Saturday, 12 June 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (I)

Sorry about not posting this week, but I've been busy and I didn't have any time yesterday, since I had a incredibly-busy fun day today, and at the moment I'll be talking about what Hans Perk (A Film L.A.) had posted not long ago and that Mark Mayerson is currently working on his mosaics. That's right...Dumbo.

Ofcourse I know Dumbo very well, as I was commenting on Hans Perk's and Mark Mayerson's postings, and I was very keen on the Dumbo draft ever since Hans posted the Snow White draft (the first time I discovered the website in November 2009), and I've said over and over about posting a Dumbo draft, and I couldn't be patient and I didn't mean to bother Hans, but I think Hans didn't post the Dumbo draft because I said that, I think he posted it for other reasons. However as the postings have concluded, I wonder what his next draft shall be? Well, he's talked about the Bambi draft quite a few times and about Frank Thomas doing little in the Snow sequence, so maybe he could post that, I'm not asking him to post it, just a suggestion, and he's currently posting his Studio Talks.

I first saw the film, Dumbo, back when I was about two years old (in 1998), and I liked it very much, and I thought it was more appealing than Bambi which was made during that period. However, as I got older I simply forgotton about the film, and then about two years back, I realised that how important this film has been to animation! Anyway onto the draft:

I'll start off by talking about the animator's castings, and as you know: Vladimir 'Bill' Tytla did most of the Elephants animation and in some shots of the scene of Mrs. Jumbo and the Stork, Tytla seemed to have drawn the elephants rather crude, and however, Bill did say that he never had expierece of drawing elephants, and I think he still did a marvellous job, I think his most famous animation of the film was probably either the Lullabye song or the lovely-bubbly scenes of Dumbo being bathed and being around with his mother.

Timothy Mouse is being supervised by three of the six animation directors: Woolie Reitherman (my favourite animator), Fred Moore and John Lounsbery (who does a lot of the Dumbo scenes), and I think its very interesting to see so many supervising animators on Timothy Mouse, and Woolie draws Timothy in earlier scenes and that's him gone, and Fred Moore does Timothy in later scenes (with the crows along with Don Towsley), and John Lounsbery does Timothy and Dumbo in Norm Ferguson's sequences, (Lounsbery's animation also appeared in Bill Robert's sequence "Dumbo and Timothy Visit Mother in Jail"), and I think all three-artists did a terrific job, he sort of reminds me of Jiminy Cricket. However in a Bill Peet interview, he said to have worked closely with Fred Moore of Timmy getting drunk, and he said to have gone through Fred's drawings too many times, since Timothy looked like Mickey Mouse in the drawings.

Ward Kimball (as most of you know), did the crows and I think Ward did a fun job on that and he also did some Dumbo and Timothy shots, and his Timothy shots weren't really as appealing as the Fred Moore scenes, because when Timothy is sleeping, Ward draws his whiskers moving up and down, which I thought was clever, but not appealing.

This is a scene of Timothy and Jim Crow by Ward Kimball.

However, a lot of the people criticise the crows as they think they are portraited as black-people, well I don't think so, because this is 1941, and they didn't have what's politicly correct or what's not politicly correct, and I think the crew were just having a bit of fun, and I think the crows really came in handy, and they did become a big part of the plot.

Although Ward Kimball animates most of the crows, Walt Kelly does a few scenes, and I believe (at the very last sequence) a scene of Dumbo flying with crows was done by effects animator, John F. Reed.

Last but not least, Art Babbitt, who handles Mr. Stork, as well as Cy Young who did the storks and the bundles in the first sequence in the film (brilliant Young work), and Art Babbitt said that Mr. Stork was originally a caricature of Sterling Holloway (the voice of Mr. Stork), and Floyd Norman said that he always liked Sterling's voice, and I really like his voice too! I think that Art Babbitt did a fine job in the film, and when he did Gepetto in Pinocchio, I think that he put too much into the sequence and went a little carried away (obviously enjoyed himself in the film, because Babbitt said that he thought Pinocchio was his favourite film in the Golden Years. Also, Art Babbitt does the clowns in silhouette in the Clowns sequence, and Bernie Wolf did the Clowns from before, and its a shame to see so many animators in the credits that didn't seem to do much animation, and what's suprising is that Woolie doesn't seem to have done a lot of work in the film, but he does a lot in the two sequences he worked on, "Elephants Gossip" and "Timothy Befriends Dumbo".

Here are the animators' casting in the film draft:
  • Vladimir Tytla (Many Elephants scenes: Dumbo bathed, lullaby, elephants gossips, Mrs. Jumbo and Stork, etc.)
  • Fred Moore (Timothy Mouse drunk, Tim and Crows, Tim brushing Dumbo, etc.)
  • Art Babbitt (Mr. Stork scenes, Clowns celebrating)
  • John Lounsbery (Dumbo in Pyramid Act, Dumbo drunk and some Timothy scenes)
  • Ward Kimball (Crows, some Dumbo and Timothy scenes)
  • Woolie Reitherman (Timothy scares Elephants, friends with Dumbo)
  • Hugh Fraser (Elephants, Dumbo in roustabouts, Gossip elephants in Pyramid Act)
  • Harvey Toombs (Circus animals with babies, a scene of Tim and Dumbo seeing elephants)
  • Milt Neil (Dumbo upset over mother prisoned, Timothy develops Climax with ringmaster)
  • Hicks Lokey (Circus paraders, Pink Elephants)
  • Howard Swift (Ringmaster in Pyramid Act, Pink Elephants, Circus paraders)
  • Don Towsley (Timothy and Dumbo with crows, Dumbo flies with feather)
  • Les Clark (Dumbo in Clowns performance, Dumbo falls from building and loses feather)
  • Claude Smith (Animals loaded in train, Dumbo with roustabouts, Dumbo and kids)
  • Berny Wolf (Clowns celebrate in silhouette, Peanut delivery man)
  • Jack Campbell (roustabouts)
  • Walt Kelly (Ringmaster and Mrs. Jumbo, Ringmaster in tent, few Crows scenes)
  • Don Patterson (Casey Junior)
  • Cy Young (Storks and bundles as parachutes)
  • Ray Patterson (Clowns in performance, Pyramid elephants collapsing)
  • Grant Simmons (Clowns performing in fire performances)
  • Josh Meador (EFFX ANIMATOR: Rain, water, etc.)
  • Bill Shull (Mrs. Jumbo going mad, elephants scared of Tim)
  • Art Palmer (EFFX ANIMATOR: Tent collapsing, champaign bottle in bucket, Dumbo bathed, etc.)
I'll leave it here from my very-long arcticle, and I hope to post some more tomorrow!


Eric Noble said...

Very good!!!! I love this stuff. I don't know what my favorite part of the film was, as there are too many to mention. This film goes to show that you don't need umpteen million dollars to make a good animated film. You need strong characters, and great animators to bring them to life. Unfortunately, those are harder to come by.

Steven Hartley said...

Excatly, great animation and great characters makes a great picture!!

Bill Peet mentioned that the poor ones worked on Dumbo and the rich artists worked on Bambi, and said that Dumbo was more successful because Dumbo had more appeal, and I think Peet is right, I think Dumbo is more appealing than Bambi, and Bambi is too dark and boring to me.

Thanks for your support Eric, I've never seen so many comments in one day to be moderated!!