Please note: if an earlier link doesn't work, it may have changed following an update! Check the Category Labels in the side-bar on the right! There you can find animator drafts for sixteen complete Disney features and eighty-six shorts,
as well as Action Analysis Classes and many other vintage animation documents!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Prod. US34 - Three Little Wolves

I thought it nice to end the year with a bang, albeit a little one. Originally prod. S32, the number of Three Little Wolves was changed to US34 to let Broken Toys have a Christmas release. If you find S32 here, it was what was on the bar sheet and the draft.

Directed by Dave Hand, assistant director Jack Cutting, story by Bill Cottrell, Joe Grant and Bob Kuwahara (Feb. 1934-May 1935 - Outline 4/10/1934). Music by Frank Churchill. Layout by Ferdinand Huszti Horvath, backgrounds by Mique Nelson and animation by Norm Ferguson, Fred Moore, Eric Larson and Bill Roberts.
It premiered in front of Chaplin's Modern Times at the Dallas Majestic, 4/18/1936, and can now be found on Disney Treasures: Silly Symphonies (2001). It was the first Disney picture held over for a second program at Radio City Music Hall. (Thank you, Russell Merrit and J B Kaufman!)

Three Little Wolves is timed in a classical "start slow, speed up, fast climax, slower ending" pacing, as you can see by this timeline:

I really hope this stuff is studied, as I feel it is just as important to know how this works now, as it was when the films were made...

Check the timing on this annotated film:

Again, for good measure, the draft, from 1/13/1936.
Well, I'm 45 today. To everyone a Happy New Year, from myself, and from everyone at A. Film in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Germany!

[Addition 03/31/2015: I removed it from YouTube because they find it infringes the song "R3tric-Black Is Night", sound recording administered by: Believe Music. Go figure. YouTube should fix their automatic recognizer instead of threatening strikes.]

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Woman Power

Here is a bit about a lady assistant director at the Disney Studios during Victory Through Air Power (rel. 7/17/1943, exactly 12 years before the opening of Disneyland)... She is NOT mentioned in IMDb!

In July 1946, Ms. Selck shared room 2C-6 with Jack Hannah.
Bee Mae Selck was born 6/5/1908 and passed away 11/23/1981...


Monday, December 25, 2006

Prod. 2266 - Lend A Paw

Though not stricktly a Christmas film, it is very much in the spirit of Christmas, and thus I thought it fitting for this day. It also caters to those of you who like the later shorts, so everybody wins.

This 1942 Oscar winner, a remake of UM10, Mickey's Pal Pluto, was directed by Gerry Geronimi, and released 10/3/1941. This draft predates that by more than eight months, 1/18/1941 - in other words, it was animated before the strike and released after it.

We find animation by George Nicholas, Ken Muse, Nick Nichols, Bill Sturm, Eric Gurney, Norm Tate, Chick Otterstrom, Morey Reden and Emory Hawkins. Layouts by Bruce Bushman.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Prod. UM8 - Mickey's Xmas Picture

...otherwise known as Mickey's Good Deed. Because Michael Sporn mentioned it favorably in his blog, I thought it was a good time to have a look at the draft. I really like these Black and White Mickeys, too - this one animated by Johnny Cannon, Ben Sharpsteen,
Les Clark, Frenchy de Trémaudan, Tom Palmer, Hardie Gramatky, Dick Lundy, Gerry Geronimi, and the last scene by Norm Ferguson.
Ben Sharpsteen is credited for an awful lot of scenes here - so I suspect he was supervising junior animators, who went uncredited.

Also directed by Burt Gillett, it was released 12/17/1932.
Music by Bert Lewis.
Merry Christmas to all !!!

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Prod. CM4 - The Fire Fighters

This draft is the earliest complete one I have with animator indications. (If anyone has page 1 of Touchdown Mickey...)
It was animated in the months after Ub Iwerks left the studio, one of the first films for Columbia. Ben Sharpsteen, Norm Ferguson and Dave Hand had not been with the studio for many months when they animated their scenes...

Directed by Burt Gillett, released 6/20/1930.
Available on Disney Treasures DVD "Mickey Mouse in B&W."

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Prod. CM21 - Mickey's Orphans

Directed by Burt Gillett, this draft of 12/5/1931, the release date is four days later. Animation by Dave Hand, Joe D'Igalo, Jack King, Norm Ferguson, Gerry Geronimi, Tom Palmer, Hardie Gramatky, Ben Sharpsteen, Johnny Cannon and Dick Lundy.

This film is simple, yet charming and a bit odd. Why would Mickey even give saws and hammers to the orphans?
Available on Disney Treasures DVD "Mickey Mouse in B&W."

A thing I wondered about: in Neil Gabler's book on page 169 he writes of the first Leica Reels, and the note says: "Ben Sharpsteen, Answers to Questions submitted by Dave Smith, Sept. 1964." Is this Dave Smith the archivist, already then? I should have read it earlier, as I was sitting next to him at the Disney Legends ceremony...
[Update: it was obviously a typo: a later note says Sept. 1974]

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Friday, December 15, 2006

A Moment of Reflection, Please...

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the passing of Walt Disney, on December 15th, 1966,
9:35 am PST. Whatever has been written or said about him throughout the years, it is undeniable that he has done more for our medium animation than any other person, alive or dead...

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Disney's Lost Chords

In February, a new deluxe hardcovered dust-jacketed book on the deleted songs from the Disney library will be available from the hand of artist and historian Russell Schroeder, who self-publishes it, called "Disney's Lost Chords", for a mere $75.

Printed in only 1000 numbered copies, its 312 pages will feature Vocal/Piano arrangements of 77 songs, as well as 225 illustrations from the Disney Archives and the ARL.

Russell previewed the songs and the book at the EMP Disney Records event last month, and I heard it was a big hit, so if you want to secure a copy, it might be wise to pre-order!
1 < Order Form 2 < Contents

[NOTE! The shipping turned out to be more than on the original order form. I have uploaded a revised order form.]]

[UPDATE: go to instead!]


Monday, December 11, 2006

Prod. UM24 - Gulliver Mickey

Another request, this time directed by Burt Gillett of Three Little Pigs fame, just before he left for Van Beuren.

The format of these draft sheets is a bit different, but the info is the same. The 'date completed' column holds background info.
Animated by Johnny Cannon, Les Clark, Cy Young, Dick Lundy, Art Babbitt, Bill Roberts, Norm Ferguson, Ham Luske, Jack Hannah and Ben Sharpsteen, here just written as B/, at times followed by the names of his trainees: Joe [Grant?] and Ugo D'Orsi. Joe Grant is credited by Alberto for Story on this film.

This final draft of 3/21/1934. Released 5/19/1934.
To be found on Treasures DVD - MM in Black and White.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Prod. 2256 - A Gentleman's Gentleman

This draft of 12/12/1940 brings back memories - from back when I was in high school in 1976. I sent a bunch of awful drawings to the Disney studios, and got a nice letter back: "keep drawing and then you may get good enough to enter Cal Arts or our training program," written by Don Duckwall. And now here he is as assistant director.
He passed away March 1986, one month shy of his 70th birthday.

We also see layouts by Bruce Bushman (4/20/1911-2/15/1972), who also did layouts on Pinocchio and the Nutcracker Suite in Fantasia, but who is better known as designer for WED Enterprises - his Dumbo ride art is on note cards on eBay even this moment. As animators, we meet Ken Muse doing all the Mickey Mouse (with dimensional ears) business, as well as Plutos by Basil Davidovich, Volus Jones, Norm Tate, Nicholas S. "Nick" DeTolly, Eric Gurney, George "Nick" Nicholas, Emory Hawkins and Charles F. "Chick" Otterstrom.

The draft also names the effects animators. Again, drafts were working documents to trace the responsible artists, in case of questions and what have you. On a film like this with many effects, the info was obviously useful to record.

Picked up by director Gerry Geronimi on 6/24/1940, released 3/28/1941...
So what happened after Don Duckwall's response? Well, I never got to apply again. Even before I finished high school, I hooked up with Børge Ring (who lived 10 minutes away from me) and after working with him for four years, most notably on the short Anna & Bella,
I moved to Denmark in 1984, and co-founded A. Film in 1988...

A BIG thank you to Bill and Sue Kroyer for a wonderful, if wet, party tonight! Don't know what was better: the company or the meat balls!

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Beatronome Update

Here is a little update to my metronome program (see below). What's new: I added a row of buttons with the standard beats as described by Albert Hay Malotte in his lecture notes. (Again in .zip format) PC ONLY!

[Added: It updates the program found here and the manual is here.]

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Prod. UM47 - The Worm Turns (incomplete)

Sadly, not all drafts I have were copied right. Here is one that misses pages and half a page was lost in copying. Still, we can learn from this, as well. The three and a half pages that are left of this draft of 7/23/1936 show animation by Ham Luske, Chuck Couch, Bernie Wolf, Al Eugster and Woolie Reitherman.
Directed by Ben Sharpsteen, released 1/2/1937.
Available on WD Treasures DVD - MM in Living Color (Vol. 1)

Thanks to The Animation Guild for a great party at the Pickwick in Burbank! I was luckily in the beginning of the food line...

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