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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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Anonymous Boris Hiestand says...

another great anecdote- keep em coming Borge and Hans!

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 4:56:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Michael Barrier says...

This is a nice story, but there are problems. If Wilfred Jackson can be trusted (and I think he can), Walt had ordered his animators to work in the rough no later than 1933. Pencil tests were being assembled in complete reels by 1935, as we know from surviving reels for On Ice, Pluto's Judgement Day, and Mickey's Fire Brigade, all of which preceded Mickey's Polo Team in production. The pencil animation in those reels varies in how finished it is, but a lot of it is quite rough.

A hectographed "final draft" for Polo Team accompanies the "story sketch book" for that cartoon at the Disney Archives, and it's dated September 24, 1935, so the animation had been completed by then. Most if not all of Polo Team must have been animated while Walt was on his European trip in the summer of 1935. Dave Hand was presumably remembering something that happened after Walt returned and saw what had been done in his absence, but I can't believe the incident was as Borge describes it. For one thing, as Dave told me in regard to another incident, Walt didn't like surprises of that kind!

Thursday, February 8, 2007 at 5:33:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Thanks for your insights, Michael! Though I report the story as told to me, I have no means of checking it, except that I do remember the linetests that were found in Ben Sharpsteen's garage (On Ice), which I should have thought of...

Thursday, February 8, 2007 at 5:45:00 AM PST  

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