Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (IX)


Here is a new sequence from Stavinsky's Rite of Spring and we are at the beginning of our story - directed by Paul Satterfield. I'm afraid I can't be too long because I'm going to see The King's Speech today and I need to do as much as can write.

In terms of effects animation, this is one of my favourite animation effects in a Disney feature or any other films that I have ever seen. They look so real, and alive and amazing that the effects are not shared by other effects animators - the draft appear to credit only one name of each credit.

In this section, this appears to be the "Genesis" sequence - with the eruption of volcanoes and craters, and lava pouring down the empty Earth. I like how the sequence starts of with. The planet is very empty, and all you can see are clouds and red/pink atmosphere. Until, suddenly you see some invisible (on what looks like tracks), but I don't know what it really is exactly. The scene was animated by Ed Aardal, and it looks difficult to achieve that - I wonder how he drew that.

It appears to be that each effect animators in this sequence take turns on animating the different types of effects - and for example Ed Aardal and Don Tobin appear to animate a lot of the mudpot scenes - while Don Tobin (again) and Paul Kossoff animate the lava scenes pouring down - and with a bit by Jerome Brown. While Art Palmer animates a lot of the really rough sea coming to the surface, and it looks like God is creating the land. Dan MacManus appears to animate the whirlwind/fire shots.

I like the lava and mudpot scenes a lot - it makes it really believable and really oozy. In this type of lava, you can easily be burnt to crisp there, and it looks real. Although, what I do find a problem about this is that it really feels a lot like liquid water pouring down, by Paul Kossoff.

Shot 54 - with the rocks and lava going down the waves is one of my favourites in this sequence, it looks really rich, and I wonder what it really would be like for actual lava going in water - although, I'm not really a great scientist (myself), but I do try and improve - but I wonder what effect, does that do to the lava in the water.

I like the effects a lot, and probably my favourite of the lot are the lava and mud pot scenes - they really look so real and believable. Ed Aardal and Don Tobin are the main animators for those stuff, with Paul Kossoff doing the lava. I also like the like the eruption of the lava striking in 32.1. but the bad news is that I haven't got time to do a framegrab as I will be leaving shortly.

As Paul Satterfield is the director, his direction suits well here because Bill Roberts directs the dinosaurs and evolutionary sequences, and Satterfield would direct the earthquake sequences. I wonder what Satterfield would've done on Bambi as both Roberts and Satterfield were sequence directors - would they have both shared sequences, or directed their sequences separately.

Art Palmer's water effects is pretty cool and he certainly puts a lot of potential there, but to be honest - I don't think the water looks as believable as the stuff on The Sorcerer's Apprentice because in those water effects, you could easily drown or take a sip in those water, while here in The Rite of Spring it looks like that you could easily get crushed by the pressure of the waves, and it certainly doesn't look like drinking water.

In shot 58 - I never really knew at the time on what it actually looked like because I couldn't make out what it was - but in the draft it says "clouds and lightning", Mmm - it didn't look like it to me, but as I'm looking carefully at it, it does look a bit like it, except the clouds are strangely drawn to me, they didn't look like clouds at all.

Oh, I should point out that I now have the new restored film on me (the Platinum Edition), and it makes the mosaic look really appealing, and that's what I'm trying to do - because I thought that earlier it didn't look too appealing because of the quality - but now I think it looks much, much better, so hopefully feedback will get better.

Well folks, I'm afraid I'm going to have to leave it here because I'm going to be off to see The King's Speech (and I may write a review on the film), and see what I thought about it. I know, it has been a bit short, but this was the only time to do it because after watching the film - I would be back to school later and that's when I'm offline during the week.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

50 Years - 101 Dalmatians!

One of the most popular Disney features of all-time which has delighted millions and millions of people worldwide and that is One Hundred and One Dalmatians. I'm here to celebrate the 50th birthday of the film which first came out in the cinemas on January 25th 1961 - I know it's pass but the fun's not over yet, isn't it?



It was at a time during the late 1950's when Walt Disney was at its most successful years - and that time wasn't a great time for Disney because Sleeping Beauty had lost money at the box-office and the film cost so much money to make - and Walt really wanted to find out a way to make the film a lot cheaper - so during the making of the film - the marvelous Xerox process was made. Bill Peet got the privilege to storyboard and script the story all by himself - and the animators' work was on the screen without the ink-and-paint department doing it - and it continued on to Disney features.

101 Dalmatians is one of my favourite all-time Disney films, and also "one of my favourite all time films". The story is superb, and it has some brilliant art direction by Ken Anderson and colors by Walt Peregoy, and of course masterful character animation by not only Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis or Milt Kahl, but also by a lot of the unknown Disney animators that need to be looked into more. I've always had a soft spot for the film, and the staff take a break with the song musicals - and only a few songs were written in the film.

To start off with: we know that our main character is Pongo who is our hero, and the film starts off with him living with his partner Roger Radcliffe and it was a tedious life for Pongo because he lives in a small, untidy flat and Pongo doesn't like his bachelor life. So, he sees an attractive dalmatian and woman, which eventually gets Roger and Anita hooked. Eventually, they get married.


Pongo and Perdita seem to enjoy marriage life, as they have moved into a small house, and Perdita was pregnant and was expecting puppies to be born in three weeks, and they were so excited for the puppies. Until, Anita's old schoolfriend Cruella DeVille who is a rude, evil, chain-smoker who goes smirking around the house trying to find the puppies - and mentions that she only wants then so that they are skinned into fur coats.


So, as the puppies were given birth - and Cruella finds out, and wants to bid the puppies. Roger rejects, and this makes Cruella furious and then vows revenge on the couple. And, she does get her revenge, while she orders her two henchmen Jasper and Horace Badun to capture and kidnap the puppies by tricking Nanny Cook and stealing all fifteen puppies.

The news of the fifteen puppies hits the front headlines in the newspapers the next day, and Roger and Anita have tried everything and calling Scotland Yard (the London police), but they weren't any help - and now it was up to the dogs - the twilight bark!

The Twilight Bark is one of the most delightful sequences in the film, and it's interesting on how it's one of the fastest way to send the news - and we even see some characters reused from Lady and the Tramp like Jock, and some of the pound dogs from Lady and the Tramp are in it as well. No guess that the director of the sequence is Wolfgang Reitherman - who is well known for reusing old animation into films.

Jock reuse.

The Twilight Bark was reached all the way in the county Suffolk, and here the farm animals who are named as they are part of the military: the horse is the captain, Sgt. Tibs (cat), and the Colonel who is a sheepdog. Tibs rumors that the puppies are located at Hell Hall where he heard "puppy barking". Tibs investigated, and discovers the 15 stolen puppies, along with 84 other puppies from the pet shop. Pongo and Perdita get the news and then the rest of the film is to rescue the puppies and get home safely.

What is fascinating about the film is the fact, that the layouts and the style. It is a lot unique and the backgrounds are lovely. The style that Ken Anderson used was actually influenced by famous cartoonist Ronald Searle. Ken Anderson's style and art direction is beautiful and the crew liked it - but unfortunately Walt Disney didn't like Ken Anderson's work on the film. Walt wasn't really pleased with the film because of the rough drawings, and the layouts. He just didn't care.


What I do love about the film is how the way it looks like Britain. Bill Peet did a great job at making the film look a lot like Britain with the British accents and the sayings we use - and even the companies that we have here in England. For example, early in the film where Pongo is poking through the magazine covers, there is the British magazine Lilliput where a lot of Ronald Searle cartoons are used in.

Lilliput.

In the scene of Jasper and Horace pretending to read the papers to avoid suspiciousness from Roger and Anita, or Pongo and Perdita - if you look really closely, you can see Jasper holding the newspaper and it reads "Daily Mail", and the Daily Mail is a popular British tabloid newspaper here in Britain, although it is a rather controversial paper, but I'm not going to go there in details.

Jasper reading the Daily Mail.

What I also love about the film is the one and only Cruella de Ville. In my opinion, I think she is the greatest Disney villain of all-time. Why not? She's a horrible, rude, aggressive, stubborn chain-smoker who always throws tantrums. She desperately wants to get those puppies and skin them, and nothing can stop her from taking the puppies. She can only live for fur-coats. Her dialogue is superb, and I love how she talks about the family, by calling the Pongos as Anita's "spotty friends", or describing Roger as a "bashful Beethoven", or even describing the puppies as mongrels because they haven't had spots yet when they were born. Brilliant, pure genius. Animator Marc Davis did a brilliant job with the character as he animated every single scene of Cruella.


Jasper and Horace have brilliant personalities because in real life they really don't want to kill the puppies but they are only doing it for the money - but yet they were very cruel to the puppies - and they really don't like working for Cruella as she forces them to skin the puppies, and won't let them give up. They are both very clumsy people, and very stupid. Horace appears to be the smart one because he always seems to be suspicious about the puppies escaping, while Jasper stupidly rejects them - while it saves the puppies' lives. They are very foolish characters who are more interested in watching the TV.


What's also interesting is the TV shows - and that the puppies have personalities - they all seem to like watching the TV, and their favourite TV show is Thunderbolt: The Wonder Dog and when you see then watch the TV, they just sit down there and stare at the TV, and not moving an inch. One of the puppies, Rolly appears to be the person who is always watching the TV, as he was the last person to be off to bed while still watching the telly - and as Tibs took him away from the TV as the pups were escaping.

What's My Crime? is a funny spoof of the TV game-show What's My Line? and the scenes were animated by Art Stevens and Julius Svensden, and the British caricatures are amusing - and it shows a contestant nicknamed "Meathead" who is a prisoner who doesn't seem to speak and has a funny personality - because he can't seem to write properly.


I heard a funny anecdote by Dodie Smith (who wrote the book), and said that the dalmatian dogs would make good fur coats, but not in a Cruella DeVille way.

I'm afraid that I'll leave it here - and hear your responses. Well, Dalmatians. 50 years have passed, and you delight us - and the humour and animation is still wonderful - live on forever!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (VIII)

Here is the Deems Taylor introductions to a new piece - now we are up to one of my favourite pieces of music composed by Igor Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring. Now, I've written an article about the real story about The Rite of Spring and Deems Taylor mentions here that Stravinsky said it "was to express primitive life", and that Walt Disney has "taken it at his own words". So, instead of the original story of the sacrificial of the girl, instead Walt Disney and his story men decided to adapt the piece into what is believed to me the first years of the planet's existence.

Although, since I'm a Stravinsky fan myself - I notice that NOT ALL the piece was originally composed - the earthquake sequences was in fact re-composed and Internet Movie Database mentions that Stravinsky came over to the Disney Studios during the creations of Fantasia and composed some additional stuff to the music. LISTEN to the original Stravinsky piece, you'll notice that it is different from the Fantasia version, I've noticed that.

Igor Stravinsky was actually the only music composer of the seven pieces on Fantasia who was alive to see the film, and he even admitted that he hated the way the piece was re-organised and re-orchestrated, at least according to the Internet Movie Database.

This Deems Taylor introduction is rather lengthy and yet very informative and interesting. Although, the scene with the men almost knocking down the chimes is rather entertaining because Deems Taylor's introductions may just be bland throughout the film - but a bit of clumsiness from the orchestra is worth the entertainment.


Here I'm only going to post a small sequence today, because I don't have time to post the genesis sequence - and the fact that I'm not even finished on it - so give me a chance to finish it on Sunday ;) - although, I may be late posting it on a Sunday because I might be seeing The King's Speech.

A small sequence, and when I first saw it - I always thought of it as one long-continuous shot - because there doesn't seem to be much of a camera cut - but the draft says it's three separate scenes. So, it was an annoying entry - and this is the best I could do. Altogether, the sequence lasts 265-10 feet in this sequence, and if this was a long-continuous shot - when it would have been longer than the Ave Maria scene at the very end.

What I like here is that at the sequence starts off really dark, and you can't see anything on the screen for about fifteen seconds, until you see an extra-long shot of the galaxy and then you suddenly get closer and closer, and then you see the new Earth born, as comets go passing by.

I'd laugh if this was spoofed with the title cards, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...", which is obviously the spoof of Star Wars. But yet, Fantasia became before Star Wars, and it would would silly for it to be on Fantasia, and yet it probably wouldn't be on Star Wars if the line was on Fantasia.

As you can see that the only animator that is credited is Dan MacManus - but the other effects in the draft is credited as "SPEC. EFX" is is simply known as "special effects". Although, I'm not sure what MacManus really did - most probably the effects were animated.

Of course, it may be confusing if the draft only credited "McManus", because there is also John McManus in the film that's credited - (but you won't see him animate later with the species underwater), and the draft here simply labels "D.McManus", is makes it easier to identify it as John McManus. Were John McManus or Dan relatives or something? Or is it just different surnames because in film credits - Dan is named "Dan MacManus" while John is "John McManus", so it seems to be different surnames. But, I have friends at home who are siblings with similar surnames but slightly different spellings - but don't ask me why I should explain it because I really don't know the full story.

It's good to see here that the layout artist is John Hubley, who (as we know) went onto to become famous in the animation industry to work for UPA on tons of films. I don't think there has been much talks about Hubley on Fantasia and at his years in Disney - but I will await for the Michael Barrier interview to be coming up soon - although Michael Sporn has talked about Hubley times in the past - as he used to work for him. The director is credited to Gail Papineau - who isn't credited as director in this sequence - but is credited for "special camera effects" here - and I assume he shot that sequence, directed the whole thing without needing a assistant director.

The Internet Movie Database says here in this sequence: The primeval Earth scene was filmed using a mixture of porridge, mud, and other ingredients and was enhanced by animation; apart from the orchestra sequences, it is the only live-action sequence in the whole movie. Mud. Porridge. Yuck. I bet those artists and crew who were involved in this sequence had to wash their hands after filming that scene. But, yet very creative.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (VII)


Here is Deems Taylor's introduction to the memorable segment of Fantasia - The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He explains here that the story came first and the music came later - it happens in a lot of music pieces. Often the music can go with the story, like Peter and the Wolf.

If you fast forward the film, and you notice that Deems Taylor leans back and forth.

Some reason, I find the shot of Stokowski starting to conduct a bit creepy; it just reminds me of one of the students leaning in a wall in The Blair Witch Project - I know, it's pretty silly why I think that.









Here is my mosaic for probably the most memorable segment of Fantasia. Yes, this is most memorable segment because the music here is memorable, and the animation is superb, and one of the big reasons why it's memorable is because our Disney star Mickey Mouse is in it.

This sequence is also what led to the creations of Fantasia - again, it all started with a mouse. Here, Mickey Mouse is more updated with it's original looks - because Mickey Mouse was starting to decline its popularity and Walt Disney didn't want his world's famous character to disappear from the public - and now Donald Duck was starting to become very popular. So, Disney decided to make a Mickey Mouse comeback, and that it would be very special and that the public will remember for years to come.

So, Walt wanted Mickey Mouse to be more appealing, and more up to date, and this time they gave Mickey's face a rather skin colour, than pale. His eyes, now had "pupils in Mickey's pupils", and the redesign of Mickey was done by Fred Moore. Perhaps what Moore is long-credited here is the redesign of Mickey Mouse, but in the credits, Fred Moore is credited as Animation Supervisor, and yet in the draft he isn't credited for animating any scenes in this segment. My guess is that Moore probably did some rough animation on the scenes, and the animators did the final ones, or maybe just the fact that Moore was really supervising the character, and making sure the animators are doing the job right.

It's no guess that was Bill Tytla who animated all of the Sorcerer here - and I always find it interesting that the Sorcerer in Disney scripts is named Yen Sid (Disney backwards), but in the draft no "Yen Sid" is mentioned at all. Bill Tytla handled every single scene of the Sorcerer here (inc. long shots), but I don't know if Tytla did the in-betweens.

I have to say, I think that at the time we get to this segment - there's finally a story. The story here is fun and interesting. It goes Mickey as an apprentice to the Sorcerer, and is training to become one - and he's always tried and exhausted of during his duties.
While the Sorcerer had enough of magic for a while, and then goes for a nap. Mickey gets his time to shine, by putting on the Sorcerer's hat (while the hat was off), and then he sees an example - a broom. He turns the broom to life, and makes him to Mickey's chores. Mickey is happy, and then finally gets rest and feels he has the power. Mickey dreams that he was in power and that he would control the oceans, the stars, planets, comets, weather, etc.
Mickey's dream is interrupted by floods of water in the room, and Mickey realises that he's in BIG trouble, he panics and tries to stop the brooms from over pouring the water.
Mickey then kills the broom, and feels that THAT'S over. But, as the pieces of broom that had been chopped to wood, suddenly start multiplying, and that means BIG trouble for Mickey. The whole broom army goes awry, and Mickey finds the sorcerer's book to try and solve the problem, but is too late and then whirlpools form.
The Sorcerer returns to notice that floods of water are all over the room. He stops this by stopping the waves Moses' style. Mickey, guilty, hands back the Sorcerer's hat and broom and gets back with his duties, and runs along to congratulate Leopold Stokowski for dedicating him in silhouette.

It appears to be that most of the animation of Mickey Mouse was animated by Riley Thompson. Riley animates the character a lot earlier in the film; he animates the dream sequence, and the scenes of Mickey as an apprentice. His animation is decent, but a lot of it is widely remembered - particularly the dream sequence. Riley uses a lot of power for Mickey here, and very appealing. He is a decent Mickey animator, who is underrated. Although, he later worked as a director - although I thought that he was a poor director - I never liked The Nifty Nineties or The Little Whirlwind - they just never made any sense to me, even though there were some talented guys working on it. You could say that Riley Thompson was the main Mickey animator in this sequence - my favourite animation he did was the dream sequence, a lot of weight and Mickey has the power there. So, three cheers for Riley Thompson here.

Les Clark's animation of Mickey Mouse bringing the broom to life, and with the broom is brilliant. I've got a few frame grabs on Shot 14 where the broom quivers and brings the broom to life. The animation is wonderful. It times well, and it's unique. It would've been difficult to handle the broom and Mickey at once, because Mickey is trying to make the broom move, and it quivers. I wonder if Clark animated the characters separately. Although the draft credits two other effects animators Ugo D'Orsi and Dan MacManus. My guess is that D'Orsi did some of the broom coming to life with the shine and gloss coming out, and MacManus doing the shadows.
Here between panels 1 and 3, Mickey starts to bring the broom to life, after making the broom come towards him. Between panels 4 and 6, the broom has arms, and Mickey creates the broom with arms. Between panels 7 and 9, the broom starts to pick up the buckets of water. By panel 10 and to the end of the frame grab, Mickey starts and prepares his walk as the broom follows him. The rest of the shot, I didn't put on frame grabs, but next time I do a long scene, I'll do more than one page of these. But, here I thought that this was the important stuff here.

At the time, The Sorcerer's Apprentice was in production, Walt Disney wanted to hire his greatest animators with talent to work on the film - and at the time, the Nine Old Men were only new at the time when they got to the Disney Studios, and Les Clark was the only one of the members who was experienced, and that was working on Sorcerer's Apprentice. However, the Mickey animators have a lot of Riley Thompson, with a bit of Les Clark, and also includes quite a lot of unknown animators such as Marvin Woodward and Ed Love. However, Preston Blair is pretty much well known in the animation industry as he did a lot of cartoons for the MGM Animation Studios (and not Tom and Jerry). Although another uncredited animator that animated on numerous shorts for Disney at that period was Bob Wickersham. He animated a lot of Mickey in Thru the Mirror, and a bit of animation of Mickey here of Mickey trying to pour the water away. Bob was really known as "Bob Wick" in his comic work.

It appears to be that one of the Mickey animators is also effects animator and one of my favourites Cy Young. He really does the scenes of Mickey holding onto the book, and some of the brooms marching into the water. Although, he is uncredited, but I think we have seen enough of Young in 'Fantasia' already, haven't we?

Ed Love's animation of the brooms multiplying is amusing - I'm not saying that the drawings and the animation is funny - but I'm meaning funny in terms of visual storytelling. For instance, Mickey has chopped the broomstick into tiny pieces with an Axe, and those tiny pieces suddenly start forming and multiplying into dozens and dozens of broomsticks, with means ten times more trouble for Mickey. Those scenes were later parodied in The Simpsons. 


Love is another Disney animator who has been in the backgrounds of Disney animation for a long time, he began his Disney career very early in the 1930's, and left during the infamous Disney strike to work for MGM and other companies.

Arguably the effects animation director of this segment is Ugo D'Orsi - I know, I've explained a bit about him in my article about him on the water effects here. His effects animation in this sequence is extraordinary. Since, the film started production around 1937/1938, and Ugo achieved the effects fantastically and they look just similar than the water effects in Pinocchio, or perhaps more visual. I'm not sure, but I believe that the water effects was first achieved in this segment, and then in Pinocchio the crew did the effects for the film.

In the credits for The Sorcerer's Apprentice there are only three effects animators credited: Ugo D'Orsi, George Rowley and Cornett Wood. Of course, as you can see in this mosaic - Ugo D'Orsi does most of the effects animation here. His effects animation appear to be really heavy and spectacular like the waves and the great water effects. George Rowley does a lot of the effects in the dream sequence of the comets flying past, and the stars. His effects are very nice, and I very much like the whirlpool effects that he did. Cornett Wood's effects is interesting because, he doesn't seem to do a lot of the heavy effects of water or planets twinkling. He seems to do a lot of the background effects like shadows, and also does a lot of effects reflection of light on Mickey's face which is interesting. I guess that some effects artist has to do those effects in order to be in the screen credits.

In Scene 68.1. where Mickey swims to find the Sorcerer's book and tries to climb it - and the scene is credited to both effect animators: Art Palmer and Ed Aardal. This puzzles me because I don't know which one of them did what? My guess is that Ed Aardal most likely did Mickey Mouse because later on he moved on to do character animation (as we saw in Pecos Bill), and Art Palmer does a lot of heavy effects. Any takers?

Alas, I can't forget: Bill Tytla's animation of the Sorcerer. His animation of the Sorcerer is brilliant. At the end of the sequence, he gives the character a lot of strong emotions over Mickey's mischievous behaviour of stealing his hat. The character has a lot of personality and confidence, and all thanks to Mr. Tytla - who is an expert on the character's emotions. Yet, Tytla deserves praise for his work here. Marvin Woodward handles the last Mickey Mouse scenes in the film, and the acting is good, and the animation, and yet he doesn't get credit for it. Marvin does some fine acting scenes, and yet the Nine Old Men didn't work on that, and Woodward should've got credit for that.

What's interesting is that Preston Blair is only credited for 7 scenes here, but yet some of the screen footage is long, so I suppose that's why he is in the screen credits. Although, Blair did do a lot of work on Dance of the Hours and was one of the key animators on it - but it didn't mean that he was too busy on that segment, because Sorcerer was the segment that began Fantasia.

Oh, and plus I can't identify on who the mystery effects man "Dawson" is, I've checked Alberto page, and not a bean of information was found.

I'm afraid that's all folks. It's not certainly the end of the Fantasia mosaics, as I've still got a lot to go through, but I hope this info has been very informative for you, and---I shall look forward to your responses. ;)

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Really Great News (For Me)

Hey folks,

If you are wondering why I wasn't posting on Friday (yesterday), well let me explain: Sorry for my absence because today I was really busy and I had a big day today at school because I was involved in a sports tournament against another school, it was me and roughly 11 other students competing against them in the games of football, badminton and swimming. As a result, my school won the overall competition, and it was a very fun day for me.

I only competed in the sports badminton and swimming because I find football extremely hard and I'm very weak at it, so I wasn't playing it. But, badminton is a very strong sport of mine, and I'm very good at it, and I managed to win a game against another player when I was playing single.

 However, at swimming: I joined in; although doing it again wasn't as easy as I thought. I hadn't been swam for ages and I didn't practice in time for the competition, but I did do okay at front crawl because I'm pretty good at that. Although, I found it extremely difficult when I was doing backstroke because it's not a strong skill that I'm good at in swimming, and it was even more difficult when I had to swim 2 lengths, and I was struggling then, but I made it in the end. After swimming a few races, the teams altogether did a rally and the other school won and we came 2nd.

After the swimming and we got changed into our clothes, our coaches announced the final scores and my school ended up winning, although the school did really good too, and it was a very fair day.

I'm afraid no Sorcerer's Apprentice mosaic today because I just got home and I still need time to finish off that mosaic, and if I don't complete it in time then it will have to be next week.

*****

On the other hand, I also have some news, in fact: really big news for me!

Have you heard of the new film that's currently in cinemas called The King's Speech? It's about King George VI (our current Queen's father), and he actually suffers from speech and language difficulties. He was diagnoses of a stammer, and it meant that when he was talking, he couldn't exactly say what he was going to say in his sentence, and you know that Porky Pig from Looney Tunes has a stuttering problem, well that's what King George VI had.

I heard it's meant to be great film (I haven't seen it), and here is where the excitement comes in: The press and the BBC are interested in hearing people's stories of having speech and language difficulties, and they are actually come to my school on a Monday morning because it's a speech and language school, and they are going to interview a people who were chosen (I was one of the chosen), and the interviewers with the camera are going to question us with a few questions on what our difficulties are.

I diagnose is Asperger's syndrome. There, I've said it: I know what it's like when I have it and what it really means. As I'm slightly austistic (although I've got good Asperger's), and it means that I can have a habit of repeating myself without realizing, and their social skills can be quite poor (my social skills are fine, I was at the tournament today and it wasn't mandatory), and they can have a very strong interest on a few things. Of course, my huge interests of them all is animation - I'm very enthusiastic about it - and I love the business and how the techniques were created and the people who where responsible, that is my hobby. I love to draw a lot, and I like to study and I want to become a really good animator when I grow up. Another strong interest I have is badminton - it's really more of a hobby. I love to play the sport, and I feel that I have a lot of strength playing it, and I feel good. I showed what I was best at in badminton, and I ended up winning one of the matches.

BUT, and I mean a big but: not all the interviews that will be filmed will end up in TV in the news. But hopefully (fingers crossed), that I will be on the television and if I can show it to you, I will post it on this blog.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (VI)





Hey folks, this is the last entry for the Nutcracker Suite segment - it doesn't seem to be much of a fun ride (comparing to feedback), but I'm still not giving up and I'm hoping to get more and more feedback on my Sorcerer's Apprentice mosaic.

Several Fantasia mosaics ago, my postings haven't been lengthy and I lacked my knowledge there. Although, my postings can be erratic, but it doesn't mean that I'm leaving the web - I'm just gone for most of the weekdays because I'm at a boarding school and my blog is blocked at school, and I've tried numerous times to ask a teacher to unblock it, but I'm afraid that all Blogger sites are blocked, and that it will stay that way. Now my fault.

Animation breakdown for The Waltz of the Flowers: Animation of the fairies with the first half done by Les Clark, and Robert Stokes does the middle section of the skating fairies, and George Rowley does the final scenes of the fairies dancing on snowflakes at the end. Milkweeds also by George Rowley, with leaves by Brad Case, and the fairies' effects by Vern Witt (long shot at Shot 20 on fairies' wings), and the ice-skating effects by Sandy Strother.

The effects animation here is very stunning, and it's so beautiful that it looks like a group of professional artists like Leonardo Da Vinci, or Claude Monet were animating it and doing the layouts. I've described Fantasia many times as a piece of artwork on a frame, but done a million times, and moving. All the effects animation here is beautiful. Brad Case, an unknown effects animator who seemed to have a good career after Disney, did a fantastic job on the leaves, and they look real, they feel real, and they ARE real. I love the golden leaves that fall on the ground (also done by Case), and I love the glorious effect of the leaves shining brightly, it shines so wonderfully that I had to shut my eyes, because of the beautiful sparks on the leaves.

I think at the time, Walt Disney and his effects artists were at the pinnacle of their achievements, animation was developing so quickly from that point, that Disney would've wanted to see computer animation soon - because Walt had always been searching for some machinery robots that would replace the animators, but he failed for looking for one. But, that technique (known as CGI animation), wouldn't have been invented for decades to come (probably when Tron first came out, that's when it was first seen). However, after the Second World War, it seemed that Disney effects animation had declined, and animation wasn't getting any artistic, and that technique wouldn't have returned until when around The Black Cauldron came out, the effects looked so real, or I think Sleeping Beauty was the last film that Walt saw with glorious effects.

George Rowley's milkweeds are promising and serviceable, and for a long time I thought it was done by Cy Young (as I already knew he did the spinning-top flowers), because they looked like his work, and the style was there, but now looking at it, George Rowley's makes more sense.

Les Clark's animation of the fairies are wonderful, they move beautifully and I knew that it would've been difficult to stage or time, because they move around at different times, and fly around, and the animators had to be very careful with the movement and the shots. But Les achieved that target, and made it a brilliant effect to it.

I want to take a look at both Clark and Stokes' handling of the fairies here, some of the shape is different, and I want to compare:

Les Clark.

Les Clark handles the fairy here in this scene brilliant! The staging is superb, the shapes and her body looks completely like a fairy would be. I like how her wings were drawn, it looks superbly real, like a fly or a bumble bee's wing. Clark does one of the best fairies here, and of course he is the only member of the Nine Old Men that works in The Nutcracker Suite and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Bob Stokes.

Now, Bob Stokes' handling of the fairies is interesting. He animates it a lot different than Les Clark does. For example, the bodies of the fairies here are a lot thicker, while Clark's fairies were much thinner. Stokes gives the fairies a thicker body, and thicker legs, and gives the fairies with short hair. To me, that lacks appeal. However, the wings are superbly drawn and are more realistic than Clark, it's like frost (mind you the scenes here are wintery), and the scenes of the fairies ice-skating, is probably the most memorable of this sequence. The music is wonderful, the effects are marvelous, and there's so much detail here.

In the final scenes with the snowflakes by George Rowley, a lot of the snowflakes in the draft credit "SPEC. EFX." is of course means "special effects." I think it means, that an object on the screen wasn't done by an animator of effects animator, but I believe it means that someone created a snowflake and shot them in live-action and placed them onto the animated screen. This has happened many times in Disney productions before, so don't worry. They used a lot of it (e.g. the rain effects in Dumbo, Little Toot, The Sword in the Stone, etc. the rain looks really real and they obviously shot it in live-action).

I have to say, that the final scenes of the fairies that I stuck on the mosaic were very frustrating because the draft has the descriptions for the scenes like "Repeat Scene 44 [or 45]", and yet when I got them all, it was confusing because I don't think all the scenes were there, and plus on the Deems Taylor narrating the instructions, it shows the last scene of the fairies in the snowflakes by George Rowley, and I placed it there. I think that one of the scenes were taken off in the final minute, because after the draft is typed, there's often final minute changes. So, if I made mistakes here on the last scenes, forgive me. It's not as easy as it looks.

I'll leave it here for now - and please feel free to comment, I won't bite at all - I'll listen to your thoughts, and I will reply with no harm. ;-)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Celebrity Caricatures (II)

Hey folks. Here is the second and final installment of my caricatures of celebrities - that my dad posted to me via e-mail last week. Let's hope that you saved the laughs and giggles from last week and to continue for today. This is a continuation from my previous post.

Enjoy:

 Spanish actress Penelope Cruz at the top and American acclaimed actor Robert De Niro.

 Mr. Bean star Rowan Atkinson (top), and Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker (bottom). Urgh, she is hideous.

 Scottish James Bond star Sean Connery at the top, and Italian star Sophia Loren at the bottom.

 Two acclaimed stars: The "hunky" Tom Cruise (topty) and "ugly" Sylvester Stallone (bottie).

 American "Pulp Fiction" actress Uma Thurman (top) and superb "Forrest Gump" actor Tom Hanks (bottom).

 American entertainer Whoopi Goldberg at the top and Japanese actor Bruce Lee at the bottom.

 Icelandic singer Bjork (top) and popular British singer David Bowie (bottom).

American jazz singer Chet Baker.

 American singer Dolly Parton (toptie) and American composer/pianist Duke Ellington (bottie).

 American entertainer Elvis Presley "I'm all shook up - Uh, huh-huh!" (top) and British insane guitarist Eric Clapton (bottom).

 "WOW! I feel god!" American singer James Brown (toptie) and Liverpool music god John Lennon (bottie).

 Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards at the top and Aussie singer Kylie Minogue at the bottom.

 American rock n'roller Lou Reed at the top and American entertaining pioneer Michael Jackson at the bottom.

American entertainer Madonna. I find her overrated these days.

 Rolling Stones vocalist "big-lipped" Mick Jagger (toptie) and Canadian guitarist Neil Young (bottie).

 Beatles/Wings god Paul McCartney at the top and Aerosmith leader Steve Tyler at the bottom.

 American singer Tina Turner "Simply the best - NOT!" at the top. Olympic skate-figure Katarina Witt at the bottom.

Well, that's my postings for the funny caricatures done - and feel free to comment on what you thought about them. If me dad sends me more caricatures of celebrities, I'll post them again. But, that's just a maybe, and I'm not keeping promises.