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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Prod. 0136 - The Fox and the Hound (III)   - Seq. 01.2 Lady and Cow

023 024 025 026
027 028 029
Directed by Ted Berman and Art Stevens, assisted by Terry Noss. Layout by Don Griffith, Thom Enriquez and Dan Hansen.
This FINAL draft dated 5/4/1981 by secretary Charlene Rogers.

Animation by Gary Goldman and Don Bluth (the Widow, Abigail the Cow, Tod plus the chicken and her chicks), with one scene of Tod by Ed Gombert.

As I mentioned yesterday, the widow is very much drawn and animated in Don Bluth's "house style," in the previous sequence clearly based on live action which seems to no longer adhere to Milt's way of using live action, the use of it as reference only. Instead it seems to use the photostats more literally (as we had to when working for Don back in the early 90s). When you rely so much on the live action you will sacrifice spontaneity for realism to the point where it starts to look traced. It is a fine balancing act, that Milt would call out as being lazy...

On the other hand, this sequence seems to be handled less through live action and more through strong poses. They appear however more based Milt's animation in The Sword in the Stone than on actual analysis of the acting needed. This misunderstood method is something not uncommon for animators who want to give it their best shot. Boy, have I seen lots of this through the years: junior animators noting that they animated it "just like Milt's" Merlin, Mim or you name it. Also, too much reliance on crossed eyes, to my taste, but then nobody asked me. I am especially noting Don's scene 14 which looks to be an "easy way out," the way it would look if an H&B scene was fully animated. Gary's scenes seem most "functional" in this sequence.

Just to make one thing clear, I am not Don Bluth-bashing. I noticed when Don was lecturing at our studio in Denmark he certainly knew his principles, and was good at explaining them. However, I noticed a discrepancy between what he preached and the output of his studio - even what they expected from our studio. Gary explained to me that they felt they had to have their animators over-act because they were afraid they otherwise might not act enough. I would think that the best way would be to get them to do it just right, and why that was not considered, I may never know. We had nice subtle animation ordered done over because some principle wasn't used, and it truly didn't get better when all principles were in place. In the end you have to take off your hat to Don for going after what he believed in. To be sure, at the end of September 1979 there were probably not too many people at Disney taking of their hats to Don...

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Anonymous John V. (The Spectre) says...

Don Bluth mostly animates Widow Tweed, with Gary Goldman handling the other characters in the scene. The single close-up of Tod by Ed Gombert is number 39.1, suggesting it was a later addition. As on the previous sequence he's picking up stray Tod close-ups in sections mostly animated by the Bluth crew.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 10:13:00 AM PDT  

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