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!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Prod. UM45 - Donald and Pluto Mosaic

Based on my posting of the draft of Prod. UM45, Donald and Pluto, Jeff Watson has made a mosaic, "Mark Mayerson Style," of this film, and here it is! Thanks, Jeff!

Jeff noted that there seemed to be some extra scenes in the beginning. Since these are all using the same background, it is my opinion that these are camera-cuts: within this (20 second) scene, there would be indications on the exposure sheets to move the camera abruptly to a new location, thereby giving the sense of a cut to a new scene. The animation just continues, the camera looking at a different spot...
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Note: I may not be able to do any posting before April 4th or so! Check back - who knows!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Category Labels Revisited, etc.

I notice that if one presses a Category Label, only a certain number of postings show up. So if you press "drafts," you'll see no further than the Pinocchio pages! So far, I have posted 46 shorts drafts and nine bits from features (single page to whole segments), so if you are interested in these, please check the Archives links on the right!

Another note: after tomorrow I may not be able to post anything until April 3rd or 4th, by the way, as I'll be on a little trip. Tomorrow's posting will be pretty cool, though!


Average Animator Footage in 1938

Two and a half months after the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, on March 11, 1938, Producer/Supervising Director Dave Hand issued this memo called DEADLINES. Of course, everybody in the animation business has gotten memos called this, but here is an insight into just how much was produced by the (now) famous animators at Disney's in the Golden Age. Fred Moore stands out as missing on this memo, but otherwise it is quite a list of top talent. (Bernard Garbutt animated?)

Now, I do not remember when Disney changed to a 5-day work week, but let's say it was before this time: in this case Norm Ferguson had a weekly average of 35 feet, or 23 seconds 8 frames! Pretty high up we also find Fred Spencer, Frank Thomas and Bill Tytla, with 30 feet, or 20 seconds each. On the other end of the scale is Larry Clemmons with 10 feet or 6 seconds and 16 frames, followed by Ollie Johnston and Don Lusk with 12.5 feet or 8 seconds 8 frames each...
Dave Hand memo 1938 Dave Hand Average list Dave Hand Average list enhanced
Since the second page was a bit hard to read, I enhanced it for legibility, which is the image on the right.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Prod. 2005 - Reluctant Dragon Final Story

The Final Story Meeting on The Reluctant Dragon of 7/31/1940 gives us some insights that clear up some things, like the naming of Sir Giles. After this meeting, the film went in full production.

Note also that the music was by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey
(I believe Charles Wolcott also had a hand in the theme song), and not by Leigh Harline, though they wanted to get him to do it "if he is available."

Børge Ring mentioned to me that the opening of our Anna & Bella basically was the same as the opening of The Reluctant Dragon, and that he only realized this recently. We read here that it was Kimball who actually scored this one, following a pass by Walt...
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Friday, March 23, 2007

Prod. 2005 - Reluctant Dragon Story (II)

Here is the second part of the transcription of the 7/24/1940 story meeting on The Reluctant Dragon. Note throughout these pages how Walt's remarks show his understanding of, what the characters are thinking. He is quick to grab an idea out of the air thrown up by another fellow, even if the idea wasn't very precise, and making it work, making it fit the continuity. This is where "Walt was his own best story man," as we have heard so often...
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Prod. 2005 - Reluctant Dragon Story (I)

As an example of the driving force that was Walt Disney, here is the first part of the notes to the 7/24/1940 story meeting on The Reluctant Dragon, from T. Hee's onion-skin originals.
The following week would see the last meeting before animation was cast and animation began.

So... Kaj Nielsen did concepts for the dragon's cave...
I'd like to see those!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prod. UM45 - Donald and Pluto

The first film to feature Donald Duck in a starring role, we find him as a plumber, with Pluto getting into scrapes with a magnet. Animated by Al Eugster, Shamus Culhane, Bill Roberts, Fred Spencer and Norm Ferguson, this short was directed by Ben Sharpsteen.
Released 09/12/1936...
Folks, I will do my best to find more quality stuff to put up here, please bear with me if I lapse a day once in a while...

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Sunday, March 18, 2007


Now that the Pinocchio draft is all done, and I cannot get to my other Pinocchio fare for some time, I have to see what else I can find that might moderately interest some readers.

Today I found a little drawing I did after walking the halls of Disney's 1940 Burbank animation building, which finally made it clear to me which wing was which, as an aid to the directory I posted (1 2 3).
It seems to me that there are quite some subsidiary companies and even external companies housed in the building, which I find a bit disconcerting from a historical point.

What I did find a wonderful discovery was that the hallway on the second floor still has the "how animation works" shadow boxes that I first saw there in 1978, and later found in the book "Magic Moments." I believe someone told me that they were made by animation dept. staffers, though I cannot remember by whom...
Animation Building < Click on it!


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Johnny Cannon 100

Joe Campana set up a blog called Animation Who & Where, on which you can find a tribute to Johnny Cannon, who would have turned 100 today - but who sadly died suddenly in 1946 at age 39. He worked at the Disney studio from 1927 to 1940. Go check it out!


Prod. 2003 - Seq. 12 - Solid Gold, Too!

Here is the final installment of the draft of Prod. 2003, Pinocchio!
"It's done!" The entire draft of Pinocchio is now online.

In this last sequence directed by Ham Luske and laid out by Ken Andersen, we find Pinocchio by Milt Kahl and Ollie Johnston (and Bob Youngquist in sc. 14.2, I'd guess), Geppetto by Art Babbitt (his hands by Bill Shull), Jiminy Cricket by Don Towsley, Bernie Wolf and Ward Kimball, Figaro and Cleo by Eric Larson (and a Figaro by Lynn Karp).

Today, 67 years and 38 days after the premiere of this Multiplane Technicolor masterpiece, I want to thank all the artists who made this film possible. Having cost around $2,600,000 in 1940, it has to date grossed an estimated $84,300,000 domestically, which I would say makes it quite successful. Even better: it has entertained zillions worldwide through all those 67 years. It is doubtful that we will ever see the same amount of craftmanship on one film ever again. Let it be a lesson to us all.

Now I will sit back and enjoy Mark Mayerson's mosaics - and intelligent disection of the film... while trying to figure out, what to post next...
Has everybody seen Mike Barrier's posting of the draft to Who Killed Cock Robin? Begorrah, as one should say this St. Patrick's day...
I have something to read, too, as I received Mike's book "The Animated Man - a life of alt Disney" yesterday from Amazon!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 11 (II) - Safe Yourself!

In this one-before-last installment, we meet Milt Kahl's Pinoke and Woolie Reitherman's whale, with appearances by Art Babbitt, Jack Bradbury, Bill Shull and Eric Larson, and quite a bit of Art Palmer...
Here is a fun bit of info: the copies of the Pinocchio storyboards that Michael Sporn is posting are actually quite well known to me: they are copies of the stats of the boards that Dave Hand gave my old mentor Børge Ring back in 1950, photographs of which Børge gave to John Canemaker. I spent a lot of time in the early 80s studying these.
It's a Small World After All!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 11 (I) - Now He's Mad!

Woolie Reitherman, Milt Kahl and [Don] Patt[erson] whip up an exciting climax, in this sequence, directed as the other "outside Monstro" sequences, by Bill Roberts, laid out by Al Zinnen.
Hurray for Mark Mayerson's mosaics and Michael Sporn's posting John Canemaker's copies of the Pinocchio storyboards! Not only is the material getting out, but more importantly, questions are being asked, points are being made and knowledge is increasing...

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 10.5 (II) & 10.6/10.7

More of the same...

Yesterday, I was mistaken. Milt Kahl passed away April 19th, 1987.
I must have looked wrong on an old calendar. We will observe our moment of silence then... Layout man Hugh Hennesy passed away March 14th 1954, and Martin Provensen passed away some time in March 1987, but still... My excuses if you had thought to do something big on Milt's anniversary - you'll have to wait a month.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 10.5 (I) - Those Ears!

There is certainly a lot of variation in the animation staff in this sequence, the Reunion in Whale directed by Jack Kinney...

Pinoke by Les Clark, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl and Harvey Toombs. Geppetto by Bill Shull, Walt Kelly, Bob Stokes, Fred Moore, Art Babbitt and (in a scene with Pinoke) Milt Kahl. Figaro by Jack Bradbury, Don Lusk and Lynn Karp, Cleo by Don Lusk. Whale and cricket by Woolie Reitherman. I can't really figure out what Murray McClellan did in sc. 12 and 14, but he was credited for screen footage and a half, so it wouldn't be effects.

After all this splitting up of scenes, I was surprised to see sc. 24.3 animated all by Milt. Which reminds me: tomorrow we should remember Milt fondly for all the great things he has given us, as it will be twenty years ago that he passed away... [Added: no!]

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Prod. 2003 - Seq. 10.8 & 10.9 - A Big One!

Just as yesterday we find a Jack Kinney sequence with Walt Kelly's Geppetto and Eric Larson's Figaro, and a Bill Roberts sequence all animated by Woolie Reitherman, not only doing the whale, but the cricket as well! Even a few Multiplane shots in there.

Note, after seq. 10.4 are 10.8 and 10.9, and then 10.5...

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