they have a department for commercials."


Here, at the 2007 Disney Legends, 10/10/2007, is Roy Disney introducing Art's bubbly widow, and her acceptance speech.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

A Very Good Choice...

Dave R. Smith, Disney Archivist Emeritus, has been the hub of interest for many Disney enthusiasts, myself included. I met him for the first time 8/14/1978, when he personally showed me the collections' highlights and the basement of the ROD building, then the seat of the Archives. He is seen here receiving the Legends award, 10/10/2007. Congratulations, Dave! It is well deserved!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Congrats, Mr. Fun!

Just came back from the Disney Legends awards 2007. One of the recipients is writer and animator Floyd Norman, a.k.a. Mr. Fun.
Here is Roy Disney presenting the award.

And here is the recipient. Congratulations!

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Country Gentleman - March 1934

Here is an article that appeared in the March 1934 issue of Country Gentleman magazine, written by a J. P. McEvoy. I quote: "I have often suspected Mrs. McEvoy's little boy Joseph is a trifle dumb" - it really shines through the entire article - it's amazing they didn't throw him out of the studio immediately!

But it is an interesting tidbit anyway. The last column on the last page has a sweet, candid interview with Walt, where he speaks of his feature plans publicly - remember, this is three years and nine months before the release of Snow White! It is also the first and only time I have seen anything from this period speaking about animation to a beat, even mentioning a 4-12 beat...
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Changing servers...

As we are changing our website, we are moving it to another server. The image URLs for this blog will for the most part be wrong, but I am working on fixing all 273 postings! If you cannot see images, please excuse me and try again a bit later!
Note: if you are in dire need of information, exchange the www in the link with ftp, making it http://www.afilm.com/blog/...

[Status: links in all postings back to 6/1/2007 should be ok.
I also fixed all postings on Barsheets and Click Tracks.
Though I don't have time to fix everything yet, I try to fix things that are related to current topics...]

[Update pr. 3/12/08: all links should now be ok!]

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Constructing Disneyland

Not normally a topic here, but I do like Disneyland. Especially Walt's Disneyland - he knew what he was doing, and he loved doing it.
I could feel this when I first visited the park in 1978.

Though it of course is a pity that so much of the original atmosphere was destroyed during the Pressler years in the 90s, it is certainly good to find that during and after the 50th celebration the trend was reversed. I have high hopes that this will continue with the new "regime," and I enjoy the park more each time I visit it.

Anyway, I thought this was a nice image, and it goes well with the production papers that give sort of a similar look at the films...
DL_construction01...< Click on it!

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