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!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Little Bit of Sterner

Once in a while I take a book out of my bookcase and reread parts of it. This time it was John Canemaker's work "Paper dreams : the art & artists of Disney storyboards" (1999) in which I found many exciting sketches for Fantasia, drawn by a Robert Sterner. Canemaker notes that little is known about Sterner, except for the little info in his personnel file currently in the Disney Archives - his birth date.

A quick look around adds a little bit of info: the California Death Index shows some info that is corroborated on AskART, which shows:
Robert Joadrie Sterner was born in Arizona on July 9, 1899. By 1920 Sterner had settled in Los Angeles. He died there on November 11, 1947, aged 48. He was known in artist circles for being fashion illustrator and teacher, but his Fantasia work is not mentioned.
(Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"; City Directory; Census; Death Record.)

Just thought I would throw it in the mix...


Friday, January 21, 2011

Prod. 2218 - Goofy and Wilbur

IMDb shows us that the film was directed by Dick Huemer, written by Otto Englander, with music by Paul J. Smith. This was the period where George Johnson had taken over from Pinto Colvig as Goofy's voice. This FINAL draft is just dated 1938, though the film was released 3/17/39, nr. 10 in the 2nd. RKO series (1938-39).

Animation by Woolie Reitherman, Bernie Wolf, Izzie Klein, Ed Love and Art Babbitt, with effects by Josh Meador.

For some of my dearest friends, this is the film they love to hate.
I am not mentioning names! Instead I just present this document and hope for your insightful comments!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Sound Track Reading: The Duck Hunt

In conjunction with yesterday's posting on sound sync, here is a sheet prepared for the 1932 Mickey Mouse film Prod. CM22 - The Duck Hunt, from Burt Gillett's papers. It shows the breakdown of the dialog for scene 2A, seemingly recorded 1/6/1932, "Not a duck in sight!" punch 5, take 2. (At the top is written "1-15" - the actual length of the sound of this sentence is just that: one foot 15 frames.)

The sync mark would be on the beginning of the N of "not." The numbers on the left, 32B and 32C refer to the beat numbers of the music - Measure 32, Beat B & C. It is a quiet scene, on a 24 beat. Note that the dialog is edited to the word "duck" hits beat 32C! Coincidence? Maybe - maybe not!

Another thing of note is the date: if the recording date truly was January 6th, then it is especially noteworthy that 22 days later, on January 28th, the film was released to the distributor!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Notes on Syncing Pencil Tests

Just a few notes by Bill Garity and Burt Gillett to Disney's animators in the early 30s regarding putting sync marks on their drawings so the pencil tests that are shot overnight will be in sync when shown on their moviolas the next morning.

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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Trader Mickey's Director

Here is an item that can clear up what seems to be an obvious mistake in the information I have seen so far regarding UM2, Trader Mickey. All sources (*) mention that Dave Hand was the director.
But this little document from 1932, from Burt Gillett's own papers, mentions Gillett as director...
I have previously posted the draft here, and a part of the bar sheet here - in both I mentioned Hand as the director, but above document, and the handwriting on the bar sheet, which looks like all other Gillett handwriting that I have, convinces me that Gillett directed it. Hand himself mentions that his directorial debut was on my favorite, Prod. UM7 - Building a Building. The fact that the Trader Mickey draft mentions Hand may be the reason for the mix-up...?

Note the other info on this sheet (click the image) - it shows the start and finish dates in 1932 on the five films mentioned (UM8 being Mickey's Good Deed). I suspect these were the dates that Gillett's involvement started and the films were finished. They were then released some two and a half months after that end date.

An arrow points between King Neptune and Babes in the Woods. I do not have my great Merritt/Kaufman Silly Symphonies book on me (I'm back in Denmark), so I cannot check this in detail, but my "All Pictures Book" has the same production numbers on these films as on this document. The fact that the dates are so precise and are called "started" and "finished" implies that it is not a forward-looking document, but one that describes what has happened; it shows which films Gillett has directed.

(*) IMDb, Leonard Maltin's Of Mice and Magic, the draft of the film, and even the filmography in Dave Hand's "Memoirs," which was compiled by the Walt Disney Archives.


Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Prod. 2262 - Canine Caddy

It's been too long since we last saw the draft of a short film, therefor I here present the draft for Prod. 2262, Canine Caddy, in which Pluto caddies for Mickey but is distracted by a gopher.
Directed by Gerry Geronimi (who picked it up 7/20/40), assisted by Don Duckwall (who was at the studio still when I first contacted them in 1976, and had risen to Production Manager). Layout by Bruce Bushman. This draft dated 1/28/41. Released (during the infamous strike) on 5/30/41.

This draft is one of the most detailed ones I have seen so far, precisely outlining the effects animators and their effects. We find no Fred Moore or Ward Kimball on here, instead some folks we normally associate with other studios, like Ken Muse and Emery Hawkins, who had their beginnings in animation at the Disney studios. Like most of the other animators mentioned in this draft, both participated in the strike; at the time Muse's weekly salary was $67.50, Hawkins' $59.00.

Animation by Ken Muse, Morey Reden, Emery Hawkins, Charles Nichols, George Nicholas, Norm Tate, Volus Jones, Eric Gurney and Chic Otterstrom.
Effects by Jack Boyd, Jerome Brown, Andy Engman, Jack Huber, Brad Case, Reuben Timmins, Ed Aardal, Ed Parks, Fitzpatrick (again, see previously), (?) Kingman, George Rowley, Frank Onaitis, Jack Gayek and Paul Kossoff.

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