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 30, 2010

With Prod. 2428 - Plight of the Bumble Bee

What DO you know about Disney?
Just a quick addition to the current internet talk on the Mickey short for which we have seen the penciltest on YouTube, a scoop by Thad.
I received a copy of this 1972 recruitment brochure from Dave Smith during my first visit to the Disney Archives August 14th, 1978.
[I am mistaken! I received it in 1977 as part of a "keep drawing, then who knows, some day..." reply by Don Duckwall on some drawings I sent to the Disney studio. I still blush when I think of those!]

I only scanned the cover here: the drawings were taken from the modelsheet that Fred Moore drew for Prod. 2428, Plight of the Bumble Bee. I do have this modelsheet, but I happen to be on the wrong continent. Still, as they are some of my favorite drawings,
I thought you might like to see them. I certainly find them more appealing than the final designs in the film...

[Addition: I found a scan of the original sheet! It is numbered "850-" so it was photographed August 1950 - exactly 60 years ago.
Plight of the Model Sheet
I went through my files and there it was! As you can see, in 1972 they used all of the model sheet, but they rearranged the drawings.
Thru the years, I have seen tracings of several of these Mickeys...]

By the way, I do have a draft for this film, but it is sadly very incomplete and all I remember is that the beginning of this film was animated by Hal King.

(I advise you to click the images to enlarge!)



Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

I wonder why the cartoon short was never completed?? At the moment, the Plight of the Bumble Bee seems to have found itself in vogue :).

Monday, August 30, 2010 at 2:38:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Well, Steven, the votes aren't in yet. IMHO it simply did not meet with Walt's criteria for a Mickey short. The REAL reason is likely buried in a memo somewhere...

A note on the neg-number on the modelsheet: not always can one determine the month a particular item was photographed. This numbering started in the 40s, and was in use throughout the 70s (at least), but ONLY for images taken at the Disney studios themselves. At times I run across images with numbers that are really similarly put together but where there is no way it can be the right date. This also goes for reprints: when a new neg(ative) is made of an old stat, one finds numbers from the 60s or 70s on items from the 30s or 40s. In other words: beware!

Monday, August 30, 2010 at 4:51:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous John V. says...

There's a real Jack Kinney look to these drawings, in a way that you can rarely if ever recognise the individual visual stamp of other Disney directors.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 5:23:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous warren says...

Oh fer Gosh sakes, those're CUTE!

Thanks so much for posting these!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 9:41:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Mesterius says...

Hey Hans! I really appreciate all your research on this forgotten Mickey Mouse short, it's fascinating stuff. And now that I've seen the rough cut of the film as well, it gets even more fascinating to wonder about why it was canned. If it was because it didn't meet Walt's criteria for a Mickey short, that's kinda sad... as it's very likely the most enjoyable Mickey film from the 50s (and the only one where Pluto didn't steal half of the show, or more). One of the things I like is that the surreal storyline (Mickey accepts the consept of a singing bee very quickly) kinda reminds me of storylines in Floyd Gottfredson's strip version from the late 40s. Charming little film, if not really the best or funniest Mickey.

Now to my question... having seen this film, I grow more and more curious about that OTHER Mickey short from the early 50s that didn't get finished: The Talking Dog. Have you got any storyboards/animation/info on that film? I would love to see this blog do a post or two on that abandoned project as well...

Keep up the good work! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 2:35:00 PM PDT  

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