M46 with Click Track
Animation mainly by Dick Huemer (Bobo and Mickey), Frank Thomas (Pluto) and Norm Ferguson (Pluto and Devil), with Johnny Cannon (Mickey), and single scenes by Leonard [Sebring] and Nick - either Charles Nichols or Nick George (anyone?).
Very interesting is the way the beat changes as the animators do. One can put a lot of effort in explaining that, but it is probably just because they were basically different sequences, and as such just cast to different animators. Click this:
The film opens on a 12 beat (2-12), then, as Bobo the elephant is playing, it is 8 beat (3-8, waltz tempo). Pluto arrives jauntily:
12 beat (2-12). Then, the bit with pluto and the devil: a slower, more thoughtful 14 beat (2-14), and here the music isn't onmi-present as in the beginning. Then 10 beat (2-10) and we end in chaos on an
8 beat (2-8). There is one place where a measure was shortened to four frames by cutting a foot in the 2-10's bit.
Obviously, the director (Hand), helped by the musician (Malotte) decided the tempo with a metronome, to be most fitting to the action and mood on screen. A beat was chosen that could be sustained for a good number of bars, but, as we also saw on The Pointer, in the end it is possible to cut a few frames out if needed, as long as the musician can incorporate that decision - or there is no music. It seems that a 12 beat was generally chosen as a 'generic' not-too-fast, not-too-slow beat. An 8 beat is readily used as a waltz-type faux-24 beat, a subdivided slower 16 beat, or a quick 2-8's as chaos unfolds.
Have a look:
Here is the draft, for good measure (pun intended):
It would be interesting to hear from other directors who tried this method of timing - and to hear from musicians what they think about it. I remember the musicians I worked with - they at first thought it strange, but they quickly embraced the way of working as very natural... By all means feel free to comment!