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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 2 - Run Along Now...

When Neil Gabler in his book about Walt speaks of the expensive opening of Pinocchio, this was the actual bit he meant, Sequence 2, "Going to School." The scenes 1.01 to 1.06 seamlessly show us the Alpine village that Pinocchio was carved into using the Multiplane camera in a way so intricate that these scenes alone cost more that a whole short film - wasn't it around $115,000?
Thorington C. "Thor" Putnam (1911-2001), the layout artist, must have gotten some grey hairs from this sequence. And I bet sequence director Wilfred "Jaxon" Jackson didn't hear the end of this, either!

There is some nice acting by Art Babbitt, Milt Kahl and Les Clark.
I always thought the scene with Pinocchio turning, body only, was particularly funny and a good reminder that he was not a real boy...
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By the way, if you think I am spreading this stuff thinly, I can only say that it is hard to come up with something new each day, especially here from Denmark! I'd think it's better than nothing...

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Julián Höek says...

not at all, keep them coming slowly it's totally better than nothing!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 6:00:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Mike Matei says...

it's pretty awesome to see this. thank you very much for posting these. This and alice in wonderland are my favorite disney movies.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 7:24:00 PM PST  
Blogger rosscompose says...

An always amazing shot. I consider Pinocchio Disney's masterpiece. At least visually, it somewhat lacks of warmth of Snow White. Jaxon's marionette show always amazes me, the interaction between all the characters. And Jiminy's"What does an actor want with a conscience anyway?"

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 at 1:43:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rosscompose says...

I've been studying this shot against the draft and I can't find any breaks between the scenes listed, upper/lower streets etc. (Obviously, you're not supposed to!) But I do notice more details in the design and (village) characters each time I watch it. There is a whole village population and their activities which all goes by in a few seconds. Amazing.

I can hardly imagine how this was plotted out.

Have you figured out exactly where the breaks occur?

Friday, September 25, 2015 at 12:48:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rosscompose says...

Maybe the first break is when the doves disappear and the camera trucks down to the stone arch?

Friday, September 25, 2015 at 12:56:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

The breaks really are more subtle, and not real "scene changes." They were basically "changes of Multiplane levels."

Remember that there at all times ONLY is ONE animation level! Thus, to have animation of pigeons on the top level, then children on a middle level and then go through the "bridge" to the bottom level with animated children was an amazing feat of level control. Note how animation completely disappears in between these points. That's where they had to move the animation level to under the level below it, moving that one up and exchanging the still background to precisely fit the previous position (incl. lighting!).

To me it sounds like a nerve-wrecking exercise! The whole thing (1.01 to 1.06) must have been shot in one go, which you can see indicated by the out-of-focus areas between the levels. No optical printers yet. When you see the buildings move in the center of the first part of the shot, you can imagine someone must have had cold sweat down their backs because of that one.

Why, then, call them different scenes? I suggest that for handing out animation and crediting that, they would need this split up. But scene planning would have pulled these back together and combined them into the one Multiplane shot.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 4:29:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

If you look closely, you can see changes in color and camera direction, esp. in the last two parts. I get the lengths of those two last scenes as 10-06 and 22-15 in stead of 9-12 and 22-12, BUT the animation itself would more closely fit those lengths. On the other hand, the total length of 67 ft (1072 frs) seems correct (hard to tell since it starts in a fade-up). In all this still fits with the scenes being handed out separately, then pulled together in scene planning and ending with cameramen getting headaches...

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 5:18:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

A little addition: page 33 of the first "Composition" part of the Studio Talksseries of lectures shows that around 1938 "there are two levels capable of handling animation." At a later time they mentioned that one animation level was maximum. That does not take away the fact that there are camera irregularities between all of the separate pieces of animation in this sequence.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 1:19:00 PM PDT  
Blogger rosscompose says...

Thank you for these several comments. I notice that the second box on draft 39 says Music Room. Would that mean multiplane only, no animation? Or what?

I have noticed the color changes you mention.

You probably know they have a multiplane at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco? It is set up so you can look down into it from an upper level and also see it from floor level.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 4:11:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Hans Perk says...

Music Rooms were the director's room, often shared with a musician and including a piano. The director timed the storyboards here with help from the musician for deciding the tempo (beats).

In the earliest days, Carl Stalling was the main occupant of a more generic conference room, so it got the name Music Room. In 1930, Bert Lewis took his place, with Burt Gillett as director. In late 1930 Jaxon got Walt's second office with Frank Churchill as his musician. They were later moved to the 1931 L-shaped addition, in the two rooms atop each other with the bay windows: Jaxon/Churchill below in M.R. 1 and Gillett/Lewis in M.R.2. Somewhat later, Churchill moved into M.R. 2 with Gillett.

During the following rooms many transmutations happened, many new directors and musicians were added to the staff. At the time of Pinocchio, there were at least six Music Rooms. Around the end of 1938 the Music Room directors were: MR1 Bill Roberts, MR2 Ham Luske, MR3 Jaxon, MR4 Jack Kinney, MR8 T. Hee and a special RX1 Jim Algar.

Thus a scene credited to a Music Room basically means it was not handed out to an animator, but was timed to a certain length by the director to not have any animation.

Multiplane: The one in the gift shop (not for sale) at the WDFM is a new recreation of a Multiplane camera specifically made for the WDFM. I do not know if anything new happened with the existing original Multiplane cranes since my last message about these: one near the Archives, one in Florida, and one was possibly moved to Disneyland Paris, or maybe that was the Florida one and there is still one other in parts on the Burbank lot. Any new info on this is much appreciated!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 5:34:00 AM PDT  
Blogger rosscompose says...

A French friend, Jérémie Noyer, who writes extensively about Disney and Disneyland Paris, sent me this comment:

"Yes, there is a multiplane camera at Disneyland Paris. It's located in the lobby of the attraction "Art of Disney Animation" inside the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris."

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 9:15:00 AM PST  

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