Friday, 28 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (VIII)

Here is the Deems Taylor introductions to a new piece - now we are up to one of my favourite pieces of music composed by Igor Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring. Now, I've written an article about the real story about The Rite of Spring and Deems Taylor mentions here that Stravinsky said it "was to express primitive life", and that Walt Disney has "taken it at his own words". So, instead of the original story of the sacrificial of the girl, instead Walt Disney and his story men decided to adapt the piece into what is believed to me the first years of the planet's existence.

Although, since I'm a Stravinsky fan myself - I notice that NOT ALL the piece was originally composed - the earthquake sequences was in fact re-composed and Internet Movie Database mentions that Stravinsky came over to the Disney Studios during the creations of Fantasia and composed some additional stuff to the music. LISTEN to the original Stravinsky piece, you'll notice that it is different from the Fantasia version, I've noticed that.

Igor Stravinsky was actually the only music composer of the seven pieces on Fantasia who was alive to see the film, and he even admitted that he hated the way the piece was re-organised and re-orchestrated, at least according to the Internet Movie Database.

This Deems Taylor introduction is rather lengthy and yet very informative and interesting. Although, the scene with the men almost knocking down the chimes is rather entertaining because Deems Taylor's introductions may just be bland throughout the film - but a bit of clumsiness from the orchestra is worth the entertainment.

Here I'm only going to post a small sequence today, because I don't have time to post the genesis sequence - and the fact that I'm not even finished on it - so give me a chance to finish it on Sunday ;) - although, I may be late posting it on a Sunday because I might be seeing The King's Speech.

A small sequence, and when I first saw it - I always thought of it as one long-continuous shot - because there doesn't seem to be much of a camera cut - but the draft says it's three separate scenes. So, it was an annoying entry - and this is the best I could do. Altogether, the sequence lasts 265-10 feet in this sequence, and if this was a long-continuous shot - when it would have been longer than the Ave Maria scene at the very end.

What I like here is that at the sequence starts off really dark, and you can't see anything on the screen for about fifteen seconds, until you see an extra-long shot of the galaxy and then you suddenly get closer and closer, and then you see the new Earth born, as comets go passing by.

I'd laugh if this was spoofed with the title cards, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...", which is obviously the spoof of Star Wars. But yet, Fantasia became before Star Wars, and it would would silly for it to be on Fantasia, and yet it probably wouldn't be on Star Wars if the line was on Fantasia.

As you can see that the only animator that is credited is Dan MacManus - but the other effects in the draft is credited as "SPEC. EFX" is is simply known as "special effects". Although, I'm not sure what MacManus really did - most probably the effects were animated.

Of course, it may be confusing if the draft only credited "McManus", because there is also John McManus in the film that's credited - (but you won't see him animate later with the species underwater), and the draft here simply labels "D.McManus", is makes it easier to identify it as John McManus. Were John McManus or Dan relatives or something? Or is it just different surnames because in film credits - Dan is named "Dan MacManus" while John is "John McManus", so it seems to be different surnames. But, I have friends at home who are siblings with similar surnames but slightly different spellings - but don't ask me why I should explain it because I really don't know the full story.

It's good to see here that the layout artist is John Hubley, who (as we know) went onto to become famous in the animation industry to work for UPA on tons of films. I don't think there has been much talks about Hubley on Fantasia and at his years in Disney - but I will await for the Michael Barrier interview to be coming up soon - although Michael Sporn has talked about Hubley times in the past - as he used to work for him. The director is credited to Gail Papineau - who isn't credited as director in this sequence - but is credited for "special camera effects" here - and I assume he shot that sequence, directed the whole thing without needing a assistant director.

The Internet Movie Database says here in this sequence: The primeval Earth scene was filmed using a mixture of porridge, mud, and other ingredients and was enhanced by animation; apart from the orchestra sequences, it is the only live-action sequence in the whole movie. Mud. Porridge. Yuck. I bet those artists and crew who were involved in this sequence had to wash their hands after filming that scene. But, yet very creative.

1 comment:

Eric Noble said...

Nice job. I can't wait to see more of "The Rite of Spring".