Saturday, 9 July 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 7

We have reached into the part with the song Heigh-Ho and all the seven dwarfs are introduced in this sequence, but imagine yourself watching the film for the first time in 1937, and not knowing any of their names, at first you don't know their names at all - and it's not clear to find out all of the dwarf''s names until when Snow White first encounters the dwarfs while she estimates their names correctly.

The first shot of this sequence introduces us to some of the dwarfs: Sneezy, Happy, Grumpy, Bashful and Sleepy on the cart with the deer attached to the cart. It's clear that those five dwarfs are minors, their occupation is mining, and all day they dig for gold - and that it's their hobby, and it's their job to find diamonds, rubies, crystals, etc. Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy and Bashful are four dwarfs are appear to be assigned as diggers searching for diamonds or any type of crystal that mine. Sleepy has the job of delivering the diamonds to Doc for approval, it's interesting to find Sleepy given the job to ride the cart - as he sleeps on the job and you don't do much. Doc appears to be the manager of the dwarfs while mining, and checking for any diamonds that are precious and valuable, and that are worth saving - buy doing that he taps the diamonds with his hammer for nice sparkling sounds - any dodgy sounds that Doc hears are no use and throws it away. Dopey, appears to be the janitor while mining - sweeping away any useless diamonds that are not worth, and throw them away. It seems appropriate to find Dopey working there.

Dopey appears to be the happiest worker at his job, and always smiling and doing his hokey-pokey stuff, like placing diamonds in his eyes - trying to entertain Doc. As Doc had no time for cracking jokes, he hits Dopey in the head, so the diamonds pop out of his eyes in time - and looks at him as a foolish character.

There are a few clever gags that are brought in this sequence. The first one, is in shots 7 and 8, when Sleepy finds a fly flying around and lands on a deer - and as he is a "sleepy" character, he has a stick in his hands and hits the deer's behind to try and catch the fly off. Much of the annoyance of the deer, he almost tries to buck Sleepy off the cart, which is a very funny gag. Shot 19 animated by Fred Moore, is masterfully done - and a lot of monument weight produced. Doc, as he's confident and aware of his abilities, throws the bag of diamonds in the vault successfully and walks off. Dopey, who is unaware of his ambitions and control, completely got out-of-hand while shaking his bag getting ready to throw the bag in the vault - and the force is so powerful, that it throws Dopey inside the vault. Dopey unlocks the key, and a great Moore part is when Dopey realises that he forgot to place the key by the hook, and then he catches up with the group singing Heigh-Ho.

There are a lot of dwarfs animators in this sequence, and there is some specific animator casting in there: Al Eugster animates the introduction shot of the dwarfs with their shovels and hitting the ground and getting on with their jobs happy. Bill Roberts animates scenes of Happy and Grumpy in single-shots digging for some diamonds. Marvin Woodward animates the scenes of the dwarfs, with their echo sounds responding back to the verse "In a mine." Les Clark takes in for animating the shots of Sleepy in the cart, and almost getting himself bucked off, with Eric Larson animating the deer carrying the loaded cart. Art Babbitt, appears to animate a shot of Doc testing the diamonds for approval and disapproval - Babbitt doesn't seem to animate much on the dwarfs, but the shot he animates on Doc has got some very good acting. Fred Moore gets the best scenes, and the juicy parts - with Dopey being a doofus and placing the diamonds on his eyes as a laugh, and including the bag throwing shots. There is one minor shot by Frank Thomas, and Shamus Culhane takes over the Heigh-Ho song - which he was long famous for. It's no surprise to see that Fred Moore supervised the dwarfs in this sequence.

Notice how that in Shot 14 that Fred Moore gives Dopey thick eyebrows for the close up shots, and a rather strong use of caricature there, compared to his other cute, appealing shots he worked on in this sequence.

This is Shamus Culhane's long famous animation in Snow White which is one of the most-famous scenes in the entire picture, and that the song is so recognizable that even the team in my Duke of Edinburgh expedition were singing the song during my travel - to tell you the truth, the song does get tiring to me - as I hear it too many times.

Shamus Culhane's animation in the film may not be very special or any personality scenes that he brings in - but it's a great way of putting the animation in the scenes with the beautiful layouts. I know that this may not have been the most interesting to animate, but at least Culhane put something good in his scenes, like the hitch-steps that Dopey does, that was suggested by Frank Thomas before. The final shot with the dwarfs walking into the distance is wonderful animation, and also the waterfall. Shot 1 with the dwarfs' overlayed shadows coming by is also a favourite of mine, and I assume that Culhane probably did the animation. It's a shame that Culhane doesn't get much footage in the rest of the film, but will we see him again?

In the draft, I noticed that there was a shot missing in the Heigh-Ho sequence, and that the shot was 28-feet long and also animated by Bill Tytla?? I wonder what Tytla was doing in this sequence, but unless he supervised Culhane's animation, and he spared a shot that was removed. It would also mean that a part of the song is also missing, which is really interesting - but I suppose that it's probably lost.

No comments: