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,
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Prod. 2079 - Lady and the Tramp (I)  - Seq. 01.0 - Introduction Lady, Family & Friends (I)

I am going at it in a leisurly pace. It is not a huge draft and I want to savor it a bit, so here is the first third of the first sequence:
Directed by Ham Luske assisted by Jim Swain. Laid out by Al Zinnen, Thor Putnam and Lance Nolley. Secretary Ruth Wright.
This Revised Final draft dated 8/11/54.
The film premiered in Chicago 6/16/55.

We see animation by Ken O'Brien, Les Clark, Harvey Toombs, Marvin Woodward, Jerry Hathcock and George "Nick" Nicholas.
Effects by Josh Meador and George Rowley. I suspect that Les Clark was most likely the directing animator on "baby Lady."

Already the first few CinemaScope notes on only the first page are quite telling - they relate the changes needed for the wider format. On Sc. 1: "The overlaps for the first part of the scene will be set farther apart for CinemaScope" already indicate not just extending to the sides, but simply rearranging the artwork altogether!

The hat box scene (Sc. 9) was animated by Les Clark, but it was left to Ken O'Brien to complete the drawings of Darling and to reposition the camera for Scope.

We also get a sense of insecurity about the format: Sc. 8 talks about extending the drawings out to the sides: "Possibly they will show in the final CinemaScope composition."

On further pages we find that animation is changed to fit the Scope composition, or additional overlays are applied, while in other scenes all that is done is removal or reduction of pans. All in all it would be interesting seeing a side by side (or one above the other) comparison of the two films...

In a Facebook comment, Nancy Beiman notes that layout man Ken O'Connor who worked on (among others) Seq. 12.0 "told us a lot about how he worked in Scope but had to make the scene also work in fullscreen...indicating that he worked in the wider layout, first."
It is thus interesting that the draft indicates that, though the layouts/backgrounds were created originally in the proper sizes, there were notes needed to remind the artists of the changes needed for the Scope version.

By the way, for those interested in the solo singer of the opening song, that was sung by Donald Novis, who previously sang "Love is a Song" for Bambi, and who (not much) later would become the Irish Tenor in Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue.

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Anonymous Zartok-35 says...

Here's the point where Ham Luske switched Rusty Jones for Jim Swain as has assistant. I wonder if Gerry Geronimi will have Ed Hansen instead of Lou Debney?

Les Clark and Marvin Woodward are working in close proximity once again, aswell.

Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 7:56:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

This is a great start! This definitely jogs my memory. I remember Josh Meador (though uncredited); and of course: Woodward, Clark, Nicholas and O' Toombs and Hatchcock are new to me on this sequence. Once again, I'm really grateful for your posting, Hans.

I believe it's safe to say Les Clark is the supervising animator of this sequence--as he animates more footage than his colleagues: Hatchcock, Toombs, Woodward, or Nicholas. Not to mention he also animates...(Oh wait, say no more).

This sequence is a great example of just how belittled those animators are...and even some of Les Clark's animated work. It's a shame Clark is mostly recognised among fanboys and a few historians as an 'early Mickey' animator. His work on Mickey, I'd say, is just the tip of the iceberg. Needless to say, as much as I admire his animation for the introduction scene in CANNIBAL CAPERS, or THE COUNTRY COUSIN...he deserves more recognition than the other animators on this sequence. Then again, I suppose the fact they had no egos compared to maybe: Thomas, Kahl, Kimball, Johnston, etc.-- add to that effect.

Speaking of underrated animators: what did happen to Woodward after Disney? After he was laid off c. 1955 he pretty much vanished into obscurity; whereas Nicholas and Hatchcock went on to work at Hanna-Barbera after Disney, and Toombs at UPA and other studios.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 4:05:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Marvin L. Woodward (born 12/8/1905, died 10/14/1971) started his career at Disney very early, on 9/1/1930! Thus, around 1955 there were at most about 10 people left around at Disney's who started there before him.

Alberto Becattini has him leave Disney in 1954, then goes to mention he worked on tv commercials 57-58, directing the film "Linus! The Lionhearted" for Ed Graham around 63-65, then animated for Hanna-Barbera on Jack and the Beanstalk in 66.

He certainly seems to be someone to be researched further.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 4:59:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Thanks Hans, I almost forgot of his animation for Hanna-Barbera in 1966, though I'm not a fan of the studio's output in the mid-60s. I was aware of his death in '71...but didn't realise he still went on for another decade.

These days, I tend to avoie a lot of what IMDB put up, since a lot of dumb misinformation is put up there...mostly voice credits.

Oh BTW, thanks for pointing out it was Donald Novis. I was aware of his credit for BAMBI, but not on this film...but evidently, it's the same voice.

I'm sure historian Keith Scott will know much more of his career: but he did appear often on FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY which was a very popular radio show from the 30s&50s..and is associated mainly for performing with Anson Weeks and his band.

Okay, I think I've waffled there a bit.

Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 11:51:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous John V. says...

A lot of "Pluto unit" animators on baby Lady - Marvin Woodward, Jerry Hathcock, George Nicholas.

After labouring in the shadow of the other supervising animators on the previous few features, he finally gets - sort of - a character to himself. I wonder if he will animate any fully-grown Lady scenes, or if he'll be assigned to incidental dog characters after this.

Harvey Toombs animates both Lady and the humans.

Btw, never occured to me before, but was it a fairly recent development to show a married couple sharing a bed in film?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:41:00 AM PDT  

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