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, February 27, 2015

Prod. 5906 - The Story of Oil  - or: The Richfield Oil Film Shown in the Disneyland attraction "The World Beneath Us"

No, I do not have the draft of this. The info below was used with kind permission from Didier Ghez who researched it.

Though Tomorrowland had opened in Disneyland in July 1955, a few attractions were added later in the year. To pay the bills, companies were invited to invest their marketing budgets in attractions in the park. One of these was Richfield Oil, with an attraction called The World Beneath Us, which, if I remember it correctly, was near the Kaiser "Aluminum Hall of Fame," the Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, and next to the 20,000 Leagues under the Sea walk-through, opposite Circarama and the Art Corner. In the attraction, a film was shown called The Story of Oil.

One of the MANY items at this weekend's auction that will find a new owner is item 649, an original background by Eyvind Earle with matching cells, which show that this was a CinemaScope production:
01← Click to enlarge!
Estimate: between $9,000 and $12,000.

The Story of Oil was directed by Les Clark, assistant director Jim Swain, layout by Lance Nolley with secretary Elena Polles. With backgrounds by Eyvind Earle, obviously, done at the time of the start-up of the Sleeping Beauty background unit. It was animated by Cliff Nordberg and Harvey Toombs, with effects by Josh Meador, Jack Buckley and Jack Boyd. I haven't seen the film, sadly, but something tells me that the last three gents did a good deal of the film! The info comes from the draft of the film at the Archives, dated 7/11/1955 (six days before the park opened), but the Answer Print was already approved 6/22/1955. How the draft gets to be dated three weeks after print approval is beyond me...

Another item, nr. 648, is a cell from this film, by Nordberg or Toombs (left). The character was voiced by Bill Thompson, of course. The second image and the last two are from two publications from the same attraction that are in the auction, as well. Note how the cell resembles the image on the first publication, just in completely different colors (and a different frame of the walk cycle)!
Estimates: cell $800-$1,000. Pamphlet $100-$200. Booklet $150-$200 (but starting at $125).

All this and MUCH more can be found in the auction catalog. Hurry up and register for the auction - I hope there still is time! Above items are under the hammer on Sunday!

A last bit of fun: this morning, an interview with Mike Van Eaton about the auction could be heard on NPR (station 89.3 KPCC - Southern California Public Radio):

[Update: the Earle did not sell! The cell sold for $1,100, the publications sold for $100 & $150.]


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Walk-through Story

In 2008, when the Imagineers got the go-ahead to reestablish the walk-through in Sleeping Beauty's the castle in Disneyland, there was one problem: there never had been a window related to the fight climax between Prince Phillip and Maleficent-turned-dragon, partly because there simply was no room for it, and partly because the walk-through was made before the design of the dragon was finalized. At least, that was the thought, because there was no art known for this purpose. Imagine my surprise seeing this in the catalog of this weekend's auction "The Story of Disneyland" organized by the Van Eaton Galleries that I spoke of yesterday:

When it was decided to fill this real estate in the castle, an appropriate area had become freed up, and the hunt went on to find a representation of the fight to fill this spot. I was happy to be able to help forward another piece of Eyvind Earle's Sleeping Beauty works that Bob Cowan graciously photographed from his collection for me to send to the Imagineer in charge of putting the show together. Here (on the left) you can see it (not part of the auction, of course) and a few screen-grabs representing the actual window in the park, which I feel is quite more impressive in real life in the park than on these three photos:

Maybe the art that's under the hammer as item 548 was originally planned for inclusion in the walk-through but just not implemented because of space issues? After all there is very little space in there, and the solutions for making the exhibits look larger than they are are often really imaginative. Well, who knows. But someone can be the happy owner of this great "missing" piece on Sunday - estimated at between $10,000 and $12,000. Which means the lucky bidder won't be bidding against me.

[Update: sold for $7.250 plus tax and premium - under estimate!]
[Addition: See Imagineer Extraordinaire (and, I remember, all-round nice guy) Chris Merritt's comment, in which he, among other things, mentions: " to clarify - we removed the "endless well" (aka the echo chamber) and replaced it with the "endless spinning wheel" scene in order to make room for the new Dragon attack."]


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Marc Davis Pirates

0102← Click to enlarge!
I admit it freely: it took me a while to warm up to Disneyland when I first visited it in 1978. There was a disconnect between Walt the Animated Film Producer - and the park. Only after walking into the original Disneyana Shop did I find my reason to love the park.
I didn't know at that time that I had met the love of my life. But enough about me...

Originally I wanted to call this posting "My Collection Vindicated." If you read through the breathtaking catalog of the upcoming auction "The Story of Disneyland" organized by the Van Eaton Galleries, and you realize that the glut of items came from one man downsizing his collection... Well, it made me feel better about my stuff.

One of the items is above painting by Marc Davis for the attraction "Pirates of the Caribbean," item 496. The "Bride Auction" onlookers are now themselves being auctioned. The estimate on this one is $40,000-50,000! It was featured in the preview and post-opening guidebooks for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. When have you last seen a similarly iconic painting for sale? (It's the one on the left. I also added the image of Marc painting that's in the catalog).

If you have any feelings for the park, I advise you to take a peek at the catalog. It is for sale as a "real" book, as well - and even the soft cover is quite a voluminous tome! If you want to bid on anything, better register as bidder quickly: the auction is on Saturday and Sunday in this weekend and the online bidding has begun!

[Update: sold - for $60,000 plus tax & premium]


Friday, February 20, 2015

Ole Lund Kirkegaard's ALBERT

Opening in Denmark on February 26th!
On this project, I spent most of the last year editing and taking care of the final frame stack plus general IT stuff. I am still exporting new versions for different festivals daily. On Sunday is the gala premiere. Well, as gala as it gets at 9.15 am. I am looking forward to the audience's reaction! Hope they'll find the main characters as likeable as I do. Directed by my old friend and colleague Karsten Kiilerich.
For those reading my blog needing a Disney tie-in: it's distributed in Scandinavia by Buena Vista International. (IMDb)

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Outline on Drapery

This undated set of pages was distributed at the Disney Studios some time in the mid-1930s as part of the training program. They describe the technique of drawing drapery (clothing) in simple terms, so once you have read this you'll never forget this. Well, I didn't, in any case.

It's been too long - I have been busy with our new film Albert which has its premiere this weekend! I'll show you some of it in my next posting. More VERY soon, including the drafts I promised!