Saturday, 2 April 2011

Alice Animator's Footage

Hi folks,

Of course, as you know that some time ago - I was busy working on the mosaics for Alice in Wonderland. Of course, I finished the mosaics in December, but comparing with what was on the draft and the mosaics. The topics will not be over yet.


A little while ago, after finishing the Alice mosaics, I have calculated the animation footage in Alice in Wonderland, which is in the draft. Of course, the "screen footage" shows how many frames or beats are in a scene. There are 16 frames in a foot and it makes (1 foot). A 100 frames would make 6 feet and 4 frames. Do you get what I mean? Now, what I'm doing on this list - is all the animator's footage and I'm going to show you how much footage they animated and how long was their animation in the film?

Beginning with the Directing Animators:


  • Eric Larson - 591-07 (9463 frames - 6 minutes and 34 seconds)
  • Ollie Johnston 431-13 (6909 frames - 4 minutes and 47 seconds)
  • Frank Thomas - 555-00 (8880 frames - 6 minutes and 10 seconds)
  • Les Clark - 388-06 (6214 frames - 4 minutes and 18 seconds)
  • Milt Kahl - 345-04 (5524 frames - 3 minutes and 50 seconds)
  • Woolie Reitherman - 483-06 (7734 frames - 5 minutes and 22 seconds)
  • Marc Davis - 413-03 (6611 frames - 4 minutes and 35 seconds)
  • Ward Kimball - 429-02 (6866 frames - 4 minutes and 46 seconds)
  • Norm Ferguson 64-15 (1039 frames - 00 minutes and 43 seconds)
  • John Lounsbery - 619-14 (9918 frames - 6 minutes and 53 seconds)
That was the animation supervision footage. When I finished calculated them - I finally knew how much drawings the animator's provided. Of course, Norm Ferguson did little amount of shots in the picture, but I thought that the footage would be long - but instead I found out that he only animated about 43 seconds of the film with 64 feet of animation. Fergy did very little amount of work on the film which was probably because of the fact that he suffered from diabetes and was going downhill at the Disney Studios.

What was interesting was about the Alice animators. We all know that Milt Kahl was long-credited for his animation on the title character and that he provided most of the animation. However, you'll learn the fact that animators who were never credited for their work on Alice like Les Clark who does more animation of Alice than Milt Kahl does and more animation, since Kahl does some animation of the Dodo. Of course, Marc Davis was also long-credited for working on Alice, and he does more animation than Les Clark or Milt Kahl.

Eric Larson, Frank Thomas, Woolie Reitherman and John Lounsbery animate more than 5 minutes of the film (with Woolie Reitherman on the 5 minute spot), you know that there are so much drawings that the animator has to animate on the film and they do thousands and thousands of those drawings and those drawings would only end up with just 5 minutes of the feature completed.

Four other directing animators: Les Clark, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis and Ward Kimball - who each do a portion of the film - do roughly 4 minutes of the film each. Milt Kahl does the least amount of animation of the Nine Old Men who animates about 3 minutes of the film. Of course, Fergy does the least amount of animation of the supervising animators - with only 43 seconds done.

Now, onto the CHARACTER ANIMATORS:

  • Bill Justice - 165-07 - (2647 frames - 1 minute and 50 seconds)
  • Hal King - 372-14 - (5966 frames - 4 minutes and 8 seconds)
  • Judge Whitaker - 348-01 (5569 frames - 3 minutes and 52 seconds)
  • Hal Ambro - 330-13 - (5293 frames - 3 minutes and 40 seconds)
  • Harvey Toombs - 270-10 (4330 frames - 3 minutes and 00 seconds)
  • Don Lusk - 485-02 - (7762 frames - 5 minutes and 23 seconds)
  • Bob Carlson - 176-12 (2828 frames - 1 minute and 57 seconds)
  • Cliff Nordberg - 436-04 (6980 frames - 4 minutes and 50 seconds)
  • Hugh Fraser - 107-01 (1713 frames - 1 minute and 11 seconds)
  • Charles Nichols - 55-09 (889 frames - 00 minutes and 37 seconds)
  • Fred Moore -  132-00 (2112 frames - 1 minute and 28 seconds)
  • Phil Duncan - 236-05 (3781 frames - 2 minutes and 37 seconds)
  • Marvin Woodward - 207-02 (3314 frames - 2 minutes and 18 seconds)
Mmm, this is all interesting. A lot of the character animators average about 250 feet in the film compare to the other supervising animators. Some character animators animate more than 200 feet of animation and do about that. There are quite a number of those character animators animate less than 200 feet like Fred Moore, Bob Carlson, Hugh Fraser, Charles Nichols and Bill Justice. Of course, Charles Nichols is the only animator there that animates less than 100 feet (excluding Norm Ferguson), and even the only animator that does less than 1000 drawings (again, excluding the uncredited animators). This is indeed very interesting in what the draft shows us.

The character animator (excluding the directing animators) that animate the most is Don Lusk. Very interesting, he does more animation than the second string animators here and Fred Moore. He also does more Alice animation than any of the Alice animators on the film which include Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Les Clark, Marc Davis, Eric Larson (who also animates the Caterpillar and the Queen of Hearts), Harvey Toombs and Hal Ambro. Don Lusk animated a lot of the primary Alice scenes and yet he gets tons to animate. It's interesting as he did more Alice animation and that's he's the only one of the bunch that's still alive with us.

It seems to be that a lot of animators who worked from features as early as Snow White, or Pinocchio or Fantasia seem to animate a lot less - about 250 feet or less. While a lot of the new animators (after Bambi) like Cliff Nordberg, Hal King, Judge Whitaker and Hal Ambro animate more than 300 feet. It seems that Don Lusk is also the only animator from the pre-Bambi period to animate a lot.

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about - I'll explain it again - this time with decorum:


Good at the draft sheet - I've cut down the page to show you just one scene. You see the box with the label "SCREEN FOOTAGE" it says 3 feet and 14 frames. That means how much footage that the animator John Lounsbery animated. Now, to add up footage, I'll show you instructions.

If you are calculating animator's footage and come up with this:

Sc. 10      LOUNSBERY       4-04
Sc. 11      CAMPBELL          13-15

When you calculate that - from 4 feet and to 4 frames to 13 frames and 15 frames - it doesn't make 17 feet and 19 frames. It doesn't start that way - the footage number ends at fifteen - because it starts from -00 to -15 making 16 frames. It's still 16 frames if it was 1-00 to 1-15. Now, I'll get to the conclusion:

4-04 + 13-15 = 18-04. There! Now I'll try another example

2-06 + 7-14 = 10-04.

I hope that this has been helpful

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