Sunday, 28 November 2010

Upcoming Winnie the Pooh Trailer

Here is a trailer for the upcoming feature, Winnie the Pooh.
So what do you people think about the trailer? Will it still have its charm like it did back in the old Disney days, and will it be successful? Only time will tell.
The trailer have some charming moments, but what would it be like when we see the final film?

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 8

Here is a new entry - directed (again) by Ham Luske. 
Alice has now been rejected by the flowers, who were once kind to her - and then she notices these letters in the sky, and maybe she thought it was a call for help - so she then encounters the Caterpillar, and he seems really calm and very intelligent, and Alice thought he was very useful for help - but, the Caterpillar only made things much more complicating for Alice. 
It's hard to say which animator is the star of this sequence because most of them don't do a lot and all the animators have their share; Eric Larson (who was long-credited for his work on the Caterpillar), animates a fair bit of the character, mainly the early scenes of the Caterpillar with acting shots of the Caterpillar smoking letters with his hooker while Alice is still trying to get advice from the Caterpillar. Basically, The supervising animators of the Caterpillar are Eric Larson and John Lounsbery, and the animators that are being supervised (or supported) is Phil Duncan and long-shot scenes by Judge Whitaker, and the Caterpillar as a butterfly by Harvey Toombs. While Alice is supervised by Milt Kahl and Ollie Johnston with shared scenes by Don Lusk, and minor scenes by Les Clark, Ken O'Brien and Hal Ambro, oh Ken O'Brien appears to be uncredited in this film, he the only uncredited animator on the film? You'll find that out much later in the film!
However, each animator handles the Caterpillar differently; Eric Larson gives his Caterpillar a much calmer character, and he does a good job with the acting scenes, and I must say the gags with the Caterpillar's hands stuck on a hooker and the Caterpillar pats it and lets go is pretty amusing! Phil Duncan does a fine job with the Caterpillar reciting Alice the story of "How doth the little crocodile..."; and what interested me is the fact that when Caterpillar puffs out the smoke out and the Crocodile and fishes come out; I'm not sure if this was either character animation or an effects artist doing it; maybe Duncan did the animation and an effects artist cleaned it up and placed effects on them, I noticed that Phil Duncan made the Caterpillar's nose a bit larger than the rest. In fact, what interests me is the fact that when the Caterpillar smokes letters like "you = U", and "Are = r", and "why = y", and I love the fact that the story artists used that; it makes the audience communicate the story and it's clearly understandable, nowadays we use it a lot on Facebook messages or mobile phone texting (I use that sometimes, when I use quick messages), and I wonder if this film inspired the public to do that? However, my big question is that why isn't there any effects animation credited when the Caterpillar puffs out of his hookah while communicating to Alice, there must be an effects animator who worked on those scenes! 
John Lounsbery (who handles the later Caterpillar scenes), does an excellent job with the character and it's a shame that we don't see him handle the character much (although, you'll see Lounsbery much more throughout the film), and I think his handle of the character was fine and what interests me the most is probably shots 40.1. and 40.2.. The caterpillar's personality is rather calm and he seems to control his temper very well, and isn't over sensitive; but the only thing that he probably reacts the most is when Alice is disgusted of the fact that three inches is a terrible height, which insulted the Caterpillar! The shot was so so brilliantly animated and acted; and the timing is SO spontaneous, and the moment when the Caterpillar hears "3 inches is such a wretched height", and the moment when she said "wretched", the Caterpillar immediately reacted, and the timing was so quick and I'm glad it was done the way it should've been!

I've grabbed a few frames in the two scenes, and this was how Lounsbery handled the scene; the timing was just so perfect, and I loved the fact of how angry he was and Johnny did the best timing he could've possibly done! Yes, this scene was mainly animated by John Lounsbery, because there's a bit of Alice animated by Don Lusk! 
The caterpillar (I think) has a wonderful personality, and he is just so calm, while most of the other characters are just "cucoo" and hostile, and the Caterpillar is just much calmer than the other characters and he certainly knows when to control his temperature (except when someone insults about his height), and the voice actor of the character is Richard Haydn, who is a British actor, who was known for playing Edwin Carp, etc. On Wikipedia it says that his film career goes back in 1938; and he worked on a number of B pictures, and appeared in popular television shows like The Twilight Zone and Bewitched. His voice of the Caterpillar was very low and grumpeish and that's what made the character even brilliant.

Here is Richard Haydn (who sort of looks like the Caterpillar - could it have been the model)
Alice's voice in the film was pretty good by Kathryn Beaumont (who reunited with Disney portraying Wendy in Peter Pan), and the animation is also very good as well. We see more of Milt Kahl who animates a confused Alice who is confused about this whole "Wonderland" place, and she tries to remember a poem and thinks she's going crazy! Just some fine acting scenes of Alice by Kahl was pretty good, although he altered the character's face slightly in shot 41.2. and she makes Alice more cuter looking, and widening her cheeks and mouth, and almost making her more Betty Boop like.
Ollie Johnston comes back after a short break, and this time he changes the character, and giving her the right design, and I must say I like shot 38 a lot, when Alice is distracted when the smoke keeps springing past her and almost goes lost and then remembers what she was going to say. Brilliant acting! 
Also, what I noticed on the draft was some mystery and on shot 34.2. when Alice is returning to the Caterpillar, those scenes were animated by Don Lusk but on that shot I noticed that the draft animator was credited as "LUSKE", and since Ham Luske is credited as director in this sequence and he probably links to that scene. I wasn't sure if it was probably a typo to Don Lusk or Ham Luske animating that scene, but it's most likely to be a type and Don Lusk doing that scene - but I'll still keep that up there!
I've wondered that when the Caterpillar is steaming up and turns red, I thought it would be a difficult achievement for the ink and painters because they'd have to change the colours slightly, from pink to red (while the Caterpillar was already blue), and I liked the the fact of how the Ink & Paint girls achieved it. I like it when Don Lusk handles the shot of Alice shouting back at the Caterpillar with great monument weight towards the character, and the then the Caterpillar vanishes and becomes a butterfly. Gee, wouldn't a normal caterpillar have to hatch in a cocoon before transforming into a butterfly? 
Well, I'll leave it for now - more to come on Friday!

VIZcious Viz Strips! (Yes, Not a Great Pun)

This post, I'm going to talk a little bit about a famous British comics, and it's really aimed for adults, and it contains a lot of silly, adult humour and I understand a bit of the humour - let's see if you understand the humour.

First, a bit of history: Viz first ever appeared in December 1979, and it was founded by Chris Donald. Because of the funny humour that appealed to many British people, it became an immediate success, and eventually the 150 copies had all sold out within hours! It appears bimonthly, and eventually the circulation is (according to 2009) is roughly 1.2 million, and the motto on their website was "BRITAIN'S 3rd OR 4th FUNNIEST MAGAZINE, MAYBE 5th" or "THE MAGAZINE THAT'S BETTER THAN NOTHING", "YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT, YOU HAVE TO BUY IT!" The slogans and motto are pretty funny, because it really explains that no magazine is perfect enough to reach Number 1, and it's funny and truthful that Viz were being truthful.

Viz is currently celebrating it's 200th issue, and it's only a bimonthly issue, and it's often worth the wait! They often spoof on British comics like The Beano or The Dandy, and the famous Dandy star Desperate Dan and they parodied the character, named Desperately Unfunny Dan or another Dandy star named Winker Watson and unfortunately named Wanker Watson.

So, here are a few of the strips, and I must admit: I've never been a fan of it and I never grew up with it because I was only little and I would never understand the humour well; so I'll show a few of the comic strips that I saw today and thought was quite funny:

Yes, there's probably no stars in there - but I hardly know Viz well at all - I was just looking at a few today and I decided which ones were funny and which ones that I thought weren't too funny!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 7

Here is a new sequence I've uploaded: Sequence 06.5 "Live of Garden Flowers" - directed (again) by Ham Luske.  
This sequence is a bit rather more jolly and spiritual, and very artistic; no wonder why this sequence was directed by Ham Luske - although to some of those whose never seen this - it'll probably be a surprise for you! Animation of Alice by Hal Ambro (most scenes), and then Eric Larson does a little bit, and Les Clark does a lot of the acting scenes. Flowers by John Lounsbery, Judge Whitaker and Marvin Woodward, and a surprise...effects animator Josh Meador actually handles some of the character animation as well as effects. 
Alice is still chasing after the White Rabbit, and then she is stuck in a big garden; and then realizes that these flowers can talk and at start; the flowers are kind and nice to her; although the Iris was a bit snobbish, and the Daisy was a rather giggly person; but the Rose was the only flower that was kind to Alice. As the Daisy asked what garden Alice comes her, and Alice tries to explain that she's no flower, but the Iris and Daisy keep on interrupting Alice's explanation; and then (for the flowers) it came to the conclusion that Alice was now a "weed". Alice denies it (and obviously she's no weed, just a human), and then the flowers make things more difficult and scatter her out of the garden, until she sees letters in the sky (from the Caterpillar's hooker), and thinks it's a message. 
Josh Meador handles some of the character animation like the "bread and butterflies" and the "Rocking horseflies", and his animation is sure nice, and most of the animation in this sequence is very nice! John Lounsbery first pops up in the film, and it's good to see that he gets some great personality and warmth in the Rose, and some great acting scenes of the Iris and Daisy. Lounsbery (who's been ignored by his work on Alice) does some GREAT acting and personality scenes, and the Rose certainly has warmth and she's a brilliant character. Throughout the entire film and in "Wonderland"; the Rose is probably the only character that's nice to Alice; and as the flowers were pushing her out; the Rose was trying to stop the flowers, but they wouldn't listen at all! 
The song in this film "All in the Golden Afternoon" (which was a poem written in the "Alice" books, not in the Flowers chapter, or in any chapter), and the song in there is very cheerful and joyful; beautiful music and I love the animation in it, and especially the Art Direction and layouts! Beautifully setup and crafted! Marvin Woodward's animation of the Children flowers is nice, and I liked that animation a lot, probably it's colours because I was interested in which ones were different. I loved the fact on Josh Meador's Orchestra bells were flowers, and the music is very beautiful and I have to give praise to Oliver Wallace for the beautiful music, I think that's one of the reasons why it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Musical Score. 
What I thought was always interesting was in shot 49 and it was animated by Josh Meador, and there was the drummer and he seemed to have a 1970's punk rock hair style and I always found that odd...Gee, did they have rock and roll stars with much hair style like that back in the early 1950's, EVEN the fact that this story was set in the 1860's and they didn't have that hairstyle back then!! 
Hal Ambro, finally takes a lot of the Alice animation in this sequence, (although he did a good chunk of Alice in the Caucus Race sequence), and he does some great Alice animation, and Les Clark does a fine job with the acting scenes; but I must say: Les Clark doesn't seem to take control of any sequence at all: although he took control of Alice in the Caucus race sequence but he doesn't seem to animate a sequence from beginning to end.  
I liked the fact of how the flowers are portrayed differently, like there are dippy dafodiles, and that there's animals from the safari and barking dogs, that's pretty clever!
Yes, the draft of this sequence certainly does have the animator's names and character assignment, and I though to make it easier, I included the character's name next to the animator to make it more understandable; and the fact that you might not be confused with what an animator did!
I think I'll leave it here for now - if any of you have anymore to include, please feel free to comment... 

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Fantasia Draft

Hans Perk has decided to post the complete draft to Pro. 2004 Fantasia. It's a great treat to see another draft coming! Maybe I should make mosaics, we'll have to wait and see...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 6

Here is a new sequence "The Rabbit's House" - directed by Ham Luske.
We've already seen a lot of sequences directed by Ham Luske - and over the next sequences I'll be posting, you'll see Ham Luske's name appear more!
A lot of this sequence is animated by Woolie Reitherman, who is the Supervising Animator on the film, and I'm guessing that he planned the sequence, and Les Clark (the Supervising Animator on Alice) planned the entire Alice scenes.
Alice has now left Tweedledum and Tweedledee to finish their story - and then Alice sees a lovely house, which is owned by the White Rabbit, and she finally encounters the White Rabbit closer, and the Rabbit mistakenly calls Alice, "Mary Ann", and who is Mary Ann? Was it the wife of the White Rabbit; he certainly doesn't treat her well? Alice is still trying to ask the White Rabbit's question and Alice still fails to get a reply back.
It's not one of my favourite sequences on the film; but it certainly reaches climaxes in the sequence, like Alice becomes large and is stuck in the house, and Bill the lizard is shot high in the air; and also the Dodo trying to burn the house down.
We see the Dodo again, and he is brilliantly animated by Woolie Reitherman - and there are two scenes of the Dodo animated by Milt Kahl who was long-known to have animated the character hardly animates as much of the Dodo at all! I must say, I find Milt Kahl's absence of the character in the film quite overrated! It was said before that Milt took control of the Dodo and did much of the character, and he hardly takes control of it at all, and Woolie Reitherman (who was ignored by historians of his involvement in the film), handles much of the Dodo, as well as Bob Carlson, Bill Justice, Phil Duncan and Fred Moore. I think this sequence should be called "Woolie Reitherman sequence".
Woolie, who is one of my favourite animators ever, and his animation is probably my favourite in the film, and you see much more of him later in the film!!
I don't have too much to say about this sequence; as there isn't a lot to explain that I have to say: but I still have a few more to blab about.
Each animator animating on the White Rabbit give it a different look, Woolie's timing on the Rabbit is just fine, and also in some of the shots; he gives the White Rabbit a bigger chin and a different shaped head; now in the first sequence of the White Rabbit animated by Hal King; he was more plumply and taller, and in this sequence, he feels a lot shorter and the rims of his glasses look more different. Phil Duncan (who later went to work on Watership Down) draws a very energetic Rabbit, and the timing is excellent, and the staging feels right.
However, most of the scenes are a lot complicating because, some scenes that only have one character in the shot and often one character animator would animate a character in a scene (the only time you get two animators in a scene if there's more than one character), but this sequence has a lot of the scenes with only one characters and there's two animators working on it - now I don't know how it works; One of my guesses that one animator animated the first half of the scene and the other animator animated the second half OR the most likely guess is that the Supervising Animator (Woolie), animated poses of the White Rabbit or the Dodo, and the character animator did the in betweens, just a guess.
The layouts for this sequence is really great, and although the inside of the house, looks really complicating and very-detailed, and it looks like it was a hard assignment for the layout artists, because the backgrounds followed in the Mary Blair style.
There's one BIG dislike on a certain scenes that I want to discuss, and that's scene 27 animated by Les Clark, where Alice opens the window to reveal her face, and I have to admit; that scene has always put me off; it's not the animation, or the timing, but it's just the colours, and I can imagine that it would be dark inside when Alice opens, but I hate it when none of her hair is shown there, it's almost like her hair got shaved off and that scene has always put me off! Ugh.
We see a little more of Fred Moore and Bob Carlson, and Bob Carlson does a fine job with the animation, and Fred Moore's White Rabbit and Dodo is alright; but he hardly takes control of any White Rabbit scenes, and on Wikipedia it says that Fred Moore animated later scenes of the White Rabbit, and he only does roughly six or seven shots of the White Rabbit, and one scene of the Dodo, he does some of the "White Rabbit" in the We'll Smoke the Blighter Out! song, and most of the scenes Fred does was often shared with Duncan or Woolie: I'm guessing that Woolie and Duncan did poses and Fred did the in betweens, or Fred doing poses and Duncan doing in betweens, although there's a lot of "Camera cuts" in the sequence, and I'm guessing one of the animators work on the Camera cuts!
It's a shame, because I said that Moore would come back later on - but Fred Moore only comes back doing a few scenes of the White Rabbit, and that's the end of Moore on the film; that's him off the stage! It is a shame because, he didn't get a big assignment and his return to Disney's after briefly working for Walter Lantz, his assignments has certianly declined, as he was demoted to "character animator" and was no longer an animation director. Although, he was at a depressing time due to his alcoholism, and in the 1950's - he was still kept busy, and maybe he didn't get much stuff on Alice because he was busy working on the last Mickey shorts, or starting work on Peter Pan, he was still animating at Disney's until his fatal death in 1952 of a car accident. I agree with Eric Noble in the comments, that Moore only got minor characters, instead of meatier or big characters like the seven dwarves, Lampwick or Timothy Mouse.
Anyway, that's all for today and I'll another entrance will be on Friday (of course, I'm not available during the week).

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Happy Belated 70th Birthday, Fantasia!

I know, Fantasia already celebrated it's 70th anniversary last week - but I hope the celebration is still here, and I was due to write one last week and I'm definately overdue - but please forgive my absence! (Look at Brian Sibley's wonderful article on the film).

As you know: Fantasia has turn 70 years after it's original roadshow New York premiere - and it was Walt Disney's third ever animated-feature and Walt Disney manage to think of something different and I think Fantasia is very influencing, with a combined of an old famous musical-piece and it's used with animation - what a genius Walt was, and I'm glad Walt Disney made the film, and what would the world ever be like without Fantasia?
Originally, the film was considered a box-office flop and it took more than 30 years to find it's own audience and Walt Disney was long-gone when the film finally made a profit, and it's a shame he wasn't alive to see it!
The first time, I ever saw the movie Fantasia was in Christmas 2004, and at the time, I've seen most of the Disney films and never "Fantasia", and I was interested in seeing it. I got the VHS copy from my Christmas stocking, and I was happy and I thanked the person who got me the tape. I watched it from the very beginning and I saw Deems Taylor's narrative instructions - and they inspired me a lot, and the moment I saw the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor segment (composed by Johann Sebastian Bach), and I thought "WOW", it was just amazing, I loved the artwork, and I thought it was very clever of how the the music followed. So, I spent my Saturdays watching the film over and over, and I never got tired of it - I was still pretty amazed, and I was even interested enough to see the film's ending credits because I wanted to know who worked on the film!
Although the film lacks dialogue and there isn't really any specific plot, but it's just so perfect! I remember when we were giving any old tapes that we hardly watched anymore, and I never wanted to give away Fantasia because it's so brilliant and such a gem - and I thought it was completely not worth the give away. I still have the VHS copy on me and it was actually the 50th anniversary copy from 1991 (I think). I have the film on my iPod and I can watch it anywhere I go!
Toccata and Fugue in "D" Minor composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and it was the first segment in the feature, and it was directed by Sam Armstrong. Although, the segment has no plot whatsoever, and it doesn't mean anything - but it's very artistic, and a lot of amazing effects animation in the segment. Such beautiful crafting and artwork that made the sequence possible - and it's like a painting, except it's animated and done a million times!

The Nutcracker Suite (composed by Tchaikovsky), and directed (again) by Sam Armstrong - it's probably the most famous piece of music composed on the film. Although, it isn't the same story as it was originally written, and there is no nutcracker in this animated version, but the way that Disney and his staff is just brilliant and and it's very arty; and it's combined with multiple sequences, and probably the most memorable sequence in this piece, is the mushroom dance, animated by Art Babbitt. Such brilliant staging and it's amazing of how at times, the mushrooms are getting bigger, and then they get smaller! Don Lusk's Arabian Fish Dance segment is just sparkling and glamorous, and the studio never achieved such an astonishing effect before! The Sugar-Plum Fairies are just so colorful and the animators who worked on this film, had been sweating their skin off creating such brilliant effects for the segment!

This is a very nice segment of the film, the music and piece is very memorable, even though not all the piece is in it!
Now we move onto The Soceror's Apprentice, directed by James Algar and composed by Paul Dukas, (probably the most memorable segment on the Fantasia program), and it features the most famous Disney star of all, Mickey Mouse. Now, at the time Mickey's popularity was declining, and as a comeback, Walt wanted to make a very special short about Mickey and that's what later became Fantasia. The story is pretty fun, and according to Deems Taylor, it was said that the story came first and then the composer wrote the music to go with it.
Although, the music later became very well known because of the Mickey short, and the broomsticks were pretty entertaining because Mickey couldn't control the spell, and eventually the strong water effects turned into a cyclone. It was also the first Mickey production where Mickey Mouse has a new design - new eyes, taller body and skin colour on his face, which was designed by Fred Moore. At the very end of the segment, we see Mickey in silhouette and shakes his hand to Leopold Stokowski (the film's conductor).
The Rite of Spring (one of my favourite productions on the film, and also one of my favourite pieces of music composed by one of my favourite composers, Igor Stravinsky). It's probably got the most effects animation than any segment of the entire feature. The effects are done rather differently than any other segment, and even the waves are so strong, it's like they animated it with oil pastels, that amazes me!
Although, Disney took the rights of The Rite of Spring and did it his own way, the original ballet was done differently (see my article) and it was a completely different story about a girl who has to dance furiously as she is sacrificed. Although, Disney and his storymen wanted to change the story rather differently, instead of showing tribal dances - he wanted to retell the story of what the Earth would have looked like, millions and millions of years ago. The dinosaurs were a hard task to animate, I mean - you know's how a dinosaur would have worked millions and millions years ago, or how pterodactyls flew that time. But, probably the most memorable sequence is the fight of the Tyrannosaurus-Rex and the stegosaurus, and it was powerfully animated by Wolfgang "Woolie" Reitherman. Such brilliant monumental weight was brought into this, and Woolie had made such a brilliant achievement, and it was a very powerful use of staging.

"The Rite of Spring" was set in three parts: one was the Creation of the Earth, or the "Genesis", and it showed on how God probably created the earth (although it doesn't follow the "7 day" pattern), and then the second part shows evolution taking its course, and how the dinosaurs lives. The name "dinosaur" actually comes in two Greek words meaning "terrible lizard" which was deinos and sauros. The final part of the segment was the extinction of the dinosaurs, when there were days of droughts and boiling temperatures, and that the dinosaurs were pushing to the point of collapsing - and as soon as the dinosaurs were dead and it's skin revolted and became skeletons (which would in a million of years time become discovered by archaeologists), and what amazes me the most in this segment is the final part, and that's when the land is erupted by a heavy earthquake, and I loved the astonishing effect, and the fact that the effects animator would sit in their desks, and working on those scenes for hours, or days!!
Afterwards, Fantasia has its 15-minute intermission, and then we continue the second half:
The Pastoral Symphony (composed by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Pastoral" is Beethoven's No. 6 Symphony), and the segment was directed by Ham Luske, Ford Beebe and Jim Handley. This is probably the most colourful segment, and it's art direction is unique and wonderful, and it was probably the first time that an animator or a background painter could use any colours they wanted.
It's one of the longest segments in the film, and there's multiple character featuring centaurs, centaurettes, unicorns, fawns, the Gods, etc. The centaurettes were hugely influenced and designed by Fred Moore, and they are very pretty and believable; they feel human.
The music is very sweet and it may be soppy at times, but just very beautiful stuff! Also, some funny of scenes of Bacchus (the God of wine) and his donkey, unfortunately named "Jacchus", and most of those scenes were animated by Ward Kimball, and it was pretty amusing, and all the centaurs and centaurettes are throwing a party and having a very brilliant time - until that is all interrupted by a storm, and raindrops are dropping on land, until Zeus shows up and attempts to throw thunder bolts at Bacchus and his donkey, and then strong winds show up, and it goes on until Zeus is tried and then it reaches morning.
A very charming sequence, although the only thing that's a pity was in it's original run; their was a racial stereotype on a black centaurettes who appears to be a maid named Sunflower, and is pretty much stereotyped, and at the time; black people didn't have the civil rights in America like they do today, and now it's cut from the film and never restored; and I'm glad it was removed, because there never seems to be a bad jump on the music.

Dance of the Hours (composed by Poncheili) and directed by Norm Ferguson and T. Hee, and this is probably the most humorous segment of Fantasia; the gags are hilarious and it's very interesting to see ballerinas and dancers which are animals, and the segment is unique and funny. The film opens with the morning, and there are a group of ostriches that are dancing for the morning, and they use fruit (probably breaking the fast), and then they fight over a group of grapes; and then it reaches afternoon and the hippos dance for the afternoon, and then as the leader Hippo is tired and sleeps. The evening reaches, and a group of elephants dance of the evenings, and then the last group enters; blowing away the elephants out of scene - and the alligators show up, and dance the somber hours of the night. Then there is a finale, with all the ostriches, hippos, elephants and alligators all dance at midnight! I guess, that's why it's called the Dance of the Hours.

Night on Bald Mountain which is the last segment on the film, and it was composed by Modeste Moussorgsky, and directed by Wilfred Jackson.
This is probably the most darkest segment in the picture, the devil Chernabog who wakes up at night and takes spirits from the dead, and plays around with them and then under his spell, the spirits dance furiously, he brings spirits and turns them into ghosts, skeletons, goblins, harpies, -- Until the sound of church bells, the devil turns back into a mountain, to hide his real face!
The devil was always very frightening to me, and I always thought it was a very scary character, and he was very powerful character, and probably the most evil-looking of all Disney villains, and he's like a giant gargoyle. The animator who made this possible was the one and only Bill Tytla, and he was a master at animating heavy characters and heavy emotions, and I thought he did a terrific job, at animating such a powerful character!
Ave Maria - it's the very last segment of the film, and it was directed by Wilfred Jackson and composed by one of the most famous composers, Franz Schubert (the Ave Maris is part of the Night on Bald Mountain segment), and it's so beautiful and it's nothing like a cartoon has ever done before. The very final scene of when we go through a dark, cathedral and then we see sun rising - and it's meant to show the hope of life, over the powers of despair and death!
That's my Fantasia article, and I hope Fantasia will still be a great legend for another 70 years and so on, and I'm hoping to get the new Fantasia DVD soon!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 5

Here it is - The Walrus and the Carpenter: directed by Clyde Geronomi, who appears the first time in this film.
This is one of my favourite sequence in the film - although I know the dialogue isn't juicy and the lines don't fit too well - but the animation is brilliant and the music always good fun, and it's memorable and I have a Simpsons Comic from 1999 which is a spoof of the novel's poem Jabberwocky and they mention one of the lines "of cabbages and kings!" or was that in the original Walrus poem.
Ward Kimball does a lot of the animation, and so does Woolie Reitherman, Norm Ferguson and Fred Moore and they are the stars on the sequence; along with action scenes by Cliff Nordberg, Hugh Fraser and Charles Nichols. While, Alice is animated by Marc Davis and Don Lusk.
Marc Davis' animation of Alice is brilliant, and he handles the character brilliantly and he doesn't seem to have any trouble in animating the character - although I guess he doesn't have trouble with it because he's a rather girly animator - not in a way that Marc is a "girl" - but the fact that his assignments are often sticked to girls cast.
Ward Kimball's animation on Tweedledum and Tweedledee the twins is nice, although he does a lot of the acting scenes, and does the introduction scenes and then he steps off stage and Cliff Nordberg comes through and takes over; when Kimball comes back on stage working on the final Dum and Dee scenes. Cliff Nordberg's scenes of Dum and Dee are also great, and full of energy; and Kimball who was long-credited for his work on the characters while Nordberg does a great performance on them, and Nordberg was a very lively person and his assignments were often so lively! Although in the original novel, Dum and Dee originally have a big battle and it was put in a mine like this:

Tweedledum and Tweedledee
Agreed to have a battle;
For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
As black as a tar-barrel;
Which frightened both the heroes so,
They quite forgot their quarrel.
Yeah, and the scene of Dum and Dee having a battle lasts for about three seconds, although since the animation is nice - but I have to admit I think it's terrible story pacing, because it feels rushes, and Alice is in a big hurry and Dum and Dee irritate her and they start off by eavesdropping and listening to what she is saying and eventually they say "poor oysters" - which concerns Alice straight away - it just feels rushed and the story pacing isn't that straight; although I do like the Walrus story a lot, and I guess that's why Alice in Wonderland has a lot of story problems because Alice always keeps bumping into new characters and moves on - and the plot doesn't reach it's climax until when she's at Tulgey Wood and wants to go home and she's had all enough of Wonderland.
Now, we get to Dum and Dee telling the Alice of The Walrus and the Carpenter or (an alternate title) The Story of the Curious Oysters - and it's a very entertaining segment and what's interesting is that so many animators work on that sequence and it's really the only they work on. Norm Ferguson, who is famous for animating Pluto; does great acting scenes of the Walrus and Carpenter and I love how he holds the cigar in scene 52 - great handling. The good news is that Fergy does brilliant work and so much he contributed on the characters, although the sad news that we don't see anymore of Fergy after this sequence - this is the only sequence of Alice in Wonderland to have Norm Ferguson animating, and also another animator is Charles Nichols, who animated the Coachman in Pinocchio and he directed Pluto shorts and did some animation in this sequence and the same goes with Fergy, we don't see Nichols anymore as well.
Hugh Fraser does a lot of the action scenes and it's pretty good, and yes; Fraser doesn't to an awful lot of work on the film - but you will see him again but not until much later on...
Fred Moore's animation of the oysters is sweet and appealing and they certainly have a Moore style in his animation and it's a shame for some good scenes he got and it was in fact one of his last assignments until his fatal death a year later. It's a shame that this draft don't name any effects animators on the scenes of the Walrus underwater and none of the bubbles have credits, and the only effects animator credited on this segment is George Rowley - and is only credited for two scenes, one of them is the Mother's oyster's POV and the calendar labels "MARCH", and I remember that scene very well (even when I was very young) and I never, ever understood why the letter "R" was highlighted red and enlarged - I never understood it, was it supposed to mean harvest for the oyster season??
After when Charles Nichols handles the Walrus using his cane as a flute to guide the oysters along to a restaurant that the Carpenter built in like 6 seconds, and then Nichols, Fraser, Moore and Fergy step off stage: Nichols and Fergy have done their jobs and their off the film; while Fraser and Moore don't appear slightly later in the film; and then Woolie and Kimball take over the throne and Kimball does brilliant handling the characters in the segment and it's probably one of my favourite Kimball animation in the film - although he did do some good one-shot Hatter stuff. Woolie Reitherman does the best Carpenter animation by far - he does great acting, the timing is right, and I loved the scene of the Carpenter in the kitchen cooking starters - very fun and nice, and I also love when Woolie put the Carpenter a tantrum and he realized that the Walrus has ate the oysters without the Carpenter's share! Kimball does great acting scenes of the Walrus faking tears and trying to cover the evidence.
As the story ends with a chase, and Dum and Dee ending the story when Dum was a sun and Dee was the moon showing day and light, and ends! They try to distract Alice and use her lot of time by telling the story of "Old Father William", and I bet the story men had storyboarded the "Old Father William" tale (which the poem originally appeared in the books) - and then Alice who couldn't be bothered to listen to the rest of the story, just sneakily walks off and letting them finish the story, completely unaware of Alice walking away!
This is a fun sequence - and stay tuned!