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!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Prod. 2443 - Gull Crazy  - a.k.a. The Simple Things

Originally called internally Gull Crazy as a reference to the Gershwin show (and Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland film) Girl Crazy, the film The Simple Things is considered the last Mickey Mouse short made during Walt Disney's lifetime.

Directed by Charles Nichols, laid out by Lance Nolley with as secretary Beulah May "Bee" Selck (who started at Disney in April 1937 and whom we know to have been assistant director and editor during the war years). The film itself adds to the credits: written by Bill Berg, backgrounds by Ed Starr, music by Paul Smith.
Released 4/18/1953. This FINAL draft of 1/25/1952 (!)

Animation by Marvin Woodward, Norm Ferguson, George Kreisl, Fred Moore, Charles Nichols (the director), George Nicholas and Dan MacManus (effects). Sadly Fred Moore died, age 41, on 11/23/52, between the date of this draft and the release date of the film.

A lot can be said about the quality of the animation, so I will not comment a lot on that. The film is lifted by the thought process of Pluto, but the animation of him at times seems to be outdated when looking at the other characters. Mickey at times is pretty badly drawn, his model isn't too exciting either. But once in a while there are great scenes, so we can't really blame Fred Moore or Norm Ferguson for that matter. Marv Woodward's and George Nicholas' scenes aren't among their best (to say it mildly). As a whole this film is pretty uninspired, not a great (temporary) ending to Mickey's acting career in the Disney shorts.

I do like the song, though - I find it hard to shake. Paul J. Smith (1906-1985), though mainly noted for his work on the True Life Adventures, has worked for Disney since 1934 - his official starting day was the same as that of assistant director Lou Debney, father of the great composer John Debney. Paul Smith later worked together a lot with writer Gil George, who was actually Disney nurse Hazel George. Check him out on IMDb - his list of credits is incredible!

The film The Simple Things is found on the Treasures DVD "Mickey Mouse in Living Color Part Two" and can be seen on YouTube, as well.

Busy as always, I am currently editing A. Film's latest Olsen Gang CG film that will be released in Denmark in October 2013.
Sorry I have so very little time to upload stuff here!

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