Sunday, 27 February 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (XVI)

The orchestra, Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor are still having their 15 minute intermission - and some of the orchestra are tuning up their instruments to get prepared for the second half of the show. In fact, some of the band players on the Philadelphia Orchestra are having a bit of fun by "jamming" with their instruments. The double-bass player has some fun swinging.

I have to say that the Intermission sequence is one of my favourite parts in the Fantasia film. I like seeing the orchestra having fun during their break after the exhausting Rite of Spring piece. I like hearing what the orchestra get to do - and their own talent.

Deems Taylor seems to be get from his break (I wonder if he had coffee as his break). This time, Deems shows the audience a piece that's very important in the film and says that "he's very shy and very retiring". That "he" is what we call - the soundtrack. The soundtrack sequence is one of my favourite scenes in the picture and it's absolutely marvelous. It was animated by four effects animators: Josh Meador, George Rowley, Art Palmer and Harry Hamsel.

Each effects animators handle the types of instruments. Harry Hamsel animates the first instrument in the String  family, and that's the harp. I really like Hamsel's harp. They really come to life, and I love the wavelengths that he gives on it. They really makes them full of life, and it reminds me of what Ward Kimball could've directed. Harry Hamsel is another unknown effects animator who worked for Disney in the Golden years.

Art Palmer is the first effects animator in the Soundtrack alumni that produces a sound (although not a sound that makes musical notes). Shot 48 with the soundtrack blowing a raspberry with 12 frames is an amusing shot. The effects are funny and it's got quick timing and pacing. Art Palmer animates the string instrument which is the violin - and here his timing is good and Art Palmer animates it well. Although I just like his shot of the woodwind instrument which is the flute - the animation is just beautiful. The rhythm of the flute just remind me of the sound of Peter Pan's pipes (and the fact that flute and pipes come from the same Music category - the woodwinds).

George Rowley gives his animation of the trumpet much rough and solid than Art Palmer's work - and the music is rather much louder and rougher than Art Palmer's or Harry Hamsel's work. Although it's still good - and I like the fact that the backgrounds changes colours each time. George Rowley also handles the bassoon soundtrack - and I have to admit I always find the very low notes quite disturbing in a way that I won't go any further.

Josh Meador handles the Soundtrack in the scenes when it peeks into the screen and moves away from the camera at the end. In between when the music stops playing and Deems starts his music introduction - Meador handles the Soundtrack when it's not making any sounds - although I wonder if he still had to animate a lot of it. But, Josh Meador does handle an rhythm to a percussion instrument which is the bass drum - and this is my favourite rhythm of the soundtrack. I like the bass drum a lot - and there's one word I'll describe the animation - cool. The shapes of the animation is brilliant and it's got brilliant timing - and I love the sound of the symbols clashing. I love the sound of the "ting" of the drum at the end and then the soundtrack ends.

Although - we do know that the sequence was directed by Sam Armstrong who directed the live action sequences here - and for a while it has been said that Dave Hand or Ben Sharpsteen directed the soundtrack - but since the draft is helpful, now we know the full answer. This is another reason why I like Sam Armstrong's work a lot - he really is a genius.

I assume that the Soundtrack would've been a difficult assignment in terms of timing because the effects animators would have to animate the shots correctly and make sure that it paces along with the music. It can't be mistaken - it had to be perfect. Although, not every single frame of the soundtrack is perfect - sometimes after the notes are finished - the soundtrack disappears and then a second later it comes back on.

What I really do like about this draft - is that the secretary (Worth/Brown) have divided the soundtrack scenes into with smaller footage - because we see this as one very long shot and I've just calculated it's total footage. Overall, the long continuous scene of the Soundtrack lasts a total of 256 feet and 2 frames, and it lasts for 2 minutes and 50 seconds, which is nearly three minutes. It's longer than the last shot of the Ave Maria segment - but at least it's chopped into smaller ones so that we know who did what.

That's my talk down - and next up: Beethoven.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It was reused in the three Caballeros, with Donald.