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).

6 comments:

Eric Noble said...

I can see why you were out off by the colors on the one scene. I am too. They could have at least showed a bit of her hair, to remind us that she's not Sinead O'Connor.

Having all of those handling those few amount of characters must have been quite a job to direct. You have to keep the drawing fairly consistent as well as character interpretation. Ham Luske was the right man for the job.

Wonderland Soup said...

What an iteresting post. (I posted about Bill the Lizard in my own blog today but in a TOTALLY different context.)

And, in case you're interested - in the original book, Mary Ann was the White Rabbit's house maid.

Steven Hartley said...

Eric - I can see why your offput by the colours as well.

Wonderful Soup - Mary Ann was the name of the maid?? I never knew that, that's something I've learnt today!

Loren Broaddus said...

So I'm curious and have always wondered; did Bob Carlson and Bill Justice animate straight ahead? Cause when I looked at Hans Perk's draft for Lady and the Tramp, the siamese cats are animated by John Sibley as well as Justice and Carlson. I just assumed they animated sdtraight ahead because they were animating with a straight ahead guy (Sibley) and that they were mostly put in a straight ahead guy's animation unit (Woolie Reitherman). So are you able to answer my question?

Loren Broaddus said...

So I'm curious and have always wondered; did Bob Carlson and Bill Justice animate straight ahead? Cause when I looked at Hans Perk's draft for Lady and the Tramp, the siamese cats are animated by John Sibley as well as Justice and Carlson. I just assumed they animated sdtraight ahead because they were animating with a straight ahead guy (Sibley) and that they were mostly put in a straight ahead guy's animation unit (Woolie Reitherman). So are you able to answer my question?

Torgo25 said...

The sight of Alice with her arms and legs sticking out of the house is too adorable for words. The Disney artists really flexed their creative muscles with this scene.