Friday, 30 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (XIII)

Sequence 20.0 - "Big Town - Dumbo Triumphs"
The second to last sequence directed by Bill Roberts/John Elliotte and layouts by Ernie Nordli, and Les Clark animates both Timothy and Dumbo in this sequence, but mainly earlier on the sequence, and Clark draws Timothy rather differently, and he draws it rather similar to Woolie Reitherman's mouse in Elephants Gossip, and it just looks alike.
This sequence just shows another clowns show and this time the building is much higher and Dumbo has to jump off another building, but his main trick up his sleeve is too...FLY!
Les Clark animates Timothy Mouse pleading Dumbo to fly while he is falling down a high building, and the magic feather has slipped out of Dumbo's trunk. Grant Simmons and Ray Patterson animate the clowns, and its the only sequence which identifies Ray Patterson, while the others had just 'PATTERSON', so IT COULD HAVE BEEN, Ray Patterson animating the clowns the entire time and the elephants collapse after the Pyramid Act stunt went wrong.
[[Addition]]: Notice that when Dumbo flies loop to loop (upside down), wouldn't his hat fall off and Timothy Mouse would have fallen down as well as the hat!
Oh, Berny Wolf gets a shot at this sequence and he animates Dumbo flying up the Peanut Vender and loads his trunk with peanuts, and there are some scenes unnamed in this draft, and I'm guessing that Berny Wolf did some other Dumbo animation in this sequence. Walt Kelly animates the Ringmaster.
An animator that we hardly know about, Frank Grundeen animates some Dumbo close-ups of him flying around the circus, and we know that Frank did animation on the Dance of the Hours segment in Fantasia, and we've also seen that he did some of the fish creatures underwater in Pinocchio.
Sequence 23.0 - "Success Montage"
Nothing much to say about this final sequence...Directed by Ben Sharpsteen, assistant director was Dick Lyford, and layouts not named! And the final sequence on this draft only mentions Don Tobin, Paul Kossoff and John Reed all of whom are effects animators.
However, there's one scene of John Reed animating Mrs. Jumbo waving at Dumbo and the crows in the sky, and maybe John Reed did the rest of the animation, since there are names missing on this sequence!
Nothing special on this sequence...this sequence feels really rushed to me, probably because this sequence was delayed, and Ben was doing all the timing and trying to fix the rest of the stuff.
BUT, as the crows had waved goodbye at Dumbo...One of the crows say at the end, "Aww, we should've got his autograph, oh man I got his autograph--" and then I couldn't even make out what they are saying towards the end, and there's one problem I find about Dumbo...the voices in the film are hard to understand, only a few of the voices: sometimes I couldn't even make out what the Ringmaster was saying, or some of the clowns, and ESPECIALLY...the crows!!
But hey, at least the film was profitable, and it saved some money at the studio, and it freed the animators from animating careful drawings of either Snow White, Pinocchio or Bambi.
That's my talks of Dumbo finished, couldn't find any pictures to go with it...next series: Dunno yet...hoping to do Pinocchio soon, even though I'm pretty much overdue, but Oh well! Sorry I didn't write my Part 2 on the crows...because I couldn't think of anything to say and plus I've got better stuff to do!! Hopefully I'll post it sometime!

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (XII)

This is it...after a while of delay, I'm talking about the crows sequences in the film Dumbo, and in its going to be in two parts One part will be talking about the sequences and animators, and the second part will be about the controversial and stereotypes. I'll have my Blabs on Dumbo stuff finished by August 1.
Sequence 19 - "Up in a Tree"
Sequence 19.1 - "I've Seen Everything song"
Sequence 19.2 - "Dumbo Learns to Fly"
All three sequences were directed by Jack Kinney and the layouts by Don DaGradi and John Hubley, Hubley does layouts for Dumbo Learns to Fly, yes this is becoming quite popular this year, as very early this year, Michael Barrier was doing some talks about the crows.
As we all know, that genius-animator Ward Kimball has been long credited for his work on the crows in this film, and that's something that most animators or animation historians should know about, although when the drafts were posted, it seems that Ward Kimball animated some Timothy and Dumbo shots as well, and some of the shots really looked like Kimball's stuff. Look very carefully at scene 11 on the sequence Up in a Tree, and look at how Ward handles Timothy as well as the crow with the cigar. If you watch it here, you'll see that when Timothy Mouse is snoring, his whiskers move upwards and downwards, which does look a little bit like Kimball's style to me.
This scene of Timothy snoring was animated by Ward Kimball and the cigar-smoke by George Rowley.
Speaking of Rowley, have you actually noticed that in the crows sequences, that a lot of George Rowley's name is in the draft, and that's mainly like the cigar effects and some shadows, he could have been in the onscreen credits, but in the film: effects animators like Josh Meador, Art Palmer and Cy Young, who are only in a few scenes of the draft, and couldn't that have been big effects and the other effects animators that are minor effects: well, some of the uncredited effects animators in this entire draft: Don Tobin, Jerome Brown, Paul Kossoff, Ed Aardal, etc. have got some big effect scenes there but maybe there wasn't enough room for the credits, or could they have been saving money to have little credits?
As well as some Dumbo and Timothy shots by Ward Kimball; Don Towsley (who's worked with Kimball in his Disney years, animated Jiminy Cricket as well, the Beethoven section in Fantasia) Towsley worked close with him on the film, mainly on the crows sequences and he bascially animated the scenes of Timothy and Dumbo walking away from the crows and Tim thinking how they got up the tree, Don probably animated the most famous scene of Dumbo flying the first time.
Both original animation sequences go with the same frame. Animation by Don Towsley.
What I like about this sequence are the puns by the crows, well I like they're puns and the dialogue is quite funny, and when Timothy thought that Dumbo flew up that tree, here's what the crows thought:
'Have you seen an elephant fly?'
'No, but I've seen a horse fly...'
'and I've seen a dragonfly...'
'and I've seen a housefly...'
Well, what about 'I've seen a butterfly', or EVEN, 'I've seen a firefly', maybe the casts didn't want a lot of exaggeration. The song 'When I See an Elephant Fly' is all mainly animated by Ward Kimball except for a scene by Walt Kelly, and Cliff Edwards (voice of Jiminy) has voiced the crow (NOTICE that Ward Kimball animated both characters voiced by Cliff Edwards?), don't forget the composer was actually Oliver Wallace, who went on to do the music for Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, etc. or the voice of Mr. Winkie in the Ichabod and Mr. Toad feature.
I like the crows dances in this song sequence, and I like that small crow with the thick goggly-glasses, and does those funny sound stuff along with Jim Crows a bit like beat-boxing. Oh, I knew that Walt Kelly animated a few scenes of the crows, as it says on his Wikipedia profile.
I almost forgot to mention, that Fred Moore also animates Timothy Mouse (the most appealing and juicy scenes), and he basically animated the mouse telling off the crows, and did some scenes of Timothy woken up by Jim Crow after the cigar puff. Bill Tytla gets one scene in the crows sequences and that's when he attempts to fly and the dust fills the screen.
However, Michael Barrier has a very interesting article, about the talks off the crows with Ward Kimball's, Jack Kinney's and Cliff Edwards' involvement in the sequences.

This photo shows a recording session of Jack Kinney and Cliff Edwards (standing).
That's all with my Part 1 talk about the crows in Dumbo, and part 2 will either be tomorrow or the following day. Patience is a virtue.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

John & Ron

I don't know much about the current Disney directors (but here are all the facts I pretty much know): John Musker & Ron Clements, except that Clement's first screen credit for Disney was as character animator on The Rescuers, and that John Musker's first screen credit was on The Fox and the Hound.


John Musker (left) and Ron Clements (right). Smiling chaps!
However (I think) the two together became partners and went on to make their first-feature: The Great Mouse Detective, and the film was pretty much unsuccessful and it was made at that Disney period when the films weren't making a lot of money and it just brought back the film's budget, but the BIG bomb was The Black Cauldron which lost money. But I quite like The Great Mouse Detective and the film was inspired by veteran Disney story man and brother-in-law relative of the man Walt Disney, and that person was Bill Cottrell, and according to Disney Legends, Cottrell was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and Musker and Clements made it into a film, using rats and mice as the characters which is quite clever!
After, The Great Mouse Detective; both directors went on started production on The Little Mermaid and the film was actually in production during the Walt Disney years, and when illustator Kay Nielson was around working on the Fantasia segment Night on Bald Mountain, Kay did some conceptual designs on the early Mermaid production, here it is!
That's Kay Nielson's design on the Little Mermaid back around very late 30's/40's. However, Ron and John used some of Kay's original designs and started work on the film, and it wasn't released until 1989 (some 50 years after Walt adapted the rights!!!)
However, the Little Mermaid proved to be successful and it won 2 Academy Awards for Best Music and Best Song (The 2nd of the Disney films to win those categories, other being Pinocchio, others being Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, I think).

The Little Mermaid is okay to me, I mean the songs have mood and some catchy stuff, but too me, the dialogue is really weak and not very strong, however some story stuff is fine, and its just an ordinary, manufactured film I think, but it has its moments, despite some annoying moments. But it prove the Disney Company to be a success, so I might be wrong.
I find the character design of Ariel really look and she really is nice-looking even though she's just a cartoon drawn by the supervising animator, Glen Keane. The Little Mermaid isn't bad, but it was a big improvement from the other Disney films in the 1980's.
--
After the success of The Little Mermaid, Ron Clements and John Musker went on to start working on their third feature, Aladdin, and to tell you the truth: I find Aladdin the best of the John & Ron films, I find some of the jokes very funny and I find the Genie played by Robin Williams one of the funniest characters ever, and he has a very good caricature of other famous celebrities like he portraits a wrestler, fashion designer, Joan Rivers even!, etc.
However, the songs are really catchy and a big upbeat, and I believe it was the last film to be worked by songwriter, Howard Ashman who died in 1991 before the film was released of complications of HIV/AIDS. RIP.
I think that Aladdin was an improvement from The Little Mermaid, with fine animation from both Mermaid and Aladdin, and I think they've marked a great era for Disney. Aladdin, AGAIN won 2 Academy Awards for the same categories (Best Original Score and Best Song)
However, as for the other films like Hercules, Treasure Planet and Princess and the Frog? Well, Hercules was quite good with some funny humor in it, and I don't have much to say about it, since I'm too keen on it and its sort of an update from Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, Treasure Island.
However, as their lastest film The Princess and the Frog, the truth is I've not seen that film in the cinema or in DVD, and to be honest with you, I'm not really that interested in watching it, since I don't go to the cinemas all the time and I've got better stuff to do, and it just doesn't appeal to me, like people say: you can't judge the book by its cover, well...That's what I'm doing. Hoping to see Toy Story 3 when it reaches cinemas in the UK.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Peet's Claims

My fingers are now better, and I'm going to put the crows sequence from Dumbo shelved for a while, and its the summer holidays for me, so I'm able to do more posts throughout the summer!
However, I'm going to talk about the same topic on Dumbo, but instead its about Bill Peet's involvement on the film, and as you know you're probably familiar with Michael Sporn's postings about Bill Peet doing storyboards on the Dumbo bathing sequence.
BUT, you're all mostly familiar with the Bill Peet interview on Hoagan's Alley, and on Bill Peet's website and here's what he said in his interview with Michael Barrier in 1978:
"The thing was, I was a circus buff, so Dumbo was great chance for me to get in and do a lot of boards. That was the first time Walt really noticed my work. Since I knew the circus, and had done so much sketching at the circus, the old big top circus, I just loved working on that thing."
Obviously, Bill Peet enjoyed himself working on the film, and you're probably familiar with his claims on re-animating a Bill Tytla scene, now...at the time Bill Tytla was the top animator, and nobody could top him then, but Bill did mention that he had no expierence of animating elephants, and here are the claims in Hogan Alley's interview:
Walt got a little stingy with us on Dumbo because they had a showpiece with Bambi. They could play around with little things like the raindrops. Beautiful, but slow and expensive. We weren’t allowed any trimmings. Bambi was a wedding cake. Dumbo was one layer with a little bit of icing. Ours was more successful because it had common appeal, even though the animation was crude in some places. Dumbo didn’t make big money. It had only cost $800,000, so all it had to do to make its cost back was go a little over $1 million. The other features had cost $3 million, plus the cost of the prints, and with no foreign market because of the war.
I like how Bill Peet said that Bambi was a gorgeous beautiful wedding-cake, and very glamorous, while Dumbo was just an ordinary small cake with little icing with nothing special on it! Good one, Bill ;)
PROVINCE: Two of the best, Bill Tytla and Fred Moore, worked on Dumbo.
PEET: People were always amazed at Bill Tytla, that he could draw the giant devil for “Night On Bald Mountain,” and the giant in “Brave Little Tailor;” these ponderous, muscled characters, and then do this little elephant. After he got his first scene on Dumbo, he passed me in the hall and said, “Y’know, Bill, I can’t draw these goddamned little elephants. If I send Nick [his assistant] up with the scene, would you see if you could work it out?” Nick brought up this stack of drawings, Bill’s scene where the elephants first appear was just a mess. So I went over every one of them, probably a couple of hundred drawings, every damned frame in the picture, and redrew the whole scene. They shot the pencil test and showed it to Walt. He was ecstatic! Nick came up and told me, “Walt loved that thing, and I want to shake your hand!” Well, Bill never bothered to thank me, Walt either.
However, I don't know who Nick the assistant is, but all I can say is that I don't think Bill Peet was actually reanimating all of Tytla's scenes, since most of the Dumbo stuff looks like Tytla and plus the draft would actually mention any artists who would have reanimated anything, and...NOPE! I don't see Bill Peet's name in that draft, but could all of the BG Morgue drafts be true? However, we have heard about Hans Perk's mentions about Frank Thomas planning the entire 'Fun in the Snow' sequence and yet Frank Thomas was only mentioned in a few scenes? Now, who did do the rest of the animation, if Frank did very little?
However, there's this picture of Bill Peet that looks like he's doing an animation test on Dumbo being pulled by Mrs. Jumbo's trunk. A BIG maybe that he drew some Dumbo poses or some tests and then Bill Tytla reanimated his scenes, but I think Bill Peet over-exaggerated about reanimating, but could this photograph have anything to do with the claims in his interview.
---
WAIT!!! This isn't it, Bill Peet mentioned in his interview about Fred Moore and its another claim of reanimating about Freddie's drawings, and this time its on the sequence with Timothy Mouse being drunk after being mistaken with alcohol and thought it was drinking water. Now, Fred's animation is recognisable and we all know his long time credit on animating Timothy Mouse and Bill Peet (I think) over-exaggerated BIG TIME!
Again, at the time who could top Fred Moore or Bill Tytla, they were like the Albert Einstein of Golden-Age of Hollywood Animation, and Bill Peet was at the time just an ordinary sketch-artist who wouldn't receive a lot of recognition in later films! Here's what Bill had to say about Fred Moore:
PROVINCE: Fred Moore is often described as the boy genius of the studio.
PEET: There’s nobody that good. He was a great Mickey Mouse artist (true you know). He had the juices and was very creative. He created the dwarfs for Snow White, and he had a real loose, natural style and was a natural for animation. He gave a new flexibility to the whole art of animation. I think he was too young when he hit his peak, for one thing. He was only twenty-four. Freddy drank himself out of sight and got a little bit cocky and thought he was too good for the whole thing. He would hardly do any drawing, and his assistants would cover up for him. He thought you could draw and drink and you can’t do that. I worked on the mouse [in Dumbo] a lot for Freddy. It was his last big animation assignment. Ironically it was the drunken mouse scene. The champagne bottle falls into the tub of water, and the bubble comes up and then the mouse falls into the tub. Freddy just couldn’t draw a mouse that didn’t look like Mickey. It was so ingrained in him after drawing just thousands of them. The nose was too round, so I went over Freddy’s things including the storyboards. Freddy did a fine animation job on it, but I refined his drawings so they looked like Timothy. That was the last thing he ever did and it turned out to be one of his best jobs. Walt let him go on for a long time after that until it got to be too much. He went over to Walter Lantz and couldn’t handle it over there either. He later died in an automobile accident.
And yet, there'e no proof of how Bill Peet could have reanimated a the drunk mouse scene, and I think its too much pressure and exaggeration, however he was right that Fred Moore left Disney to work for Walter Lantz briefly on Woody Woodpecker, and unfortunately Fred had a hard time at Lantz and he hardly got any credit on the Woody shorts (mind you, I don't even know what Woody stuff he animated), and he was correct that when Fred sadly died in November 23, 1952 when he was killed in a car collision. Gosh, what a talented animator Fred Moore has been. So anyway it couldn't have been Bill Peet.
However, (this is my opinion about Fred), of course Fred Moore has been a star at Disney ever since he first came and became the Mickey Mouse celebrity, and he was assigned to Animation Supervision on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and where he animated the lovable seven dwarfs (well, I don't know about Grumpy being lovable), and when he went to work on Pinocchio to animate Lampwick and a bit of Gepetto, and I think that at that point, Fred Moore was doing less animation at the studio and features probably ruined his career, because on Pinocchio he animated 40 scenes in the picture (compare it to the other animation supervisors on the film - he did the least animation amongst the Animation Directors), and I think that animating Timothy Mouse was his last BIG assignment as Bill Peet said and Dumbo is a short film and I think Fred Moore did much of the work in the film. 64 Minutes long the film is and Fred Moore did 34 scenes in the picture which was lot of work for him in this one-hour film.
However, during the 1940's Disney years, he did some work on the package films, and in 1946 he was one of the many people to lose their jobs in the lay-offs, and he worked for Walter Lantz briefly and working there didn't work out right for poor Fred and returned to Disney a year later and was demoted as 'character animator' on Alice in Wonderland and animated oysters; then animated the mermaids in Peter Pan.
Ward Kimball mentioned Fred Moore in later years of his short life that he became rather depressed: there's a bit of Ward Kimball's interview on Fred Moore on Steve Hulett's interview:
Fred would hit a pose and just freeze there and while we were already loosening those things up and putting in the subtle things that would keep [the animation] alive a long time. That’s what I meant, that at that time Fred was drinking heavily, and I was secretly going in with his exposure sheets and adding these other little drawings that would make them work with the rest of the animation that was being done on the picture.
And more and more, Fred became defensive, and hitting the bottle and feeling sorry for himself. He’d come back from lunch and would want to talk about it, and of course we didn’t want to talk about it. And he wanted to talk about it every afternoon, how the place was giving him a bad deal, and all that, and Walt wasn’t good to him any more.

We just felt sorry for him. We didn’t know what to do and all of a sudden ... you know his brother and father, they had the same drinking problem. We didn’t know that. We’d all go out and have a martini, and with Fred it would become an obsession. And it became an escape when he couldn’t handle the situation in the studio.
Bless that man. <:(
[[Addition]]: Michael Barrier emailed me about Bill Peet's claims, and his thoughts were that he thought that Bill Peet didn't animate any Tytla scenes, but probably helped Tytla with the animation, since there is a BIG difference between drawing and animation.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Finger Injury

The Blabs on Dumbo series will conclude next weekend with the crows, and and I'm hoping sooner I'll post a new series called Blabs on Pinocchio.
However, today while I was cycling on my bike, while on the way home I was justing turning round the corner and then I accidentally crashed into another cycler and we both fell on the pavement, we were both fine but my seat was twisted and my fingers are injured and I think my nose was bruised, and I helped myself with plasters!
So, because of my injury I don't feel like posting my talk about the crows sequence in Dumbo.
[[Addition]]: Huh, strange enough; today at my school, I was doing a rounders tournament with my team, and I was the only member in my team with in injury and I was capable of playing, and we had three games, and I was the only member in my team to score a rounder in all three games!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (XI)

How d'you do?

Well, to be honest with all of you all, I'm pretty suprised by a lack of comments while I'm reviewing the Dumbo draft, and is it because I'm boring you? Or is it because they're not as informative as Hans Perk's, Mark Mayerson's, Michael Barrier's or even Michael Sporn's postings!

Well, to tell you all, I try my best to keep my postings interesting and I try my very best to put pictures up to go with my series of postings, its not always that easy! But, I'm not giving up because I'm still counting on all of you, so I'll still continue my series on the Blabs on Dumbo.


Sequence 16.0. - "Clown Sequence"

As you know, so far that Bill Roberts and Al Zinnen are taking over the films and just like Wilfred Jackson and Terrell Stapp earlier on, and its bascially a continuation from the other clown sequence (Sequence 14.1. - "Clowns Celebrate"), the cowns are still in silhouette and this time the animation of the clowns is done by Art Babbitt.

However, I have read somewhere that Art Babbitt did animation of the clowns and I don't remember where? But, I was originally expecting to be continued with Berny Wolf doing the clowns, but I must be mistaken.
However, in the draft there are two clowns that are called Frank and Ollie, and could it be referring to two close-friend animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston? Anyway, I don't know, and this sequence is basically about the clowns developing a new clown performace and a higher building for Dumbo to jump in.
Bottle fallen into the tub of water by Josh Meador and Art Palmer.


Sequence 17 - "Hiccups and Cure"

This sequence is now taken by Norm Ferguson and Ken O'Connor since Roberts/Zinnen are now having a break, since Jackson/Stapp have already taken the exit door as well as Sam Armstrong has.

Animation mainly by two supervising animators John Lounsbery and Fred Moore, and Fred Moore does the best Timothy animation in this sequence, animating the scenes of Fred Moore and the bubbles, (can't find a picture to go with it!)

However, in Hoagan's Alley with Bill Peet's interview, Bill Peet claims that he had gone through the sequence with Timothy Mouse and the bubbles, because he says that Fred Moore couldn't draw a different mouse without looking like Mickey.

However, the pink elephants are animated by Howard Swift, and towards the end of the sequence, the scenes seemed to have been jumbled up with the effects credited as 'MUSIC ROOM', and some scenes not attributed at the final pages.

Harvey Toombs animates the last scene of this sequence with Timothy's line, 'You see what I see?'


Sequence 18 - "Pink Elephants"
Look out, look out! The elephants are on parade!

Directed by Norm Fergusoson and laid out by Ken O'Connor, and please check on Hans Perk's posting on this sequence here, and as you can see that the Pink Elephants draft has ONLY one page and the rest of the info is missing and that's a real shame, because there are only two animators so far and only that are Hicks Lokey and Howard Swift, but Swift had already done quite a bit of animation earlier, and Hicks Lokey probably did a bit more animation later on, and I'm guessing animators like Van Kaufman, Ray Patterson or (Warren, Don) Schloat might have had something to do in this sequence, but who knows?

I sure wish that there was more info because its one of my favourite sequences in the film, and of course I think that the whole situation is a bit silly since it goes a bit off the plot at some points, but I think it still works
in many ways.

However, I wonder if the rest of the sequence would appear in Mark Mayerson's mosaics, even though there is SO many parts of the sequence missing, but who knows? Does anyone here who owns the Pink Elephants draft have the rest of the info?

Friday, 16 July 2010

Movie Countdown

As I'm still continuing with my posts, and I'm going to be posting some of my favourite all-time films, and you probably know my favourite all-time already, as I mentioned that film in my review, so I'm just going to sit back and count down my favourite all-time films that I've ever seen! However, I'm not going to do too-long reviews, because I want to save some space.

So...I'm here to present Steven's Top 10 Favourite Movies!


10) There's Something About Mary
Funny, very funny crude jokes, good performances, and every single one of the casts deserve praise in this film because I think they all did brilliantly, I think its hard to tell who was the best actor in this film since they all did well in this film!


9) Jaws
Original score, good adaptation from Peter Benchley's novel (I have read the book), and one of Steven Spielberg's first successful films to make him powerful! Although special-effects may be a little cheesy today, but it was an achievement back in 1975.


8) E.T. the Extra Terrestrial
A lot of mixtures in this film: its charming, original, warm-hearted, funny and some sad parts in this film, its certainly 'must watch' to everyone who hasn't seen it, because its quite simply one of the greatest films of all time!


7) Valkyrie
Interesting film which tells you about the facts about the last of the 15 assassination attempts to kill Adolf Hitler. There may be some boring moments, but I'd tell you there are a lot of amazing stuff in this film. Recommended to historians and Tom Cruise fans.


6) Forrest Gump
Tom Hank's best performance I've ever seen, I really like the life of Forrest since everybody thought he was really stupid but Forrest proved them wrong since he could do so many talented things that no man could have done like Forrest Gump.

Memorable story, great acting, strong performances and one of Robert Zemeckis' bests!


5) Pinocchio
Thought you might have guessed that? I think its easily Walt Disney's greatest film. Why? because I think the story for this film is very good, and the voices are just the right matches, the music's brilliant and I think its a rather much more darker and stronger than Disney's predecessor, Snow White. The film has probably one of the best animation that's ever been put in the film, and everybody who worked in this film deserved rightful praise and its a shame the film wasn't a hit when its first release.


4) Airplane!
One of the funniest films that I've ever seen: funny jokes, funny dialogues, funny storyline, funny casts, funny writing, about everything in this film is FUNNY!! One of the first and greatest spoof films that I've seen and to tell you the truth, I actually like spoof or parody films, I just think they are clever and I would actually like to
see an entire Disney spoof.

By the time you reach the ending credits, you'll be disappointed!


3) From Russia with Love
I like a lot of the James Bond films, parcticually the Sean Connery films (TENNISH?? I don't have my racket! - Sean Connery), and however its the second of the James Bond films and the first being Dr. No, and the Bond films were based on Ian Fleming's novels (which I haven't read).

What I really like about the film is the song of the same title by Matt Monroe who has a beautiful voice, and I like the film's setting, the story and I like the villian in the film named Rosa Klebb and she has a sharp needle on her shoe and kicks people with them on the shin which must hurt!


2) The Graduate
This film really suits me and really got into me when I first saw it, and it was one of Dustin Hoffman's earliest movies and the film has got a funny anecdote, which I mean has a strange storyline and is rather much different than other films I've came across, but I like something different.

One of the film's highlights are the songs by Simon & Garfunkel and they are one of my favourite songs in there!


and the number 1 film is...Kes
That's right, I thought you'd guessed it, but that's not my problem, I really love that film because it has a very strong storyline and a very powerful ending with brilliant acting from a lot of the lesser known actors in this film, and I think its a film that deserved more recognition and anyone who is reading this right now and hasn't seen it...WATCH IT!

Well, that's my long list of favourite films completed and I hope you enjoyed sitting around reading this! Please comment...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (X)


Hello everyone, as today is a special today since Holland vs. Spain is playing for the FIFA World Cup Final tonight, I'm going to post four sequences today (double the amount I usually do)

Sequence 14 - "Fireman Save My Child"

Its the first sequence to be directed by Bill Roberts (and John Elliotte) and layouts by Ernie Nordli, and its one of my favourite sequences in this film! Why? because I think its very entertaining, well animated, and great gags in this small sequence, but I do feel sorry for poor Dumbo. :(

Both animators on the clowns are Grant Simmons and Ray Patterson, and both became partners afterwards and they both went on to work for MGM, and both went on to form the Grant-ray Lawrence Animation Studio (Grant-ray as in Grant Simmons and Ray Patterson's first name).

However, Simmons and Patterson do really good work on the clowns, and I think Ray Patterson does the most good work on the clowns, and Les Clark animates Dumbo.

However, I knew before that the animators were casted in this sequence because there is a Dailymotion video of this sequence here, but in this video: It only identifies that Ray Patterson animated the clowns and Les Clark animating Dumbo and probably didn't realise that Grant Simmons worked in this sequence.


A scene of the clown with a sausage by Ray Patterson.

However, I'm surprised that no effects animation is credited in this sequence, and I've guessed that Dan MacManus had a bit to do in this sequence, of the fire effects in this sequence, if you look at his later stuff, you'll recognise that the fire effects are simaliar to the Dumbo fire effects!

Oh, ever notice that animator on Jiminy Cricket, John Elliotte is credited with co-director Bill Roberts, and John Elliotte was an animator around that time and its interesting to see him sharing his sequences with Bill Roberts.


Sequence 14.1 - "Clowns Celebrate"

A small sequence directed (again) by Bill Roberts and John Elliotte and layouts by Al Zinnen, it makes sense that Bill Roberts and an Al Zinnen sequence (via Pinocchio).

However, the clowns are animated in silhouette and the clowns here are animated all by Berny Wolf, and (again) I knew that Berny Wolf animated this sequence, since Cartoon Brew did a dedication on Bernard Wolf (1911-2006) that Berny Wolf did this animation in silhouette, and I usually always thought that an effects artist would do silhouette people, but maybe Berny Wolf animated the clowns with their facial appearance and then got the Ink and Painters to shade in the clowns.

After all, Berny Wolf is credited on a few scenes in this film (7 scenes), and one scene with no silhouette and that's when Dumbo sniffs peanuts up his trunk from Peanut Vender, in the sequence, (Big Town - Dumbo Triumphs), and there are some unassigned scenes in this sequence, so maybe Berny did more scenes.


Sequence 14.2. - "Timothy and Dumbo Visit Mother in Jail"

The third sequence in a row with Bill Roberts and John Elliotte directing and layouts by Al Zinnen.
A rather emotional sequence, and we start off with some John Lounsbery scenes and Bill Tytla does Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo very well and its the first sequence with Fred Moore animating Fred Moore, however Fred's scenes are fairly recognisable, and its suprising that a lot of effects animators are in this small sequence: Art Palmer, Ed Aardal, Cornett Wood, George Rowley, Jim Escalante, Paul Kossoff, William Wilson, Jerome Brown and Miles Pike. Nine effects artists on a small sequence.

However, the sequence starts off with John Lounsbery and then Lounsbery steps and the stars Fred Moore and Bill Tytla take over the animation.


Sequence 15.0 - "Lullaby Sequence"

At the moment; Bill Roberts, John Elliotte and Al Zinnen are running a marathon of directing sequences, and Roberts seems to have directed much later sequences.

A rather emotional sequence and the animation of Bill Tytla is timeless and the song is pretty strong and well setup, and Timothy Mouse is animated by Fred Moore, and the animals animated by Bob Youngquist, Harvey Toombs, Ed Aardal and (John, Hazel?) Sewell.


(Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo animated by Bill Tytla)

Its clever, of how the elephants communicate with their trunks, like when Dumbo wipes his tears with his mum's trunk and he sits on her trunk and swings like a mother pushing a cradle.

However, according to Alberto's page, it says that on Eric Larson's page, he seems to have been credited for this sequence, and since he's not credited on any scenes in this film (he could well have animated the unassigned scenes, who knows?)

Inbetweener: DISNEY 1 June 33-July 33
Assistant Animator: DISNEY July 33-34 [Assistant to Ham Luske]
Animator: DISNEY 34-73 (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 37 [Forest Creatures], Donald Duck 39 [The Hockey Champ], Dumbo 41 [Lullaby sequence], Three Is a Family 44, The Three Caballeros 45 [Aracuan bird], Make Mine Music 46 [Sasha in Peter and the Wolf], Kids Is Kids 61, The Sword in the Stone 63, Mary Poppins 64, Rag a Bone and A Box of Junk 64, The Jungle Book 67, The Aristocats 70, Bedknobs and Broomsticks 71, Robin Hood 73)
Supervising Animator: DISNEY (Fantasia 40 [Centaurs and Centaurettes in Pastoral Symphony])
Directing Animator: DISNEY (Pinocchio 40 [Figaro], Bambi 42 [Friend Owl], Song of the South 46, Melody Time 48, Cinderella 50 [Cinderella], Alice in Wonderland 51 [Caterpillar], Peter Pan 52 [Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and Darling Children’s Flight], Lady and the Tramp 55 [Peg], 101 Dalmatians 61)
Sequence Director: DISNEY c56-58 (Sleeping Beauty 59)
Title Designer: DISNEY c76 (The Rescuers 77)
Animation Consultant: DISNEY c82-85 (The Black Cauldron 85, The Great Mouse Detective 86)

However, I thought he animated the animals sleeping in this sequence, and nope I don't see Eric Larson in this draft...BUT, what I do see is Bob Youngquist credited on this draft and on the Internet Movie Database credits, he is credited as an uncredited animator for Bambi, and maybe Larson was supervising the animals in this sequence, and they do look like Larson's animation to me, ever notice in the first sequence of the giraffe walking about of the bundle and almost trips is exactly like Bambi's walk (was it a reuse or an original drawing?), that could have prove that Eric Larson could have been involved in this production.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (IX)

I'll do more Blabs on Dumbo postings!

Sequence 11.3. - "Sad Casey"

A very small sequence directed by Sam Armstrong and layout by Dick Kelsey, and only one scene in this sequence of Casey Junior in the rain animated by Don Tobin, rather dark and well set-up, and its not really much of a sequence with just one scene in a sequence, I think it could have gone with the sequence I'll explain soon, Gossips Disown Dumbo.

However, I think that truth to say that Sam Armstrong was just directing a few sequence, since he was working on Bambi around that period, BUT don't forget that Bill Roberts did a lot of sequences in this film, and yet worked on Bambi.

However, I think that Sam Armstrong was directing the Casey Junior scenes and it was good for him to fill in some of the Dumbo stuff, and Sam Armstrong was probably just helping out for the film.


Sequence 12.0. - "Gossips Disown Dumbo"

This is the seventh (and last) sequence to be directed by Wilfred Jackson and layouts by Terrell Stapp.
However, it seems that the Gossip elephants are all injured after their big fall and collapse from the circus, and they all start to give poor Dumbo the blame until he got fixed good and became a clown!! Poor Dumbo, it wasn't his fault he damaged the circus tents, almost killed the elephants, and ruined the Ringmaster's idea. Blame his gigantic ears for goodness sake, they are the ones that started his life a misery, the ears got him teased and his mother into prison, and it got the pyramid destroyed! BUT, later his ears actually come in handy!!

All animation by Bill Tytla.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (VIII)

Two sequences today:

Sequence 10.0. - "Ringmaster's Idea for Pyramid Act"

Another sequence directed by Wilfred Jackson and laid out by Terrell Stapp, and so far, they have been in four sequences in a row with two other sequences earlier, they are running a marathon!

However, it starts off with the Ringmaster the janitor named Joe and they are in a tent discussing ideas for a pyramid of pachyderms! Silhouette animation by Walt Kelly who communicates the characters brilliantly, even though I'm not much of a Kelly fan!

However, Dumbo and Timothy Mouse are animated by Milt Neil, and its rather strange from two sequences earlier (Elephants Gossip), and Milt Neil animates Dumbo crying and then goes right to Timothy Mouse in the next sequence, I find that rather odd!

However, the first half of the sequence is credited to Kelly and Neil, and in the draft; the second half of the sequence is not credited to any of the animators because I really wanted to know who does those scenes, and its a rather disappointment! I'm guessing that Walt Kelly or Milt Neil did those scenes or maybe Woolie Reitherman had a bit to do with it!

Timothy under the bed sheets is drawn rather strangely (Look at Mark Mayerson's mosaics on this sequence), and Timothy is drawn a rather lot taller, and slimmer and he sort of looks a like Marvin the Martian (Looney Tunes character), and the Jawa people from Star Wars.


See what I mean?




Sequence 11 "Pyramid Act"

A sequence that's directed by Norm 'Fergie' Ferguson and layouts by Ken O'Connor, a change from Jackson and Stapp.

However, there are quite a lot of animation on this sequence: Howard Swift (Ringmaster), Hugh Fraser (Elephants forming pyramid), John Lounsbery (Dumbo and Timothy), Warren Schloat (Elephants collapsing), Either Ray or Don Patterson doing elephants, Ed Dunn, Van Kaufman and Basil Davidovich. Effects by Brad Case, Cornett Wood, Jim Escalante, Jack Gayek, Art Palmer and George Rowley.

There's a lot of wonderful animation in this big sequence, and Hugh Fraser and Warren Schloat do the film's best animation and Warren Schloat is a mystery animator who does a good job on animating the elephants collapsing, and Hugh Fraser does great job of the elephants making the pyramid. Its the first sequence with John Lounsbery credited for Timothy Mouse and Dumbo, and John does a marvellous job on animating Dumbo running up to the springboard and the elephant's ears into a knot loosens!

However, couldn't 'SCHLOAT' be Don Schloat because on the Internet Movie Database, Don Schloat is credited for the cartoon, Pluto's Playmate and a lot of the animators on this sequence also worked on this Pluto short, including Van Kaufman, Ed Dunn, Basil Davidovich, etc. So could that be Don Schloat instead of Warren Schloat, quite a confusion.

However, as there have been debates on both Mark Mayerson and Hans Perk's websites, on whenever or not who 'PATTERSON' is, of course, its understandable that it is confusing. But, this sequence was directed by Norm Ferguson and Fergie worked on the 'Dance of the Hours' segment in Fantasia, and Ray Patterson also worked on that segment animating the elephants in Fantasia, and I was going by sequence director, and John V. was reasonable in the comments of Mayerson on Animation, that Ray Patterson's animation appears in Bill Roberts' sequences in this film along with his long-time animation partner, Grant Simmons. Of course, John has a point, and its hard to identify.

However, on the Internet Movie Database credits for Playful Pluto, we do see some animators in this sequence on this cartoon short, and if look at it, you'll see that Don Patterson worked on the Pluto short, and he could well have done work on this sequence as well, who knows? We did see him animating Pinocchio and Gepetto in the raft in a Pinocchio sequence during the Whale Chase.

So I don't know, its also likely that Don Patterson could have worked on that sequence, since he had very little animation throughout the film. So, I'm going to assume that it will be Don Patterson.

However, effects animation are very good and I case the effects by Art Palmer when the tent collapses and everyone runs off and Brad Case does good jobs of the tents falling. However, Van Kaufman (an underrated animator) does a very good job with the elephants falling after they hit Dumbo with a ball!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Blabs on Dumbo (VII)

Hello people,
On this occasion, I'll talk a bit about Dumbo, and this post it will be two sequences.

Sequence 07.0 - "Elephants Gossip"

A sequence with Wilfred Jackson and Terrell Stapp with very little effects animation in it, apart from the the first scenes of Mrs. Jumbo depressed by Bill Shull and Dan MacManus animates the effects of the bars in shadows, and its quite an emotional start and towards the end of the sequence, it gets a bit entertaining.

However, before I saw the draft, I thought that it was Bill Tytla animating Dumbo really sad and I didn't know who did the elephants! However, Bill Tytla does the acting scenes, and Milt Neil does a good job on animating little Dumbo, since he doesn't move a lot while he's crying, and its good for just an animator, since usually one of the prime animators would do these carefully drawings of people who don't move a lot.

AGAIN, Bill Tytla animates the elephants rather stragely, its just those smiles that puts me off, for some strange reason, I really don't know why! Timothy Mouse first comes up to the screen and is animated by Woolie Reitherman in this sequence, and I think he handled Tim wonderfully, appealing look, well drawn!!

However, as the Gossip elephants reject Dumbo and he walks away from them all lonely, and then Bill Shull takes over the elephants all frightened, and we continue Woolie Reitherman's mouse with some very entertaining scenes, and the scene where Tim turns around in a Napolean pose is rather a good caricature.


Sequence 09.0 - "Timothy Befriends Dumbo"

This sequence continues from Wilfred Jackson doing directing and Terrell Stapp doing layouts, and what's very strange is that Jaxon had directed a lot of sequences in the film (mainly early stuff), and none of his sequences contain any musical songs, apart from a Stork singing a brief 'Happy birthday' to Mrs. Jumbo's little pachyderm.

However, this sequence is basically got most of Woolie Reitherman's work in it, escept for the scenes of Dumbo in haystack by effects artist Jerome Brown, a scene of Dumbo by Bill Tytla, and two scenes of Tim by Milt Neil.


However, Woolie does also animate some Dumbo scenes and he does handle both characters very well, and what's strange is that all of Woolie's animation has appeared in Wilfred Jackson's sequences, and usually it appears in Bill Robert's stuff! I mean, look at the Pinocchio draft, you'll see that Most of Woolie's stuff is in Bill Robert's sequences, and in Fantasia's The Rite of Spring, and in that it was directed by Bill Roberts/Paul Satterfield and Woolie Reitherman did the dinosaur (terrible lizard) stuff!

However, there are some good stuff in this, and the scene of when Dumbo lifts his head from haystack and reveals some type of chinese hat is very funny!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Review: Kes



Kes is a wonderful British-film that was released in 1969, based on the classic book: A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines (I think its a very well-written and structured book), however what I really like about Kes, is its strong narrative and the characters' personalities are just perfect even though its very unpleasant.
Directed by Ken Loach who also directed Cathy Come Home at the time, and when Loach adapted the rights, Barry Hines wanted the film to be as close as the book and not to be turned into a Walt Disney and his pet type story.
However, the plot focuses on a rather very skinny (skinny as a rake) 16 year-old named Billy Casper from Barnsley, Yorkshire, who has an older brother named Judd who treats him like hell and is a very horrible brother you can imagine, and Billy lived with his rather in a poor-conditioned house with his brother and mother, and the mother never cared for her two sons, and the father ran away from home years ago.
Billy had a very difficult life and he was weeks from finishing school, and was already in hope of becoming a 'coal miner' and he was really not looking forward at 'going down pit'. However, he had no interests and he could be better off dead, but all that turns around when he finds a kestrel (bird) in its nest, and then found himself with an interest, and has a wonderful relationship in training the kestrel and flying with the bird as a hobby, and he has hopes that his life will turn round, and for the first time, Billy received praise from his English teacher, Mr. Farthing (Colin Welland; wrote screenplay for Chariots of Fire), and one day when his older brother, Judd asked him to place a bet on a horse, but Billy didn't think the horse would win so he bought fish 'n chips, but the hose did win! Judd, furious, kills Billy's kestrel, and the film sadly ends with Billy's life back to normal and a horrible life.
A rather strong and emotional story and its tragic ending, and its just a storyline like a boy finds a hobby for the first time and then at the end it goes back to normal.
However, there are some comedy parts like the PE teacher named, Mr. Sudgen (Brian Glover), and he was really funny because during their football game, he thought he was as good as old legendary footballers like Denis Law or Bobby Charlton, and it wasn't true, and he was rubbish. However, Billy Casper had to be in goal and he was worthless at football, and when he missed the ball, there was a scene of where Billy Casper was climbing on the goal posts, and it was quite funny to watch!
Sorry for giving away the main parts, but you should really watch the film on DVD, haven't seen it? GET IT here! When it first came out in 1969 in England, it had its success, and at times, the book A Kestrel for a Knave was one of the books that schools had to read it, and I first read it earlier this year and I really liked it, and I can't tell which is better, the book or the film! They're both great and I can't say which is better.
POSTER: A very good poster line, and very much overlooked!


Many of the actors from Kes, never did anything else afterwards, I mean the main star of the film who played Billy (David Bradley) hardly did anything afterwards, and the only people who seemed to have continued afterwards were Colin Welland (who went on to write the screenplay and win an Oscar in Chariots of Fire) and British actor, Brian Glover. About all the actors in Kes, had never been on a motion picture before, and it was their first and only time in the screen, since Barry Hines wrote in his Afterword in my book of a Kestrel for a Knave that he wanted a low budget, no stars, no sex or no violence.
However, Kes I think has to be my all-time favourite film even though after its tragic ending, however there have been debates that in America the film should be subtitled because they couldn't understand their English accent, and I think the film is just as good as the film should be.
Kes has found itself in vogue at times and I think that in the future it could happen again!
Billy Casper will live-on!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Pinocchio Casting (Advertisement from 1940) (II)

Hey all,

Its that time of week again, and I'm glad I've got a new comment from an 'Anonymous' person, at least!
However, at the moment I see that Hans Perk is over the moon that Holland are through the semi-finals and they beat Brasil, and back at England, our victory is gone since Germany defeated us 4-1, however at school, we have a FIFA World Cup 2010 chart and we all have a country, and at the moment, my country is Argentina and they are playing against Germany tomorrow, so I'm praying for Argentina.

Anyway, back to the Pinocchio post, before I get a bit off topic.

However, on the Cartoon Brew website, I've noticed that they've posted an 'ad trade' for the 1940 Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, and it was published in March 4, 1940, and it was posted on the website in May 12, 2009, and I'd like to post them again to explain and review the ad.
That's the first image of the ad trade and Walt Disney thanked his artists for their wonderful work on the film, and would like to have liked to have thanked them, and even thanked the others, too numerous to mention! However, Walt did sometimes want to make audiences believe that he did the films himself (his only name credited on early cartoon shorts), and then showed the world the long names of screen credits!

On the next few pages, we see the artists on the film with the team in columns, it starts off with PINOCCHIO: and then a paragraph down with ANIMATION: and they name the animators on the character, and then they credit the VOICE!

What's interesting is that there are some artists there that are credited in the ad trade, but never made it in the screen-credits:


Here, are the long lists of credits and ever notice the names of the uncredited people: David Hand, Harvey Toombs, Phil Duncan, Sam Cobean, Charles Payzant, Bruce Bushman, Art Heinemann, Arthur Riley, Dick Anthony (listed on draft on Jiminy Cricket scenes), Eric Hansen, Mique Nelson, Cornett Wood, Sandy Strother, Ugo D'Orsi, Ed Aardal, Bill Shull and Frank Grundeen! Quite a list!!

Why no Bill Peet in the story adaptation?

Anyway, I find it very interesting in the ad trade that the voice actors and models are credited and not in the screen-credits and also notice that if you look carefully at the draft, you'll see that Paul Busch animates Jiminy Cricket very small and careful.

However, Norm Ferguson is credited twice as 'SEQUENCE DIRECTOR' and 'ANIMATOR ON HONEST JOHN, GIDEON AND THE COACHMAN', and in the draft he is only credited for animated scenes of Honest John and Giddy and he is only done a few scenes.

However on the draft, we see Charles Payzant as Art Director, and I'm not sure if he was a layout man or Art worker, since he didn't find his name on the Dumbo draft, or THIS draft!

Ham Luske, seems to have done a bit in this film, he directed a lot of the sequences in this film (9 sequences), and his name appears to have been in some animated scenes (a few Figaro and Cleo scenes, could it be Don Lusk?)

However, Robert 'Bob' Martsch is mentioned as 'EFFECTS ANIMATOR' and his name isn't even mentioned on the draft, and I was trying to figure out if an effects animator replaced his work on the film. To that question, I do not know, and however we don't even see his name on the Snow White draft with very little effects scenes in Snow White actually credited, and since when was David Hand credited as 'PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR'?

However, I'm going to leave it here for now, and I'm going to hope Argentina to win the match tomorrow!