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!

Monday, December 31, 2007

Prod. 2069 (Alice) - Seq. 12.0 - Ending -- Chase

The draft of this last sequence, dated 5/10/51 shows that this, too was directed by Wilfred Jackson assisted by Mike (Holoboff), and layout by MacLaren Stewart. Animation by Harvey Toombs, Don Lusk, Eric Larson (Alice), Hal King (King), Judge Whitaker (cards), Phil Duncan (Caterpillar), Frank Thomas (Doorknob), Bill Justice (sister), Cliff Nordberg (many characters incl. Queen) and effects by George Rowley...
This then concludes the draft of Alice in Wonderland, which I am glad to have been able to present to you here for the first time ever.
According to Disney management, more precisely Roy Disney himself, "Unfortunately, ALICE is disappointing, but (...) it will probably give an overall pretty good account of itself."

Mary Blair's production design shines through throughout, and it has some great animation, with highlights of draughtmanship and comedy animation, like the Mad Tea Party, the Walrus and the Carpenter, and Frank Thomas' Doorknob and Queen, just to mention a few. This film is certainly worth a careful study, even if only because it was "the film Walt HAD to make." If he wanted it or not - it was expected of him. As such, it had been in production at least since early 1939, as the first Leica reel detailing the story with paintings by David Hall was produced in July that year.

Let us not forget that Alice had her Disney-roots go back to 1923, when little Virginia Davis appeared for the first time in the Laugh-O-gram produced Alice in Cartoonland, which became the basis for Walt's Los Angeles endeavours. The Alice series ran through 1927, and later featured Dawn O'Day, Lois Hardwicke and Margie Gay - it was finally replaced by the all-cartoon Oswald the Lucky Rabbit series, followed by Mickey Mouse - but you know all this, of course.

As a follow-up of the hugely successful Cinderella, and followed by also successful Peter Pan, most of the artists seem to have been quick to write Alice off as an unfortunate experiment. Through the years it has gathered its own following, and many fans and collectors have embraced Alice as their film of choice.

Luckily, we are all entitled to our own opinion...

[Addition: Check out Steven Hartley's Alice mosaics!!!]

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Anonymous Brian Meyer says...

I personally enjoy the style of David Hall's concept art. I would have loved to seen a film reflecting more of his artistic vision than say Mary Blair's.

His paintings for ALICE as well as PETER PAN are stunning. He was represented well at the Walt Disney exhibition in Montreal this past year.

Monday, December 31, 2007 at 11:55:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Rusty Mills says...

Thanks for posting all of these. Hal Ambro taught at Cal arts my final year there and during that time I became good friends with him. I often would ask him what he had animated and he usually said he didn't remember. Having been in the business for many years now myself I know now why he didn't remember what all he had done. So it was a real treat to see all the scenes he had animated. I also have a copy of a scene of the queen that I could remember who had animated it. I got it when I was t4raining at Disney years ago when you were able to check out scenes from the morgue. Now I know that Frank Thomas animated it. I should have know by the nice arcs. thanks again. Any chance you could take all of these and make one pdf out of all of them?

Monday, December 31, 2007 at 5:05:00 PM PST  
Anonymous Michael Sporn says...

Alice has some extraordinary sequences that are inspirational, and the music for this film stands out as one of Disney's finest - it was nominated for an Oscar for its score by Oliver Wallace. However, I'm most affected by the marvelous staging of the piece. Disney's people try to wend the film into a straight line, but Carroll's story does move in odd ways.

The first time I saw this film (having already memorized the songs from the many records I owned) was on B&W television as part of The Disneyland show. It was a very special "Special" for kids back then. A holdiay treat. I don't think I was able to see the film in a theater until the early 70's.

Thanks, Hans, for posting these invaluable drafts. It's taking a bit of time devouring them, but I love it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 6:05:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Michael J. Ruocco says...

Thanks for the drafts, Hans! They're gold to us!

I always had a love-hate relationship with Alice in Wonderland. Some days I like it, & some I don't, & I don't know why that is. The animator in me loves the technical side of the film (animation, voices, backgrounds, etc.), but another side of me can't tolerate the film as a whole. The characters are funny & the gags are too, but there's something I don't like about it all & I can't quite pinpoint it. I don't think it's that other people's opinions & criticisms of the film have affected my own viewpoints, but there's some underlying dislike for it somewhere inside of me. But I digress...

Eitherway, this has been a real pleasure looking over these drafts you've provided for us, Hans. It's this kind of information that really gets me excited about the history of animation and the story behind how these films came to be. I'm looking forward to what you've got next in store for us in the future. Thanks again!

oh, & by the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR to you & yours!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 8:16:00 AM PST  

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