Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Snow White Mosaic Part 3

This is continued from yesterday's post.

While I was making the mosaic and looking through the draft at the "Description of action" section. I noticed that there were quite a number of scenes that were in the picture, but got into the Cutting department. Some scenes that survived the picture were not attributed into the draft for some reason - and further more, there were surviving scenes where there were no animators credited. So for me, it's been a difficult mosaic to create and that's why it took me more than a few days. There must have been a lot of editing on the film before it was completed, especially in this sequence.

The scene starts off from the previous dark sequence. From the previous shot, there is a cold scene of the Queen demanding to the Huntsman "Bring back her heart in this", the next shot after that is a bit more relaxing and brighter. The audience know that Snow White has been taken to the garden in favour to pick up some flowers for an unknown reason to her, and she doesn't suspect anything. In fact, she doesn't even notice the Huntsman is standing there. This is what I feel is a Story problem: the Queen is saying to her "Take her far out into the forest", and yes, Snow White is in the forest picking up flowers but she doesn't notice the Huntsman is there. Was she there in the first place when the Huntsman found her, or was Snow White taken to the forest by the Queen, with the Huntsman following on a while later. It is not explained, and that is why it's confusing me.

While Snow White is picking up pretty flowers, there is a little bluebird crying for help, and Snow White notices it and cheers the bird up with her sophistication. This was great timing for the Huntsman, as he could kill the princess on time, without her running away or noticing, or anybody witnessing the incident. As Snow White turns around as she is overlapped by the Huntsman's shadow. She cowards herself, with fears of her being killed. As the Huntsman is ready to stab her, his emotions rise back again, and realizes that she is too beautiful to be killed. He immediately drops the dagger, and apologizes to Snow White for that incident. Snow White is puzzled, the Huntsman informs her that the Wicked Queen is jealous of her, and wants to be the fairest and the most beautiful if it's the last thing she does. In order for Snow White to be safe, the Huntsman advices her to run into the woods or any other land and never return to the castle, as it's more dangerous.

Snow White is very frightened of the fact that the Queen is attempting to kill her, and as she runs into the woods - her fears are worse than ever, when she comes across scary looking creatures, and sworn by bats. She realizes that going back to the castle would make things worse for her, and she still has to keep going until she could reach an end point in the scary woodlands.

There has been an awful lot of pacing going on in these sequences, and the draft information here must have been an early document. The director of this sequence (unfortunately we do not know who) has made a lot of quick pacing, and moving around the scenes from the original storyboards. From the style of Ferdinand Hovarth - you could say that he did the conceptual designs of the hideous faces of the trees. The hideous faces in this scene are probably the highlight and the main pinnacle to the scary woodlands. It's a shame that there is no animator credited on that, but it is most likely to have been done by an effects animator.

There are four animators who take control of animating the heroine. Grim Natwick takes control of Snow White by animating the scenes of Snow White picking up the flowers (which has been reported to have been Natwick's scenes), and the scenes of Snow White and the little bird with Eric Larson animating it. Ham Luske takes control of the Huntsman in this sequence and some Snow White scenes. Jack Campbell is the main animator on Snow White in the scary woodlands, in which appears to be that his assistant Tony Rivera is doing some scenes for him, he appears to get one big scene of his own like on shot 23.

It always seems that Grim Natwick is cast on the emotion scenes of Snow White, he animates literally all of her before she runs off in the woods. He really makes the character very believable, and that's why Grim is one of the best animators. He gives Snow White the sophisticated quality of the character, he really gives her personality - like with Snow White and the little bird.

Jack Campbell gets a huge chunk of Snow White animation to do when she if in the woods. Campbell does an excellent job of Snow White in different ways. The way he animates Snow White in the woods and struggling is a sacred feeling to the audience on how you would feel if you were stranded in the woods. Campbell shows Snow White's emotions here, of her screaming at the hideous faces or the eyes glaring at her. Again, Campbell doesn't animate the character the way Grim Natwick usually would do it. Campbell does do an excellent job with Snow White in the woods, but what makes it excellent is the movement of her in the woods. Taking a look again, shot 13 of Jack Campbell told to run off in the woods, is excellent acting. She has so many items loading into her head, and the Huntsman telling her to run into the woods, means that her conscience is telling her to run away immediately. That is a great, executed shot.

Shot 21, is a clear example on how Ham Luske draws Snow White like a child, while Grim Natwick and Jack Campbell show more realism.
It appears that Eric Larson takes control of the scary creatures that are to do with movement in the animation. I have to admit, the scenes of the log turning into alligators is not one of my favourite scenes. It just doesn't feel real to me, and the audience just wouldn't believe that they are reptiles, they just look like a log. Eric, also takes some control of the little bluebird. Eric didn't need to do much on the animation, except how that the little bird is lost.
Taking a look at Campbell's animation on Snow White, I noticed that in the shots where Snow White reacts to the creatures surrounding her. The reaction shots make her look ugly to me, don't believe me - then take a look at shot 42A, her nose there look's like a pig's snout. Shot 28 with Snow White's hands is poorly animated, the hand just really feels so cartoonie, and the animator couldn't have escaped the cartoon side of animation. Explaining that, the animator probably had difficulties with the shots, as they were probably difficult to animate with her turning around, and Jack Campbell probably just gave it his best shot. His scenes of Snow White whirling is just very well animated and timed.

The audience probably didn't think the character looked too ugly in the scenes, is because they are so quick paced, and they won't have enough time to see the details of Snow White because the shots just go by very quickly, and less than 24fps, even less than half a second.

This was the sequence which was apparently reported to have scared so many youngsters that they couldn't even control their bladder while sitting on the cinema seats, the rest of the information is read on the Internet Movie Database:

Was the first of many Disney films to have its premiere engagement at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. At the end of the film's initial engagement there, all the velvet seat upholstery had to be replaced. It seems that young children were so frightened by the sequence of Snow White lost in the forest that they wet their pants, and consequently the seats, at each and every showing of the film.

How lovely.


Eric Noble said...

Wonderful work. I really liked the animation of the humans here. Both Grim Natwick and Ham Luske do terrific pieces of animation. The forest scene is an interesting piece of work. It's a perfect example of what happens throughout the film. Mark Mayerson described it as how the characters' actions/emotions affect the surroundings. Snow White is frightened, thus the forest appears frightening to her. Look for it again when the Dwarfs arrive home from work, and the big chase scene at the end.

Rob M said...

Cristopher Finch's "The Art of Walt Disney" contains the transription of a story meeting for the first part of this sequence.
Fich writes: "The meeting began with (Larry) Morey running through the continuity for the scene".
So we know for sure that Larry Morey (who is credited on screen as "sequence director") was the head story man for the sequence. Maybe he directed it as well?

Steven Hartley said...

Eric - Your right that Natwick and Luske do excellent animation (with Ham on the Huntsman) but Jack Campbell deserves some credit - despite some crudeness. You're right about the atmosphere of the forest.

Rob - Thanks for the information. You could be very well correct about that. The notes were also on "The Illusion of Life". I hadn't been looking at this information for quite a while.

Eric Noble said...

The explanation for the Hunter's presence in the forest is actually done in that bit of dialogue where she tells him to take her into the forest to pick up wild flowers. The Queen sent the Hunter with Snow White.

farmbrough said...

Thank you for appreciating the artistry of Grim Natwick :-) We are holding the second annual Grim Natwick Film Festival in Wisconsin Rapids this year, and will have displays of his art, showings of his films, and lectures on his life from animation expert Stephen Worth :-)

Eric Zimmer said...

After you do the Snow White sequence cards, can you do the sequence cards for Peter Pan & Cinderella?

Anonymous said...

After you do the Snow White sequence cards, can you please do the sequence cards for Peter Pan & Cinderella?

Steven Hartley said...

I'm sorry to break this through but I'm afraid that I can't make Disney feature mosaics anymore and won't continue with Snow White.

I've become too busy with schoolwork, plus I've got too hooked with my other blog which I'm committed to. I'm not so committed with Disney mosaics anymore and I REALLY want a rest on this "Blabbing on Arts and Culture" blog. I'm sorry - but you can always find regular updated posts at my Likely Looney blog.