Monday, 25 April 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (XXIV)


Here is a new sequence for the Dance of the Hours segment and this time the hippo ballerina goes to sleep and a ballet of elephants step in to do their dance of the evening. This is a very interesting sequence, with a number of gags with the bubbles.

The elephants have stepped in and they are doing their own dance, by squirting out bubbles out of their trunks. Of course, we know that elephants squirt water, but here I they inhale the water from their trunk, but they don't seem to squirt out water - only bubbles. How does that work for an elephant? Did they just blow the bubbles out with their trunks gently or something?

Is is a short sequence, and a heck of a lot of long footage scenes in there also. What's very interesting is to find a lot of character animators here in a few shots. Harvey Toombs animates more shots here but not as much footage as others, perhaps. Interesting casting here on who does what in the elephants sequence.

The elephant animators here like Ray Patterson, Frank Grundeen and Howard Swift animate the hippo sleeping when there are elephants in the scene. Hicks Lokey animates the scene of the hippo yawning and the bubbles inhaling when there are no elephants present in the shot. Ray Patterson handles the shot of the elephants entering with the hippo sleeping, Howard Swift does the elephants walking to the hippo and blowing bubbles at the sleeping hippo. Frank Grundeen animates a funny shot here of the elephants with tons of bubbles as the hippo is sleeping and not noticing anything. It was funny looking that shot, not as I call it, "funny moving". Like a lot of animators do in this segment.

What's interesting here is that there are quite a bit of animators here that work on this sequence and don't come back in the "Finale sequence". Here, Ray Patterson only animates two scenes here, and ends up with about 59 feet of animation. Here, Grant Simmons is only credited for one scene of the elephant's foot caught in a bubble. It was a 25 feet scene. Simmons only animated roughly 16 seconds out of the original 122 minute Fantasia. I always found it odd that Simmons did only one scene in the segment when I first saw the draft and somehow he ended up getting screen credit. While, Van Kaufman and Jerry Hatchcock got more footage than him. Although, I guess it's not only the footage but the quality of the animation, and Disney standard to merit the screen credit.

A lot of gag stuff with the bubbles here in this sequence. In shot 28, animated by Harvey Toombs - the pool from where the bubbles were blown, one of the elephants blew a bubble with a fish inside it. That was an amusing shot because the fish was inhaled inside the elephant's trunk, and wouldn't have a clue why it was in a bubble. Shot 28.1 shows the elephants walking up to the sleeping ballerina and blows bubbles out and tiptoe away, I don't know what the gag is there.

Shot 30 is a tour-de-force shot with the sleepy hippo yawning so big that the bubbles all inhale inside her mouth. That is a forceful shot, Hicks Lokey does a good job on that shot. It is believable that she is so large that she could inhale all the bubbles inside her breath. That is a good, exaggerated gag with the bubbles. Hicks deserves a round of applause here.

Shot 34 has got some fun stuff with the elephants dancing with the bubbles, they produce bubbles orbiting their bodies and they spin around, and it seems that the bubbles have the force to attach to the bodies, like a magnet or a gravitational poll. It's like the bubbles have tutus on them - I wonder if that was part of the gag. Another elephant walks by and blows bubbles around, and kicks them away. The bubbles goes by his legs, as he misses the kick and he ends up doing the splits spontaneously. That was an amusing shot, but to me the facial expressions but it's not the best looking, I dare say.

Shot 36, is a very expressive shot with the bubble stuck in the elephant's foot and he tries to put in all his effort to get the bubble out of his foot by shaking it, but fails. He keeps up a line of elephant dancer and continues to dance with the bubble still stuck in the foot. Grant Simmons handles the shot pretty good, although the shapes of the head in that shot is not the most appealing, also. Although, it's a shame that he doesn't have any more footage to animate.

In Shot 41, the scene by Howard Swift of the elephants piling up on a poll is funny, but the elephant inside the bubble by Harvey Toombs is funnier. It's just so exaggerated, although it isn't explained in this sequence why the elephant got caught in the bubble. Could that have something to do with shot 36 with maybe the bubble expanding because of the cape's gust of wind.

In fact, I don't really understand how the curtain (the alligator's cape) could give a force to blow all the elephants away from the garden. Yet, only the hippo in the air stayed afloat in the air for a while before descending back down to the ground. Oh yes, there is a bubble gag there with the bed. Pretty funny Aardal effects.

Interesting to find Frank Grundeen here as he's the one associated here on Dance of the Hours. Also, that we found him animating a few shots on The Rite of Spring. He seems to have animated more footage on Spring than Dance here. Although, I guess that it's the quality that deserves it and that he already appeared in a different segment. Although, I have to admit that his animation here is not the most attractive animation here.

Well, that's my talk done and I may come back and post another mosaic on either Thursday or Friday. I'm back to school tomorrow for a new term, but I will be back again on Thursday because of the famous Royal Wedding with Kate Middleton. Everyone in the country was given a day off for that special day. I've also got a wedding to attend on Saturday, my step sister's wedding. So, I should be around besides Saturday. See me posting back on Thursday.

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