Saturday, 23 October 2010

Pecos Bill Mosaic: Part 2

Well, I was supposed to post this on Monday - but I'm ready to post this two days early: Here is the second and final entry of my Pecos Bill mosaic.
In this second part, Pecos Bill and Widowmaker are still enjoying their fun antics and being a "western Superman", until Pecos Bill develops another interest with a cowgirl named Slue-Foot Sue and Bill appears to be with Sue more than Widowmaker; which makes Widowmaker heartbroken; because of Widowmaker's emotions - he goes berserk and on Sue and Bill's wedding day - Widowmaker goes mad on Sue and buckles her off and she does hitting the ground and up high in the air - until Pecos attempted to save her but failed because of Widowmaker (look at shot 135) - Pecos, devastated - leaves his clothes, cigarette and Widowmaker's saddle and boots and lives with the coyotes and howling at the moon hoping for Sue to return - which is said that's how the coyotes howl at the mountains at night.
In my first part of the Pecos Bill mosaic: Ward Kimball was the main star of the segment and most of Part One concentrated on most of the gags and jokes with Kimball's fun animation - and it was just part of fun, and in the second part of my mosaic it's enough fun, more story. So, Part 2 concentrated on the highlight of the story and Milt Kahl takes over the segment.
Milt Kahl mainly works on the scenes which are highlights of the story - Milt was long credited for his animation on Slue-Foot Sue, and of course Kahl was always stuck on those prince and princesses stuff - but Milt Kahl manage to get some comedy Pecos Bill scenes, and take a look at Shot 95 - when Pecos Bill's heart pound and immediately has a love interest in Sue and Kahl does some great exaggeration and animates the scene just like a Kimball scene, it's brilliant stuff! I bet Kahl must have enjoyed working on those scenes - I mean, no wonder why he was stuck with tedious characters in the 1950's - he was stuck with the princes on Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty - and Milt Kahl did have some rivalry with Ward Kimball on how Ward was always lucky enough to have wild assignments while Milt was always stuck with those careful Princes stuff, they're so hard to animate and musclar characters, but Milt Kahl was probably the only animator who was good enough to do these assignments. I think the scenes with Pecos Bill that Milt got is one of the rare privileges for him to do some comedy scenes.
John Sibley appears more this time - and he does some great climax action scenes of Sue and Widowmaker having a wild ride; I must admit I'm not really a fan of the horse and Sue scenes because it just felt rushed and some of the scenes that Sibley animated the character Sue were just terribly shaped and didn't look like one of Kahl's excellent Slue-Foot Sue. Probably, why it wasn't good was because John Sibley was a master of comedy scenes and that was what he got assigned to do: he did a good chunk of Casey in Casey at the Bat segment in Make Mine Music, did some of the comedy scenes of the "Lackey" drinking wine in Sleeping Beauty, the Wolf in The Sword in the Stone, and did some great later Goofy animation in some of the Goofy shorts. Although, shot 123 with Sue animated by John Sibley is a great attempt of animating a woman (good posture and acting). Shot 130 with Bill calmy walking by John Lounsbery is a great sign of acting (Bill looked confident in that scene) and it's a shame that we don't see any more of Lounsbery in that segment - I wonder why he was only credited for animating that one scene?
Now I've counted the number of scenes of which animator did:
  • Ward Kimball - 30 scenes
  • Milt Kahl - 18 scenes
  • Cliff Nordberg - 13 scenes
  • John Sibley - 13 scenes
  • Ed Aardal - 21 scenes
  • Ken O'Brien - 12 scenes
  • George Rowley - 3 scenes
  • Marvin Woodward - 5 scenes
  • Josh Meador - 8 scenes
  • John Lounsbery - 1 scene
  • Les Clark - 1 scene
  • Harvey Toombs - 1 scene
The draft is interesting - the animators don't animate as much as I thought they did: John Sibley doesn't seem to do that much but he did some great climax action scenes - Ken O'Brien does some long footage scenes of the coyotes and baby Bill - Cliff Nordberg did some Bill and horse scenes long-shot scenes. Ed Aardal is credited as CHARACTER ANIMATOR on Melody Time and in Pecos Bill reissues he's credited as 'effects animator' - so Aardal is probably the star effects artist (he animates more than Milt Kahl) - but Kahl is still the co-star (along with Kimball) on this segment because both of them are Supervising Animators.
Josh Meador (throughout this segment) animates the opening and closing scenes mainly the tedious and beautifully animated scenes of the animals and tumble wheel scenes with the ballard by the Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers. Now, The Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers do some beautiful ballards with effects scenes George Rowley and it's good to hear some beautiful music instead of those funny puns. Notice that longtime Disney effects animator George Rowley is credited for animating a character scene in shot 108.1. with Widowmaker sad and sobbing - but he probably did mainly the horse's tears and it's interesting that Rowley does one character scene, he probably did both character and effects.
The segment has got many types of mood and the backgrounds show a lot of the character's mood and emotions and it's great layouts and wasn't layout artist Hugh Hennesy supposed to be credited on the draft? "Pecos Bill" has a combination of comedy, touching scenes, romance, mood, action and tragic.
I think the film's many combination's fits so well in this segment and it makes the production possible to produce - and it justs fits so perfectly and that's why I choose this as my favourite segment of Melody Time. It's just very entertaining and I wish that it was just more looked at the public - and Walt Disney never seems to mention it, probably because he wasn't happy with his films between Bambi and Cinderella.
I'd like to thank the bloggers for the kind comments and feedback and also to thank Hans Perk for posting the draft - and it's been fun making the mosaic.
Next up...what shall I do next? Probably Alice in Wonderland is my lineup.


Eric Noble said...

Wonderful!! I'm glad Milt Kahl got in some good comedy scenes. Pecos Bill is a brilliant segment. Too bad more people haven't seen it.

Steven Hartley said...

Yeah, I think when it got to Milt's last assignment "The Rescuers" - I think Milt finally got the privilege to animate the evil Medusa and the fun character Mr. Snoops.

Thanks for the comment, I shall hope to make more mosaics in the future.

Pete Emslie said...

I'm not surprised to see that it was Milt Kahl who animated the scenes of Sue putting on her bustle and showing it off as she saunters down the street. But I am also happy to find out it was Milt who followed up that scene with the one in which Bill pantomimes getting on the horse as he watches Sue offscreen, as I have always found that shot to be hilarious and very clever in its execution. After all, it's essentially a very creative way of getting around having to animate Sue mounting Widowmaker in that long dress, making for what could be a very difficult and inelegant shot. Having a reaction shot of Bill nervously acting out her every move, oblivious to the fact he's doing so on the hapless sheriff, makes for a very comical solution to that potential dilemma.

Steven Hartley said...

Yeah - Milt Kahl does a good job with the scenes, and I've enjoyed working on Pecos Bill - soon I'll post Alice in Wonderland...

Eric Noble said...

I can't wait for your Alice in Wonderland mosaics. That has to be one of my absolute favorite films of all time. Keep up the good work.

Steven Hartley said...

I'll hopefully post in a few days or so...