Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Alice in Wonderland Mosaic: Part 15

Here is a bit of fun here; and a lot of climaxes here -- yep, this is Alice in the Trial sequence directed by Wilfred Jackson.

I'm afraid that we are getting near the end - and I know that over the recent postings that not an awful lot of commenting happened; but I shall try not worry; because we are getting near the end; and some people may be a  bit tired; or busy for the Christmas holidays; and I will complete this mosaic on Christmas Eve; just in time for Christmas. I hope everyone will have a wonderful Christmas; and I'd be interested in what you did? Anyway, enough with the quote, and more on the commentary:

This sequence here has got some great gags here; and a lot of stuff happening in one sequence; and it lasts roughly 4/5 minutes. Perfect timing to fit for a feature film. However, I've always thought that this sequence was somewhat underrated because; a lot of people sometimes watch the film and don't really finish it; and when when I was younger I have overlooked it quite a lot of times; because when I used to own an old video tape cassette at home; and roughly after the "Painting the Roses Red" song; or in the middle of the "Croquet Game" sequence; I'd move on to the next thing; but I certainly have watched it frame-to-frame a few times; but at times I never saw the proper ending, that's why I don't remember the Mad Hatter or March Hare in this sequence or the Cheshire Cat; probably because I simply forgotten about them.

Watching this sequence is fine; and it all goes by quick and it all goes well. The Queen of Hearts is seen to be the Judge of this case; with the White Rabbit as the clerk or scripture; the King of Hearts is the Prosecutor who asks the witnesses questions; and---are the Caucus racers' on jury duty? Because it looks like them; as we saw them earlier.

More Queen of Hearts is animated by Frank Thomas; and some action scenes by Cliff Nordberg (who handles many characters in this sequence), and Milt Kahl animates more of Alice with two scenes each by Harvey Toombs and the uncredited Ken O'Brien, also a long shot by Don Lusk, and large Alice by Ollie Johnston. White Rabbit by Marvin Woodward and a minor scene by Woolie Reitherman; and Cards by Judge Whitaker and Marvin Woodward. King of Hearts by Ollie Johnston, Hal King, and (shared scenes with Queen), by Frank Thomas, and action scenes by Cliff Nordberg, Jury by an uncredited George Kreisl. Huh, funny enough (as Hans pointed out before), Hal King, actually got to animate the King. HA! I wonder if Hal ever thought of that coincidence.

Wilfred Jackson seems to get a lot of fun in this sequence; and I love the scenes of the Queen of Hearts losing her temper; and Frank Thomas looks like he had fun with the character; and I wonder how he felt animating those scenes, because he took control of the character, and did it his own way. The Queen is really impatient in the Trial because she's waiting for sentencing Alice to be executed; and which isn't fair, and the King was being reasonable by pointing out that they've not asked any witnesses at all, and that's good point because how can a trial work without witnesses. Although, the Queen is just mad with power; and her talent is executing people without trial.

Hal King's King of Hearts works out fine; and he handles the character well; and he does a good job like Ollie Johnston's, although I just think Ollie's King has a little bit more appeal-well; that'll probably not make much of a difference though. In a few scenes of the King by Frank Thomas; notice how that he handles the King with very thin legs, and feet; and it looks as if he's wearing slippers, haw-haw. Again, the King taps the White Rabbit on his shoulder, and waves to the audience and no respect for him. Although, I think one "Hooray" from a guy at the back would be enough for a film; although what I would've liked to see and it's a very old joke, is a guy doing a cough or a sneeze in the background. The animation was reused from the last two sequences, Painting the Roses Red.

Alice (again), is handled brilliantly; she's confident, and more human than any Disney heroine we've seen before; and at times she does make mistake, and she's indeed very naive. Since, when the Queen got a new crown with the beeds, and the beeds turn to the Cheshire Cat's grin, and Alice yells out "CAT", again and then the Queen replies it; when the Dormouse goes around yelling and panicking "cat, cat!!". No guess it was Milt Kahl that character, with brilliant acting scenes, and you know--before making the mosaic I wasn't mad about Kahl's Alice because I didn't look at it properly, and I just chose Les Clark as a favourite, and I have to say (I've changed my mind); I think that my favourite Alice animation out of the entire film has to be Kahl's, for its strong use of appeal and brilliant acting, and also I love how Kahl handled her face and lips, great stuff!

Alas, Cliff Nordberg returns to the film (and did you guys think it would be the end of him in the picture??), well no; he comes back animating the Mad Hatter and March Hare characters; and he does a fine job with the characters. It's full of personality, very lively and great comical performance. I also like his handle for the Queen and King of Hearts, although he only animates those two for action scenes, but let's see if he handles those characters again in the final sequence.

We can see that there are two uncredited animators in this sequence: George Kreisl and Ken O'Brien (whom we have seen earlier in the picture), interesting how Kreisl handles the Jury scenes; and only does three scenes - although it works fine, although I never thought it looked like this came from Alice in Wonderland, those Jury characters reminded me of some cartoons directed by Jack Kinney. Although, Kreisl didn't work for Kinney back then, he was working largely under directors Charles Nichols and Jack Hannah on Pluto, he was one of the many Pluto animators. I'm not really much of a fan of the Jury scenes, even though we don't see much of them, so I don't have much to go on.

Ken O'Brien does two shots of Alice shrinking as she's taunting on the Queen of Hearts calling her "a fat, pompous, bad-tempered old tyrant". Yes, the Queen is a fat, pompous, bad-tempered old tyrant. But, it was a rather foolish thing for Alice to say it at the wrong time because she was shrinking after eating the mushrooms, and she said it at the wrong time.

Oh yes, there are story climaxes here, Alice realises that she still has the mushrooms which she kept in her pockets earlier when the Caterpillar gave her quick advice for her to grow back into normal size. Alice, then eats all the mushrooms, and grows so tall that her head hit the ceiling. Ouch. When Alice is so huge, she seems to lose her fears against the Queen; and it all goes the opposite. Earlier, Alice was afraid of the Queen and the Cards, but now the Queen, King and Cards are afraid of her because of her height, and worry that she'll squash them like a flea or something.

Although, some people may think that there is a story problem because since Alice ate the mushrooms; how did she shrink without eating the other mushroom. Well, I'll explain that: remember when the Caterpillar said about the mushrooms "One side will make you grow smaller, and the other side will make you taller!". Well, in shot 100 when Alice ate both the mushrooms; well I think that explains why! She's ate both mushrooms and then the first time it made her grow TALLER; and then after a few moments, she grows shorter. Does that help you? The story is a complex structure, and Alice eating the mushrooms is philosophical in the story.

The Cheshire Cat once again comes back, and he seems to be mischievous than ever, and betrayed Alice by repeating the mean names Alice called the Queen, which then leads to the Queen's volcanic-temper and the Cards chasing after her so she can be executed in time.

Shot 98 with the Queen ripping the curtain and covered in jam is a very amusing shot.

Marvin Woodward's scenes of the White Rabbit are fine acting; when he's reading the scroll; and it's so long, that the Queen orders him to skip to the very end; when the White Rabbit probably left out the boring, but key parts of the unfair trial.

I want to take a look at two frames, from two different scenes. First, I want to look at how Frank Thomas handles the King of Hearts; even though it's only about two or three scenes; but I notice that the scenes he animates them that he animates the characters with feet; and Ollie Johnston and Hal King never seem to animate the feet in the character. Cliff Nordberg probably adds feet as well. However, the way that Thomas handles the King's feet is so thin and tiny; and it's worth a snigger.

Shot 41. Heh-heh, it looks like the Queen is about to spit at him!

Secondly, notice that in Shot 88, when the March Hare and Mad Hatter tremble over the Queen of Hearts chasing after the panicking Dormouse, and I notice that the March Hare has drawn the back of the Hare's head very thin and small, and I really find that off-putting, seriously, although I guess that Cliff Nordberg (the animator on that scene) had struggles working on the White Rabbit behind or climbing up and that's probably the best he could do.

Shot 88.

I'm afraid that this post is done, and we are very nearing the end. Alice is now in the high jumps, and we will continue with the final adventure.


Eric Noble said...

Milt Kahl definitely gets some good acting with Alice in this scene. Nothing overly cartoony, but its exaggerated enough that it feels human. I will have to see the film again to examine the story structure. Great post.

Steven Hartley said...

I agree with you that it's certainly exaggerated but not cartoonish.

It's good to see that you are really interested in my mosaics, Eric. I wouldn't have been successful without you. Thanks, keep it up!

Eric Noble said...

Well, Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite films. I'm also interested in seeing who animated what in my favorite cartoons. Thank you for putting these up. I'm behind you 100 percent.

Steven Hartley said...

That's fine - and also I'm doing Fantasia next thing - and I'm interested in looking at some of the unknown animators and some underrated talent; and hopefully that will be a success.

Eric Noble said...

I know it will be a success!! I think you should divide the Fantasia mosaics by the individual segments of the film. That way it's easier to go back and examine them.

Steven Hartley said...

Yes, although the draft has the segments divided into small sequences, and I'll do it that way - also the draft has credited all the Deems Taylor introductions.

Torgo25 said...

118.1 is a nicely done shot. I like how Alice looks down at herself and notices that she's back to normal size. She then looks up as if to say, "I'm in for it now..."

Steven Hartley said...

Yeah, that's a fine shot although not my favourite - but it's really worrying for Alice because she's done for!