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, January 28, 2012

Dick Lundy

Lundy
One of the animators mentioned in my previous posting was Dick Lundy. Richard James Lundy was born in Michigan on 8/14/07 and died 4/7/90 in San Diego County. Starting as cel painter and inbetweener in 1929, he worked at Disney until 1943 (though his IMDb credits also include Mickey Mouse Disco in 1980, but this "clip show" used his early work). After Disney he worked on lots and lots of Hanna-Barbera series, as well as features like Charlotte's Web, and even Bakshi's Fritz the Cat. We have, of course, encountered Lundy many times on this blog.

We didn't see Lundy at bat in the winter 1930/31 Disney studio Softball game. But above image links to a caricature of Lundy at bat, so we know how that looked. I do not know who drew the caricature - but it is obviously contemporary and came from Jack Cutting's files.

My old mentor Børge Ring once asked Bob Maxfield, animation director on the first Dutch animated feature "Dexter the Dragon & Bumble the Bear" (a weird title, but the Dutch "Als Je Begrijpt Wat Ik Bedoel" isn't much clearer) released in 1983 (with some minor animation by me), how it was to work on a feature film with old stalwarts like Dick Lundy (and with Volus Jones on Heavy Traffic). Maxfield, who himself started at Disney in the mid 40s, answered "They couldn't do it anymore. Too many years of just doing head-turns."

This last story of course says more about the sad state of the business in the 1970s, and the terrible assignments that these animation greats were forced to accept! It does not detract, however, from the many iconic scenes they animated in their heyday, for which they forever will be counted among the legends of animation.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prod. CM8 - The Picnic

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Directed by Burt Gillett.
Released 10/23/30, this FINAL draft dated 9/13/30.
Animation by Dave Hand, Jack King, Charlie Byrne, Norm Ferguson, Dick Lundy, Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Ben Sharpsteen, Tom Palmer, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Cutting and Frenchy de Trémaudan.

Found on the Treasures DVD Mickey Mouse in Black and White, Vol. 2 Disk 1 or on YouTube, though in very low quality here.

A cute little film, this is actually a landmark in animation history. "Can I bring Rover?" Little Rover is, of course, none other than Pluto! Fergy's scene 27 is often "quoted" when discussing the origins of this the most famous of cartoon canines.

It is very interesting to see the difference in drawing styles. Fergy tries to draw a dog and mostly does a very nice job. Compare this with e.g. Palmer's attempt in the final scene. It is a "funny cartoon balloon animal," a much more simplistic and symbolic way of drawing. Palmer, Cannon and Lundy seem not to be quite up to the standards that Walt was striving for during this period. Maybe this went for most anybody. Then again, with Ub Iwerks gone only some seven months before this film was animated, everything was up for grabs, in this for the studio so incredibly important yet oft forgotten period - and Fergy led the way.

Dave Hand starts off with some very clear simple statements in the very first scene (until it gets a little weird), but he also gets quite a bit of technical animation in this film, with cycles upon cycles. And don't you just love the sound effects during the rain pour? "Blubblubblub..."

We have seen the background to Jaxon's scenes 20 & 26 before, on Emil Flohri's desk in the first Hyperion Ave. studio in 1931!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

More of Walt's Gulfstream...

Here is another reason I love paper shows!
CardBackLogo

Here we have a rare postcard of the interior of Walt's Gulfstream airplane, his much-loved toy that he had the fun Mickey sign made for that I showed you recently! The card even shows that the plane had its own logo! "In flight aboard Walt Disney Productions' Gulfstream N732G!"
The front bottom right reads "© 1964 Walt Disney Productions."
(To see the image more correctly, I have descreened it: Descreened)
Note that the N-number N732G has NEVER been assigned to Disney; it is currently assigned to a 1969 Beech aircraft registered in North Carolina. Before Disney took it over, the plane was registered as N707MP and then it became N234MM, a tailnumber it still has to this day, as seen on the images in my previous posting. Where, then, does the number N732G on this postcard stem from??

What is interesting to note also, is the fact that Walt had this exact image in his working office at the time of his passing. Here is the pertinent part of an image taken in his office in January 1968, 13 months later, while the office still stood untouched - note the four photos leaning up against the large aerial image of Disneyland:
Office

For the sake of clarity I have adjusted their perspective so you can see them all head-on. It is the second photo from the left.
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These photos show that the actual interior was much less yellow/brown than shown on the postcard. The walls and ceiling seems to have been white. Why they printed them yellow on the card, I have no idea. Maybe white was considered too boring?
The colors look like they have aged, but on a printed postcard?

The above row of images shows that there were basically two "rooms" divided by a semi-transparent divider with curtain. The postcard image (image 2) was shot from the position seen in image 1, while image 3 is as shot through the curtain, its counter shot is image 4, through which you can see the backside of the postcard image.
I count 13 seats...
[Addition: On the Walt Disney CD-Rom, which only seems to play under windows 95/98, you can find the following floorplan:]
Floorplan

Some time ago, the Disney Archives showed the following images on the D23 site: a jet model that was on Walt's desk in his official office, Walt's phone from the Gulfstream plane, and the plane's altimeter.
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Neither the Gulfstream, nor the earlier Queen Air or King Air planes resemble the jet model, though. Looking at an image from Walt's formal office (left photo, also January 1968), I can see the plaque reads "Grumman Gulfstream 2," which to me sounds like a letter to Santa: "Dear Roy, I want one!" Then again, in Walt's working office (right photo) were both a model AND a photo of the "current" plane!
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You can still see Walt's open briefcase in the floor behind his desk...

In Wade Sampson (Jim Korkis)'s very interesting article you can read more about Walt's planes, including this excerpt:
Over the years, there were actually three company planes that Walt flew in: Queen Air (Beechcraft) February 1963 - July 1965 (propeller driven); King Air (Beechcraft) 1965- 1967 (prop jet); and the Gulfstream (Grumman) bought 1963, in service May 1964, retired to WDW October 8, 1992. This is the plane you see on the backstage tour and, yes, Walt did fly in it to search for a site for Walt Disney World.
What I do not see in the article, though, is the intense involvement in Walt's plane from another flier in the company, Jack Cutting, who was Mr. International Dept. and one of Walt's closest advisers in this matter, helping writing the safety manuals. The top hand-written added phone number in his Disney phonebooks (of which I have a few) was the Burbank Airport, followed by the weather bureau.

(For information on the current Disney air fleet, check the info on their company Earth Star Inc, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank.)

(Addition 4/23/2012: Please see the important comment by an expert referring to this page!]

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Prod. UM1 - Mickey's Nightmare

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Directed by Burt Gillett.
Released 8/13/32, this draft dated 4/20/32. Nearly four months!? Could it be because this film was the first Mickey in the United Artists series?

Animation by Norm Ferguson, Jack King, Tom Palmer, Johnny Cannon, Gilles Armand "Frenchy" de Trémaudan, Ben Sharpsteen,
Les Clark, Hardy Gramatky and Dave Hand.

Another classic with the animators unknown - until now!

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