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!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Prod. RM16, Mickey's Parrot.

Directed by Bill Roberts, assisted by Mike Holoboff, with layouts by Hal Doughty. Released 9/9/38, this FINAL draft dated 6/15/38.
Animation by Fred Spencer, Art Palmer, Dick Lundy, Les Clark, Bob Wickersham and Shamus/Jimmie Culhane, with effects by Cornett Wood and Josh Meador.

Found on the Treasures DVD Mickey Mouse in Living Color, Vol. 1 Disk 2 or on YouTube, though unofficially, of course, and not in the best quality here.

This short film is one of the few short film directed by Bill Roberts not part of a feature film, the others are The Brave Little Tailor and Society Dog Show. For having been made well after Snow White had begun its conquest of the world, this film has surprisingly varied animation and drawing quality. Lundy's work seems to harken back to earlier days, while Culhane scenes show solid drawing of Pluto's body, but rather awkward expressions.

A bit about myself: I have been busying myself with my regular work, currently editing another feature film, "The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear" based on a successful Danish children's book.
After hours I am, with help from the Walt Disney Archives and Photo Library, reworking my walk-through of Walt Disney's Hyperion Ave. Studio 1926-1940, which I look forward to present (again) at the D23 Expo in Anaheim in July. A new version of (ca. June) 1929 shows an even smaller studio than we for years had taken for granted, and (April-May) 1939 also sees a few corrections based on new revelations. All this has eaten most of my time these past months, which resulted in my not having been able to keep up my blog at regular intervals. I aim to improve that situation, at least a little...

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Anonymous Rob M says...

Welcome back, and thanks for posting this draft.

Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 7:12:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Nicholas John Pozega says...

I love these drafts you post! Thank you!

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 7:50:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Vimacone says...

Thank you for posting these drafts. It's so enlightening learning about an animator's style.

Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8:39:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous John Veitch says...

Thanks for posting this up, Hans!

The animator casting is a lot more straightforward than Roberts' other solo director effort, "Society Dog Show". ("Brave Little Tailor" was started by Burt Gillett) Then again, it does only have three characters.

Fred Spencer is the parrot's main animator, doing his introduction, and about half of his fight with Pluto, shared with Shamus Culhane. He also did the whole sequence where the parrot is underneath the fishbowl and Pluto thinks his voice is coming from the fish.

Dick Lundy and Bob Wickersham animate scenes of Mickey and Pluto - Lundy does their introduction, where they hear the news of the escaped criminal, and Wick animates them searching the house (together) a few scenes of Mickey in the basement, and the climax where Mickey finds Pluto in the piano and they defend their house by shooting from behind the barricade.

Finally, Les Clark animates most of Mickey's scenes searching the basement, plus a single shot of the parrot and the final scene of all three characters. He gives Mickey larger eyes (pupils?) and bigger facial gestures than the other animators, and his animation of Pluto eating the crackers has a rough, old-fashioned look. His scenes are fun to watch.

Cornett Wood (misspelled "Gornett") and Art Palmer do wide shots of the moving van at the beginning - presumably moving inanimate objects were considered effects. Josh Meador does a shot of the fish (otherwise animated by Fred Spencer) when his image is distorted.

As with many cartoons with Mickey's name on them, Mickey appears mostly at the beginning and the end, while Pluto and a troublemaking animal get most of the action in the main portion of the cartoon. Unlike in Warners' "Bye Bye Bluebeard" and MGM's "The Missing Mouse" (and P.G. Wodehouse's short story "The Truth About George", and no doubt many other short-form comedy examples), the escaped killer only exists so Mickey and Pluto can mistake the parrot for him - he doesn't then appear for real at the end of the cartoon.

Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 10:38:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous David says...

Hi , Hans -

Glad to find a new post on your blog . I haven't been here for a while, but I check from time to time . Thanks as always for taking the time to scan and posts these drafts.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 12:51:00 PM PDT  

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