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, August 09, 2010

Plane Crazy Script

My favorite at this year's Comic-Con was probably this:
Yes, Ub Iwerks' script for MM1, Plane Crazy!

Now - I honestly do not think it is worth the $1.1 million that the good folks from New York were asking for it, or even the half a million that it was offered to the Walt Disney Family Museum for.
I'd say - probably about half that amount. On the other hand, as we used to say back in Holland "It's worth what the fool will pay for it..."
[Certainly not the 2001 estimate (see below) of between $3.2 and $3.7 million!]

Nevertheless, it IS an amazing artifact. One of the things that intrigues me is that on the sixth sheet you can see a Mickey on the back of the page. Here is it, reversed to give the impression of how it would look on the verso of the page:
6...or, cleaned up a bit:6
Logically, that Mickey could be even earlier than the script, unless Ub just grabbed any paper at hand to animate upon. I cannot find this pose in the actual film, so it may well be an early try-out!

[I found two more pages telling about these pages: Mark Sonntag wrote about them two years ago, and notes specifically that they came from Burt Gillett's papers - so they DID turn up from the Kentucky "cache!" Mark also mentions they were sold from Mort Walker's Museum of Cartoon Art. «"The piece was originally donated for fund-raising purposes, and that's why it was placed as collateral against the mortgage," said museum operations director Jeanne Greever.» Guernsey's Auctions seem to have had technical problems selling it on May 19th, 2001.
There is another page with scans of the papers here![defunct]

Mark comments that the board could leave the studio because Steamboat Willie was considered the breakthrough - and, of course it was. But these most likely disappeared from the studio in or before 1934, when Gillett was headhunted by Van Beuren (read the story here), so only some six years later, and thus I suspect this was not a huge decision - just a "here, Burt, take care of these--oh, we'll keep Willie as a memento..." Anyway, it is fun to conjecture about this. Remember, little Jeannie received a box FULL of this quality stuff, at the time considered worthless, but sold for millions in the mid 90's!]

The Rescuers draft is up next...



Anonymous John V. says...

This is pretty cool - it's a pity it doesn't include any animator identifications, or was the whole thing Ub?

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 10:17:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Glad to see you back on posts! Its always a pleasure to see you posting!!

These ust be the original Mickey drawings before the storyboards were invented!!

I'm guessing maybe Ub Iwerks did the drawings!

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 1:40:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Oh, Ub Iwerks did the script, sorry didn't read that!

Plane Crazy originally didn't impress the audience I heard, and Steamboat Willie was the 3rd released and the first Mickey Mouse with serious breakthrough.

However, you look like you had a nice time in America, and I've never been to America, but I would like to go one day, Los Angeles is the place of course!!

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 1:46:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Mark Mayerson says...

What's the provenance on this? How did it leave the Disney studio's possession? Is there a clear title to it or is the history of the ownership murky?

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 3:18:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

As a matter of fact, I was told the provenance and it seems to have been in the ownership of an extremely well known comic artist for at least some thirty years. His name eludes me for the moment, which is terribly irritating. I asked just that question at the booth at the Con, though, as I expected it to have possibly been part of the Kansas "cache" I have blogged about earlier.

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 3:35:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

I'd like to add, though - to me it LOOKS genuine, and closely resembles the earlier Oswald scripts (see "Walt in Wonderland") as well as the quite well known scripts for e.g. the Karnival Kid, though the note on the first page ("First Draft Mickey June 1928") was obviously added later - and wrongly, as this should date several months earlier.

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 3:43:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Come to think of it, I believe I remember being told that it was Mort Walker of Beetle Bailey fame who was the owner of this material the past thirty years...

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 6:58:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous A Snow White Sanctum says...

This is quite a find. Expensive, but
certainly a wonderful piece of animation antiquity.

Really like the POV shots on 21 and 24. Thanks for posting the pics.

Monday, August 9, 2010 at 8:47:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Mark Sonntag says...

There would be no animator identifications because Ub was the sole animator on Plane Crazy.

As for why the board left Disney, Steamboat Willies was considered the breakthrough, not Plane Crazy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 5:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous says...

This came from the Museum of defunct International Museum of Cartoon Art of Boca Raton, Florida. (Check out Canemaker's PAPER DREAMS, page 8)

Monday, April 1, 2013 at 8:11:00 PM PDT  

Post a Comment

<< Home