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!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Prod. 2063 - Cinderella (II)  - Seq. 01.1 - Prologue

Here we go. The Prologue, directed and laid out by John Hench and McLaren "Mac" Stewart. Assistant director Mike Holoboff, secretary Toby, most likely Eloise "Toby" Tobelman (whose office was next to Holoboff). This final draft dated 11/2/49.

Disney writers Bill Peet, Ed Penner, Ted Sears, Winston Hibler, Homer Brightman, Harry Reeves, Ken Anderson and Joe Rinaldi adapted the Cinderella story from the original written by French author Charles Perrault. Credited as directors were Clyde "Gerry" Geronimi, Wilfred "Jaxon" Jackson and Hamilton "Ham" Luske. Ben Sharpsteen supervised the production; Don Halliday edited the film.

In contrast to most other Disney features which used on-staff composers, music and lyrics for Cinderella were written by well-known song-smiths Mack David, Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston. The score was written by Oliver "Ollie" Wallace and Paul J. Smith, orchestrated by Joseph "Joe" Dubin and Edward H. "Ed" Plumb, with as Vocal arranger Lyn Murray. Music editor was Al Teeter.

Back to the prologue: one could argue that it possibly really was directed by Jaxon, who had Holoboff as his assistant director (and Toby as his secretary) but why would they write differently then?
We can see that John Hench was responsible for the first scenes, with animation by Eric Larson (Cindy), Frank Thomas (stepmother), Ollie Johnston (stepsisters) and Don Lusk (birds), with effects by George Rowley and Dan McManus.

The scene numbering is interesting:
1-2-3-4-(no 5 through 50)-51-52-53-54-55-56.
Was the original sc. 5 subdivided into six scenes?

As always, my "Standard Disclaimer" applies:

"Animation drafts were never meant to be historical documents. They were meant as go-to documents, showing the responsible artist for a certain scene, who might be able to help in case there would be any need for this further on in the production line. Therefore we often see e.g. that animators who left have been replaced by others, often their assistants, in later versions of a draft. Also for this reason it is most often the actual animator, not the supervising animator, who is mentioned. The drafts may also be directly inaccurate - showing early assignments where the animator actually changed when the scene was finally handed out. Keeping all this in mind, though, the drafts can give us some sort of hands-on insight into the inner workings of the production of some of the most "magical" (in itself an over-used word) motion pictures of all time." The annotations on this copy were made in 1964 when the Background Morgue (where this copy is from) was keeping track of its inventory. Not too much writing, though.

Talking of drafts - did you check out the mosaics that were made for these? Here are the features that I know of thus far (note that Mark Mayerson also posted many short film mosaics):

Pinocchio - Mark Mayerson
Fantasia - Steven Hartley
Dumbo - Mark Mayerson
Alice in Wonderland - Steven Hartley
Sleeping Beauty - Chris Doyle (still working on it!)
101 Dalmatians - Mark Mayerson

A lot of work went into making these, so they are certainly worth your time checking them out. And on these, my own pages, you can find the original documents that these features and most short mosaics were made from (82 short film drafts so far!) Check out the Category Labels in the right sidebar. You may find things you didn't know you couldn't live without knowing about! How about original transcripts of so far 19 different lectures from the 30's?

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Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

This is an interesting way to start. Never expected John Hench and Mac Stewart to be directing as well as directing. I thought it was Wilfred Jackson - although, his layout man Mac works here - so maybe Wilf could fit in.

I never expected the big guys like Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston or Eric Larson here - I thought that Les Clark did Cinderella as a girl with her father. But I'm wrong. It seems that Eric does the step sisters also. I thought that Don Lusk would work around here, and I'm sort of right, except I didn't know he did the birds in this sequence.

BTW, I'm glad to see that my mosaics here are recognized. I do feel that I do the best as I can do, and I hope to make more, even shorts, perhaps.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 9:20:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Zartok-35 says...

Well, they've certainly taken special measures for all the still imagery thats is here. At first I suspected the advanced layout troop of Ham Luske, but as you mention, these are clearly Jaxon assets at work here.

Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 11:04:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous John V. says...

Haha, "Cindy"!

The "Hench/Stewart" thing looks like a mistake too me, but since this isn't like an ordinary sequence, I do wonder...

You're right that it looks like Larson and Johnston are animating the stepsisters... I wonder if we'll see Eric working on them again later on?

Monday, May 2, 2011 at 3:21:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

My Fantasia mosaics are now finally completed! I've just finished them. I'm no longer "working on it".

I was wondering if you want to take a look at the final sequence.

Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:28:00 PM PDT  

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