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!

Monday, April 30, 2007

On to the theater!

April 10th, 1940 was one month to the day the Nazi armies marched into Holland. More positively, it also was the day the new theater opened on the newly constructed Disney lot in Burbank...
Theater opening 1940...< Click on it!


Saturday, April 28, 2007

And another...

Here is the new Disney animation building in Burbank, about ready to be used, some time in 1939, with Camera, Ink & Paint and the power plant in the foreground. The corner of Alameda and Buena Vista is still a romantic country scene...
Animation Building 1939...< Click on it!


Friday, April 27, 2007

More Pre-WDP Burbank

The following images were sent to me by Steven Worth of the ASIFA Archives, who graciously allows me to post them here. They were taken by the husband of ink & paint lady Helen Jordan.

The first image shows Buena Vista Street in 1938 - with grazing cows! Note the buildings: they are also seen in my yesterday's post! Then an image of the building site in 1938 and a near complete studio in 1939, and the last image shows the plowed fields along Alameda on the plot that would later become St. Joseph's Hospital. Cool, huh?
Burbank Cows WDP under construction
WDP St. Joseph's


Thursday, April 26, 2007

The 51 acres before WDP

The old polo field of the Black Fox Military Academy, then owned by the Burbank Department of Water and Power, was in 1938 sold to Walt Disney Productions for $100,000, as the location for the new Walt Disney studios. It was soon to be filled with KEM Weber's campus-like architecture--ground was broken for the new Animation Building February 1939--and the artists would move into the new buildings between December 1939 and May 1940. Compare this image with the aerial photo in my previous post on the subject. The image on the right has the Disney plot highlighted.
Burbank Pre-WDP marked < Click on it!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Here we have musician Ollie Wallace in a situation with the studio nurse. Now - would this be the illustrious nurse/writer and Walt's confidant Hazel "Gil" George??? It's a fun photo, anyway...
Dispatch...< Click on it!


Monday, April 23, 2007

Dispatch Cover Letter

When the "Dispatch from Disney" was sent out to "the boys in the service," April 12th 1943, Walt added a cover letter like this one:
Dispatch...< Click on it!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Prod. CM21 - Mickey's Orphans Mosaic

Jeff Watson sent me another mosaic to upload on my blog, this time for Mickey's Orphans. Jeff writes: "There is a likely mis-attribution in the draft for scene 22: Gerry (Geronimi) is named and the action description is "Kittens on piano - belly-whopper stunt." However, scene 22 is just a closer-up version scene 19 which is attributed to David Hand. Since there is nothing in the footage approaching scene 22's action description, I'm pretty sure it's David Hand's work.

Also, scenes 32, 33, 37, and 38 are unattributed. I don't have a sense of who might have animated any of them. I'll give those scenes a closer viewing and see if I can relate them to either David Hand's or Hardie Gramatky's earlier scenes with multiple kittens. Maybe Gerry Geronimi got to work on these?"

Thanks again, Jeff!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Prod. US20 - The Flying Mouse

Though oftentimes crude in its animation, The Flying Mouse is both a sweet and a bit disturbing, haunting film. The bats that sing their song "You're Nothin' but a Nothin'" are a highlight in the film, just as the butterfly-fairy is a lowlight, and I do not know if I agree with the moral of this tale--stick to what you know even if you do not like it--but I do like the film as a whole. Its dated Technicolor charm far outweighs its drawing problems...

Directed by Dave Hand, The Flying Mouse was originally numbered US19, but was exchanged with The Wise Little Hen, Donald Duck's debut picture. The story was developed between July 1933 and March 1934 by Bill Cottrell and his staff, adapting it from Jean de la Fontaine's 1668 story "The Jay Dressed Up in the Peacock's Feathers." It premiered 07/12/1934 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York at a negative cost of $31,386.62, and it can still be seen on the 2001 Disney Treasures DVD "Silly Symphonies."

Music by Frank Churchill (who also wrote the song) and Bert Lewis, song lyrics by Larry Morey. Voices by Billy Sheets (bat), The Three Rhythm Kings (male voices), Marion Darlington (bird whistles) and Marcellite Garner (laughing mice). Backgrounds by Carlos Manriquez. As animators we meet Marvin Woodward, Cy Young, Bob Wickersham, Ham Luske, Hardie Gramatky, Fred Moore, Nick George, [Harry] Bailey, George Drake and Leonard Sebring.

Without Merrit and Kaufman's great book "Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies," this info would have been much, much shorter!
This film has no doubt been timed to a beat throughout its entire length, as was usual (and essential) for all of Disney's pictures from Steamboat Willie and up into the 40's. Is somebody trying my Beatronome on this film? I'd like to hear your results!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Disney Employees in WW2

We have often seen the pin-up girls from the loose sheet that was in the "Dispatch from Disney", the little publication that was sent from the studio to all military personel around April 12th, 1943, accompanied by a letter signed by Walt himself.

Here is the backside of the pin-up page: it features a list of all Disney employees in the forces (or in detention, see Chris Ishii)...
Dispatch...< Click on it!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Prod. CM4 - The Fire Fighters Mosaic

Jeff Watson sent me these mosaics for The Fire Fighters.
Thanks, Jeff!

I am still having computer problems, but I will try my best to get some meaningful stuff uploaded!


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Back, but with problems...

I'm having a bit of a computer problem, folks - so it is difficult for me to post stuff. There is lots more, but please bear with me as my postings may be very erratic in the next days (weeks???)