Saturday, 26 March 2011

Liz Taylor Funeral Anecdote

Among the recent passing of beloved celebrity Elizabeth Taylor who passed away last Thursday at the age of 79. Actually wrote in her will that while her funeral would start - she wanted her coffin to arrive 15 minutes late - which I thought was quite an amusing tale. Since Taylor was dying - but her spark still was there.

Elizabeth Taylor was a big famous Hollywood actress who's been in famous films like Cleopatra. She was a very pretty actress back then - one of the prettiest. But I assume now she'd be carcass. By which I mean, not so pretty since she's not with us anymore.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (XVIII)






At last - it's about time that I've posted this mosaic. Sorry, I should've posted this last week - but in fact: I should've posted this weeks ago! Don't worry readers, my laptop's back now - all fixed but it arrived late though, but now it's fine.

When my laptop had virus problems, I was only about half of Page 69 completed, and as I got it back today - I had to finish off 5 and a half pages left today and it took blooming ages! But, that's all OK now because my Fantasia mosaics are no longer in hiatus - I'm back baby!

This segment which introduces the Centaurs and Centaurettes is probably my favourite part of the Pastoral Symphony segment (if not, the best). The music here is just beautiful Beethoven. Sure, the animation is good and the music. But, what always caught my attention in this segment the most is the girls - the centaurettes. In a way, I was always amazed by them - they are very pretty and sexy, they are beautiful, delicate creatures. No, I'm not leaving my girlfriend! But, it's just the way they are in this segment, they just seemed to be the most beautifully animated than any other Disney girl pretty much up until Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Of course, like most sophisticated Disney males - the centaurs are the boring lot. Sure, they are debonair and strong looking - but it doesn't stop me from being bored of them. The girls are the highlight, they have more appearances than the centaurs do.

I love how the waterfall scenes from the previous sequence continues on and showing the centaurettes in the lake washing and having fun with the other girls. From what you see, they seem to be getting ready with the cherubs helping them out making them look very beautiful for their dates. It appears to be "blind dates" for the centaurs because they are looking out for some girls. Of course, they all choose the girls that appeals to them the most and that suits best. Yes, I'm sure that we wish this could happen - he all handsome and choose a girl for life that best suits us - but I'm afraid that doesn't work in this world.

What I find very interesting is the fact that the very first shot of the sequence shows the centaurettes - and of course, they are all topless. All the topless centaurettes are animated by Jack Campbell - one of the mystery animators. Jack Campbell handles the shot well - but what's interesting is that it seems to have got a lot away from the film censors. Of course, it's slightly covered because their "nipples" are not showing (as Fred Moore did model sheets of them showing their breasts). Of course, in children's films or shows - the censors would completely remove scenes of woman showing their breasts. But here in Fantasia they got away with it. Although I believe that the shot of the centaurette walking out the river with her breasts showing was criticised by film critics because of nudity in an animated film - but I feel that it was made the way it was - and besides it's just one shot (but a very long shot perhaps - Jack Campbell animated the shot which was 79-10 feet - which is more than 1200 drawings and about 53 seconds of footage). Jack Campbell must have drawn more than 1000 drawings of nude centaurettes - I wonder how he felt about animating the scene. Although some of it does looked rotoscoped.

Jack Campbell.

I imagine that shot 15 (the same Jack Campbell shot) was difficult to animate because he had to get so many girls into the shot - I assume that he animated the girls on separate sheets of animation paper. It seems to much to be put into one piece of paper and doing 1000 more drawings of it. The shot of the nude centaurette with the white hair drying herself off and the horse side is a clever shot. It would be difficult because Campbell would have to get the horse drying off right as well as the female body. Seems like a difficult task do to back in 1940.

Without doubt - Ollie Johnston (and Fred Moore) animate the most beautiful girls here. Ollie's scenes are just wonderful to watch - they look beautiful, he animates them well as if actresses were acting it. From all the other second-string animators on the sequence, you can tell that the top animators here Ollie Johnston and Fred Moore animate the most attractive centaurettes - while the others can't quite top them. It's a shame that Ollie Johnston doesn't let a lot of stuff to do because the 79 feet shot was mainly all animates by Jack Campbell except for the girl being prepared by a cherub that was 9 feet of animation. I wish that we could see  more of Ollie later but that's all he animates in the Pastoral Symphony while we will see much more of the other animators, even including Fred Moore.

There is an awful lot of animation casting here: the Centaurettes with the make up on are mainly by Ollie Johnston with a scene by Bill Justice, the scenes of the Centaurettes posing are by the illustrious Fred Moore. While the "additional" centaurette scenes are by Bill Justice and Jack Campbell. Of course, the scenes with the sad centaurette and centaur are by Fred Moore. The cherubs who put on the show and help out are also animated by Ollie Johnston, and also supported by Milt Neil and Bob Youngquist. The centaurs are mainly animated by John Elliotte and Berny Wolf (who also does centaurettes). Amby Paliwoda does two scenes of centaurs and centaurettes who is uncredited in the segment.

In the uncut version, while the "Sunflower" shots were still there - they were originally animated by Howdy-Doody creator Milt Neil. Of course, Milt animated most of the deleted character - of course, it didn't mean that that was all he animated - he got a good chunk of cherubs to animate and he animated a lot of them in this segment. Shot 19 of the centaurette filing her nails is credited to Bill Justice and Milt Neil - and the draft notes are credited to Centaurette - and "Negro Centaurette", Milt Neil would've done "Sunflower" and Bill Justice doing the centaurette.

What's also interesting about these documents is that fact that the secretary uses a word that was common use back then and that's "Negro". Sure, people may be uncomfortable with the term (that's also me), but it's not for me to be moaning about because we need to accept the fact that this is a past document that used this word back then. Of course, Negro isn't just a name for black people - if you go to a paint shop to buy black paint it would say "Negro" on it - it's actually Greek/Latin for the word "black".

Ollie Johnston and Fred Moore animate the most realistic centaurettes. Bill Justice animates minor scenes of the centaurettes - but personally I love shot 51 with the centaur picking out the flowers and the centaurette. Bill did an excellent job there. Of course, some animators like Berny Wolf or Jack Campbell might not animate them as realistic as Fred or Ollie. I noticed that in the two shots of the centaurettes by Jack Campbell he animates the centaurettes with their belly buttons showing. All the rest of the shots never show the centaurette's belly buttons. Which I find interesting - even though some shots do show.

I have to admit - I'm not really a great fan of the "Melinda and Centaur" scenes much - I just felt it was slow - but yet again they can't just get rid of the music. I think the timing of the cherubs playing their pipes was excellent timing with the music and they were animated my Milt Neil. Milt is another animator who isn't that well recognize - but he did have some career later on at Howdy Doody and being an animation mentor.

Fred Moore's scenes of the sad centaur and centaurette are okay - his style is totally there. You can tell that there is a "Moore" style in the centaurette's face. Moore's animation of the sad Centaurette is reasonable - but the animation reminds me of how Ham Luske animated Snow White. But I have to be honest that I'm not really a fan of the centaur animation - it just seems boyish to me - especially in shot 95. That's why that later on in Moore's career - his animation was much crude due to drinking problems. But, no disrespect because his centaurettes posing are just excellent.

There may be some confusions here in the Pastoral Symphony because you won't be able to tell what animator Jim Moore animated - I just added Jim Moore onto the mosaic because the draft labeled it but I still wasn't sure because I thought it could be a typo to Fred Moore's name. But you'll find out later in the draft that you'll get even more confusion between Fred and Jim in the "Storm" sequence. I will write a separate post  about that.

Berny Wolf's animation of the centaurs approaching are alright - but it just doesn't feel believable. The animation just feels clumsy and Berny never seems to be much good at these stuff. I think John Elliotte animates them a bit better than Wolf - but I have to say I like Shot 48 a lot because of the female centaurette and the centaur and centaurette in the background with their pony tails as a holding-hand gag - now that's very clever. It seems that John Elliotte had the assignment that no one else wanted to do - the centaurs. I have to admit that ever since I first watched Fantasia back in 2004 when I was 8 - I always felt that the centaurs looked like Fred Jones from Scooby-Doo - I don't really know why but they always just reminded me of them.

What is amazing about this sequence is the terms of "music timing". Since I have the restored Fantasia on me - the shots feel much better since the 50 Years version. Of course, it's very clever how the fact that even when the Sunflower shots were wiped out - the restoration team and the editors seemed to have done an amazing job with the music. When the Sunflower shot was removed, there doesn't seem to be a bad jump at the music at all - which I thought was pretty cool. What I really do like about the restored version is that they finally fixed the camera movements in shot 42 - because it was restored - it got a very bad close-up of the centaurette as the camera zoomed in.

In the draft, the cherubs are called "Cupids". True, they are also called "cupids" but I prefer using "cherubs" because of the logo of the book series CHERUB by Robert Muchamore. I like the idea that the storymen used the cherubs for the sequence since they are the symbol of the first sign of romance, although here the cherubs look a lot like Pinocchio - and funny enough Ham Luske assigns the cherubs to three different animators who worked on the title character in Pinocchio: Ollie Johnston, Milt Neil and Bob Youngquist (Neil and Youngquist doing uncredited work on the character). What's interesting is the fact that every sequence of the segment seems to be co-directed along with Ham Luske - like his directors Jim Handley and Ford Beebe were his assistant directors on Pinocchio. While Luske uses his assistants Erwin Verity and Jack Bruner in the sequences. I wonder why Ham assigned his assistant director to co-direct sequences. He seemed pretty confident in directing - Pinocchio and all (The Reluctant Dragon, etc.) But Ham uses his animators he used from Pinocchio to work on the segment. Ham worked with a lot of Eric Larson I believe - but Eric was his assistant to begin with and then worked with him closely since then.

Well, I'm amazed my lengthy post on the Fantasia mosaic is finished - I hope that the long wait was worth it - there will be more coming up! I'm finally back on service.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Lennie Small - A Real Person?

While I was looking up Of Mice and Men in Wikipedia on Friday - I noticed an interview that was by John Steinbeck in 1937 (the same year the book came out), and I read something interesting in there about Lennie Small - altohugh this was not only Wikipedia saying so - it was witnessed by other sites:

"I was a bindlestiff myself for quite a spell. I worked in the same country that the story is laid in. The characters are composites to a certain extent. Lennie was a real person. He's in an insame asylum in California right now. I worked alongside him for many weeks. He didn't kill a girl. He killed a ranch foreman. Got sore because the boss had to fire his pal and stuck a pitchfork right through the stomach. I hate to tell you how many times I saw him do it. We couldn't stop him until it was too late."

Basingstoke Gym

Hey folks,

One of the reaons why I didn't post yesterday was because --- I was out all day - yes I was.

I woke up at roughly 6.30 in the morning when the sun was already rising - and could've woke up a bit later at 8.15am but instead I woke up that early. I started to organise my trip out because I was invited to an early birthday party with one of my friends and we were going to organise a day out at the Basingstoke Gym in Basingstoke.

I left home at 9.30 and then I met my friends at the train station in Horsham and got our train tickets and then we left for Basingstoke at roughly 10.30am. We did get off at different stations to catch the train to Basnigstoke. We arrived at the town Basingstoke, Hampshire at roughly 12 in the afternoon and then we had lunch. We started to do a bit of our "free running" activities (as you've seen it on my blog). I did some vaulting and climbing trees. We did this on the way to the Basingstoke Gym.

We arrived at the Basingstoke Gym at roughly 4pm in the afternoon and from what I saw it looked amazing. They had a lot of equipment that was brilliant for practicing your Parkour and free running. I thought it was amazing. Of course, the instructors gave us simple rules that we had to follow. When I was at the Gym, at first I felt a bit nervous because I never learn't to front flip before and that's what there's a lot of. So, some of my friends helped demonstrate me how to do a front flip - at the first couple of tries - it was pretty clumsy. But, as I practiced - I did well. Although the problems are that I can't quite do front flips properly - I can do most of it right - like keeping my body in the air but I can't quite land them on my feet yet.

There are at least 3 film clips recorded on one of my friends' camera of me doing front flip practices - one of them was very good that I felt proud of (even though I can't land them) ;).

I was very exhausted afterwards and we finished our day since we booked it for 4 hours. We left at 7.45pm and while I was outside with my friends, I noticed that there was a full moon outside and I shown it to my frinds - I later found out the next day from Michael Sporn's blog and other websites that the moon was at its closest axis on Earth. It did look very close when I saw it.

After walking from the amazing 'Basingstoke Gym' - we had dinner at 'Subway' and then took the train home at 9pm and expecting to be back at home by 10 or 10.30 - but the delays later became much later. We were late for an early train due to us eating dinner - and then we were delayed at Gatwick Airport.

We eventually came back at midnight and it was a really brilliant day for me.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Of Mice and Men Loneliness Theme

As I'm currently still studying the book Of Mice and Men written by John Steinbeck and the fact that I've already seen the two films (one from 1939 and the other from 1992), and I'm currently studying the book's theme - and that's lonliness.

In this post, I'm going to be talking a bit about the characters and why they are lonely and the incidents they were involved in: I'm going to "blab" about three different characters in the book who are the supporting characters. Curley's wife, Crooks and Candy.

Of Mice and Men is a brilliant book wonderfully written by John Steinbeck who later became a Nobel Prize winner. It's set during the Great Depression in California, United States. It features two migrant workers named George and Lennie who keep travelling place to place together. They hope that they will own a ranch in the forest of their own some day but they need the money to hopefully afford their dreams.



The first of the characters I'm going to do in order is Curley's wife:

  • Why lonely?
The reasons why Curley's wife is really lonely is because she is the only female at the ranch and that's one of the reasons why it makes her 'awful lonely'. She doesn't like Curley at all and they were only married for two weeks. Curley's wife only married Curley on the night they met - she hoped for a better future but all it was was worse. She tries to talk to some of the farm workers just for a friendly conversation and all the workers never respond to her starting conversations - because they don't want to be in threat with Curley because he could get them 'canned' (fired). When Curley is going out of the ranch to have fun downtown at night - he never invites his wife to come and have fun - he always tells her to stay in the house and not to go outside.

  • Incidents
Curley's wife has been involved in some incidents. Before marrying Curley - she hoped that she would become an actress someday. Even an actor saw her when she was 15 and said that 'she was a natural'. He said that she would put her in 'pitchers' (films) and says that she needs to write a letter to him - although unfortunately she never got the letter and blamed it on 'her old lady'.

Curley's wife was involved in a small incident when she was in Crooks' separate bunkhouse with Lennie and Candy inside. Crooks tells her to leave - but Curley's wife starts to threaten him and calling him "negro" and threatening to have him "lynched" (hanged).

The biggest incident that Curley's wife was involved was towards the end when Lennie was in the barn crying over his dead pup, and then she tries to comfort Lennie and for a while it seemed to work. She let Lennie stroke her hair while they were in a topic of "soft things". Lennie kept on "mussing" up her hair and then she started to panic and then Lennie accidentally broke her neck and she was killed instantly. John Steinbeck said in an interview that Curley's wife wasn't a person but a bad symbol towards poor Lennie.

Now, onto Crooks

  • Why?
Probably the number one reason why Crooks is lonely or isolated from other people is because of his different skin colour - he is black. Because of that, it means that he has to sleep in a seperate bunk house from the other people. He does a different job from the other people leading to his injuries. Since he has a different skin colour from everybody - it means that he can't go into the bunkhouse and play cards because apparentally he "stinks". He doesn't really socialise at all and often spends time in his bunkhouse reading books or magazines and not communicating. Crooks' time is "a guy gets nuts when he has nobody." Altohugh Crooks does take part in horseshoes and is good at it. But, he does seem to be complimented by Candy the swamper.

  • Incidents
In the past, Crooks was involved with an incident that involved a horse. He was kicked in the back of the head by a horse a long time ago and that's why he has a sore back - he is known as "a negro stable back". I suppose that Steinbeck named the character "Crooks" because of the fact he has a crooked back.

While Lennie came into Crook's ranch - and at first Crooks was unwelcoming towards Lennie saying "he ain't got no right to come in here". While Lennie was being friendly towards Crooks, so Crooks invited him inside. At first, Crooks was teasing Lennie because he says that what would Lennie do if George never returned back - at first Lennie was worried and then grabbed Crooks really frightened. Crooks realised that the joke went too far and ended it.

While Lennie and Candy were occupied in Crook's bunkhouse - Curley's wife shows up asking if "Curley was here?" - of course, Candy and Crooks weren't very welcoming towards Curley's wife and asking her to leave while she was talking to Lennie about how Curley's hand got injured (by Lennie of course). So, Curley's wife turns to Crooks and using racial words towards him and threatens to report to the boss (or Curley) and accusing her for being raped (which is all a lie) and have Crooks "sprung up a tree" which meant being executed.

Last but not least - Candy:

  • Why lonely?
One of the reasons why Candy is lonely in the book is because he has no family or surviving relatives left, and his only real friend he had was his dog that was very old and had the dog since it was a puppy. He has an injured hand from the past which meant that he can't do other jobs like the other farmers do - so he is a swamper. His only home that he lives in is the farm - that's the only place he lives. After Candy's dog was shot - Candy was on his own until he joined in with George and Lennie about the dreams of living the farmhouse and that Candy could do chores for them and gardening and said that when he died, he will share his will and money to them.

  • Incidents
Candy has been involved in some incidents in the novel - he told the workers in the horseshoe tournaments as part of the plan as if he only saw Curley's wife dead in the hay. But one of the main incidents was the death of Candy's dog. One night, Carlson couldn't stand the hygiene or the stench of his dog and wanted it killed. Candy was defensive and claims that "he knew him too long". Slim promised Candy that he will give him one of the pups. Candy later lost the case - and Carlson got out his Luger and took him out to kill him. Candy was very upset that the dog was killed because it was his only real friend in the world and he regretted that he should've killed the dog himself.

*

That's my talk about the Lonliness theme of Of Mice and Men done - if I can, I might post another Lonliness theme with different characters because there are a lot of lonely characters in the book. That's really what the theme is - one of the lines in the book is that "rancers are the lonliest people in the world".

See you folks.

P.S. The Fantasia mosaics will probably not be posted until Sunday because I will be out all day tomorrow with friends at Basingstoke Gym from 10am to 10pm which will be a very busy day.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Monday and Tuesday Mosaics...

At school on Monday and Tuesday for the WHOLE days - there was a lady who was an artist and trained who worked on mosaics. No, I'm not talking about mosaics that are mine or Mark Mayerson's style. But, actual mosaics that you cut and stick and put it together.

I did some work on my mosaics - it was part of my Art class. I had a fun time, except when I accidentally cut my finger with a "cutter" and I got a blood blister. I still have it on my finger but it's healing up fine. Not really painful - but it was painful in the first few minutes.

A lot of people had their mosaics completed in the two days probably because they had less detailed stuff to do. My mosaic was very detailed and I had a lot to do - it was based on a picture of a tomato and a mushroom with a leaf in the background. How 'bout that - call that easy?

But yes, I think my mosaics for Fantasia or Alice in Wonderland are much easier because you can't possibly get hurt from it - and the fact that I'm much quicker at making them (I've even created mosaics on days when it's meeting deadlines).

Anyways, I found out that my laptop is fixed and hopefully I will continue posting my Fantasia mosaics.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Interesting "Chinese Spongebob" Vid



I've seen this video of Spongebob Squarepants in China many times. It is quite amusing to watch - although it's incredibly clmusy. It seems to be that someone on YouTube had actually some edits for footage of the Spongebob Squarepants Movie and did a spoof.

I thought the opening titles were clever to use a Chinese take-away box as Spongebob's home instead of a pineapple - and instead of "boatmobiles" they use tanks. Mmm, isn't that a bit too much on the politics side? Although it's incredibly short and it was pointless a bit.

Although, it's quite entertaining in ways - but I just think that it is far too controversial to the public - and it was attracted more than 55 million views from my count. Sure, we know about some history of China in the past - with the "Tank Man" protesting the tanks coming by. But, sometimes I think they ought to watch out. Although, they did get away with it (I think).

Spongebob Squarepants was in fact one of my favourite childhood shows when I was young and I always loved the characters and the gags which were hilarious. However, I thought that after the movie came out - new episodes became rather crude and the animation looked very ugly to me. I always preferred the animation from Seasons 2 and 3. The Season 1 animation with traditional animation I thought was alright and I never had a problem with it. Surprising as I love the show so much and yet it's what I rarely talk about.

I just thought I'd show it to you - as I can't write a lengthy article at the moment since my laptop is getting fixed at the moment (hopefully) ready for next week.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The Nutty Professor "Review"

Hi,

Today I'm going to review a film that I saw on Boxing Day and it's a film that I just find hilarious - one of the best comedy films that I've seen and you guessed it - The Nutty Professor. No, I'm not talking about the remake version with Eddie Murphy in it - I'm talking about the original version from 1963 directed, produced, written and also acted by comedian Jerry Lewis.


In the original trailer - Jerry Lewis warned the audiences NOT to reveal the middle the picture. He didn't care if anyone revealed the beginning or end, but he did care about others revealing the middle.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the remake by Eddie Murphy - I hated the fact that he changed the characters and the fact that it was different from the original. To be honest, you have to love Jerry Lewis' performance of Professor Kelp who is a nerdy, meek scientist at a University with a funny, cranky voice and he has a formula that turned him into a handsome, hunky, confident guy named Buddy Love.

The story is crazy and at the time this was Jerry Lewis at his craziest in this movie. The story is entertaining - and at the time it was really made a fine, entertaining, family film. It is just a hilarious movie that can make you laugh out loud throughout the movie. There is a lot of "toilet humour" in the movie and even really crazy stuff that comes out can make you laugh. The story is basically a goofy version of the famous story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - except its altered and used for entertainment.

The story starts off with Professor Kelp (played by Jerry Lewis) who is a nerdy, unattractive, buck-toothed professor who just created an explosion in a chemistry class - he had been warned about any chemical reactions since he first arrived two years ago by Dr. Warfield (played by Del Moore). While teaching a class, Kelp gets humiliatedly assaulted by a jock who is a bully and stuffs in in a closet full of potions. Kelp notices an advertisement in a magazine which meant about being build up and avoiding bulles. So, Kelp joins the local gym and he causes mischieve like with his poor eyesight mistakeningly referring to people in white costumes as bowling pins and injured them.

Kelp had a crush on one of his students named Stella Purdy (played by Stella Stevens), and she seems to be the only student in his chemistry class that cares for the professor. So, Kelp discovered one day that that he had a formula from his father on how to translate into another person with a different personality. Kelp uses the potion and he then turns into a handsome, cool swinger named Buddy Love - who is a confident, hard looking person who is a bit of a jerk and only cares for himself. He has his confidence with Stella Purdy - and Stella hated Buddy's personality but in a way - she liked his charm.

While Buddy Love smoked, often his nice smooth voice would come back into the annoying, crouchy Kelp voice and Buddy Love has to quickly make an excuse to leave. Kelp has his misadventures of his Buddy Love experiences - until when Buddy Love was invited to the prom - he made a screw up with his voice changing back and then Kelp finally confessed that it was him all along that was Buddy Love. Everyone did nothing except bulk at him.

While Kelp left the prom depressed, Stella went up to him and said that she'd rather be married to a professor than a swinger like Buddy Love. So, they got married and THAT'S NOT ALL FOLKS! The ending showed Kelp's father all confident and selling the formulas for being a different person that Kelp used to become Buddy Love. So Kelp and Stella walked away for their own lives to live.

It's a rather goofy outtake on Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the acting and comic timing is excellent. I have to admit, probably the highlight of the film is the Professor - he is a very nerdish character who isn't good-looking and doesn't live in a nice house and isn't really a strong person. His personality is brilliant, he's a very foolish person and that's what makes it great. I think his voice is excellent, Jerry Lewis puts on a voice that totally fits the character. It's rather crouchy, nerdish and annoying. But I think that's how it should be. He gave what the character got.

Even the supporting characters were good - Stella Stevens playing the girl did some good acting - and Stella Stevens was known as a Playboy model and she did some good personality scenes on the character. She had strong emotions and she shows that she's no fool. However, I think Del Moore playing Dr. Warfield who is the head of the University did an excellent job with the character. He had brilliant timing while acting and a lot of emotions. Like the Nostalgia Critic said, he could change the character's emotions in about a milisecond which is fantastic. I always thought he was a funny character - like the scene where Buddy Love keeps on getting Dr. Warfield on and off his office desk and trying to rehearse a line for fun which is "To be or not to be that is the question..." from Hamlet (THERE, I've got it correct) and Love kept on interrupting and briniging him down. It would've have been difficult to act because it's a very long shot over three minutes and they had to get it all right.

The scene that always intrigues me the most or what I find the most funniest is the scenes with Professor Kelp having a flashback to his parents and Kelp as a baby - and I always find it funny with the mother telling off his husband and gets very offended while the timid father tries to be nice to her by calling love names like "darling, angel, love, honey, dearest", the fact that the mother is older and bigger is funny. She always tells him off and says funny lines like "ELMER, if you're not here in just ten seconds, your dinner will go to your family - the hogs.", or the fact that she was so cruel that while Kelp's father reached over to get a piece of meatloaf on the table and the mother shouts, "IDIOT! Can't you eat with your mouth closed?" and then the father timidly just chews with his fork pretending that he's eating. Although at the end of the film, it reveals that the father has all the confidence and the mother doesn't have much confidence. The mother was played by Howard Morris - who is Mr. Elmer Kelp. While the mother is Edwina Kelp played by Elvia Allman who voiced Cabrelle Cow in the Mickey Mouse cartoons.

I suggest that you people should watch the film (if you haven't seen it). It's very funny and if you've got time to spare, then try and watch out for the film and trust me I'm sure that you will enjoy watching the film. For my final score - I'd give it a 9 out of 10.

Note on Mosaics

Just to inform you that at the moment this weekend - I won't be creating any new mosaics due to circumstances. I will resume posting my Fantasia mosaics shortly - but my laptop is suffering a bad virus and today we called a computer technical person to help try and fix it. It'll hopefully be fixed by next week and I can continue with mosaics. My Fantasia mosaics are in my laptop documents - so I have to borrow a Dell laptop - while the one that needs fixing is a Packard Bell.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Bit About Geronimi

As some people might heard about in interviews - Disney director Clyde Geronimi wasn't a nice guy to follow. He was disliked a lot by Ward Kimball, well - mostly everyone at the Disney Studios disliked old Gerry Geronimi. Dorse A. Lanpher in his book described Gerry as "a loud, rude, cursing, cigar smoking" man.

Dorse A. Lanpher wrote in his book Flyin' Chunks and Other Things to Duck that his boss: effects animator Jack Buckley told him that he had "an abundance of four letter words with a force that could remove wallpaper". Of course, this is more of a joke really because no-one can really remove wallpaper with a force of swearing. That is what I think is an anecdote - but maybe it did happen. Although I think Jack Buckley may have been a bit sarcastic.

Ward Kimball says that the end of Geronimi's career was because of John Lounsbery refusing to pick up scenes of him one day and going to Walt Disney saying "I don't want to work with this man anymore!" So, it was the end of Gerry's career - it seemed that Walt had no choice but to fire him. I believe there's more to say about Geronimi on Michael Barrier's book Hollywood Cartoons - and I really do need to purchase the book online, I will do eventually.



Here in this documentary from 1954 with Walt Disney promoting his then new feature Lady and the Tramp, and towards the video - there is an interesting part with Gerry Geronimi, who was directing a sequence along with Woolie Reitherman animating Tramp in the dog fight and Tom Codrick who was providing layouts. Here, Gerry looked like a nice guy there - calm and not cursing and explaining Woolie what to do in a scene. Of course Woolie seemed to be his ususal self and Tom Codrick looked cool. Although, I suppose Gerry was like that because it wouldn't be right to show a cursing Gerry Geronimi in front of a children's show. But somehow I bet when the filming finished, Gerry was his usual self. If you want to see the rest of the documentary - I posted Part 2.

Now, I'm not trying to be too critical of Clyde Geronimi - I think he's a great director - he directed Pecos Bill (my favourite segment in "Melody Time) and some marvellous sequences in films like Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians and many more! He has been a good worker for many years at Disney - although unfortunately those stories of Gerry being mean were witnessed by more than one person.

Does any one else have more stuff about Gerry? I'd be happy to hear - even though I wasn't there.

P.S. - I'm having troubles on my laptop with the internet - I'm afraid that my mosaics may go on hiatus - but it was hopefully be fixed until next week - hopefully.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Fantasia Mosaic (XVII)


Deems Taylor's introduction to Beethoven's No. 6 Symphony - or The Pastoral Symphony. We are up to our new sequence folks, so I hope you enjoy these next posts as we see some Eric Larson, Fred Moore, Ward Kimball and Ollie Johnston, and other well known animators.







I will be looking forward to these posts of the Beethoven section - and it was all directed by Ham Luske with some sequences co-directed with Luske along with Ford Beebe or Jim Handley.

To me, I like the Pastoral Symphony section a lot - although this sequence is really loosely based on Greek gods from Ancient Athens in Greece. They show a lot of gods like the Goddess of the Rainbow, The Goddess of Sleep, and there's these Greek unicorns that are Peaguses, and Greek gods like Zeus and Vulcan. This reminds me of Hercules except these are based from the Ancient Gods.

I like the segment and how it starts - it starts off with a "Unit 3-D" and not "Music Room", and the sun rises and there shows a blue silhouette of Mount Olympus, and then as the sun shines the view gets clearer, and we see a beautiful layout of Mount Olympus. Here, we see unicorns and fawns having fun and dancing with some music.

The unicorns and fawns playing is fun to watch - and even shot 20 with the fawn teasing the unicorn with the horns is an amusing shot - good facial expressions and very appealing. Also the shadow flying past the fawn and unicorn is a vital part of the scene as it shows Peaguses and children flying, and there's a young unicorn that is born and learns to fly.

The shots of Peaguses teaching the child how to fly is a nice and touching. It shows that the family member is teaching their child the important skills that they would need for life. Those shots were done by Jack Bradbury who would later become a well known comic artist.

Here different animators take part at several shots: Lynn Karp handles the shots of the young unicorns, while Walt Kelly animates most of the fauns. Bill Justice and Berny Wolf handle a shot of fauns and unicorns. Then, the flying unicorn scenes take over - and we start off with Jack Bradbury who handles the shots of the young Peaguses attempting to fly but fails for the first tries. Eric Larson handles the shots of the mother and the child flying and the shots of the baby unicorns landing in the pool. Don Towsley immediately takes over the Peaguses scenes and does some action scenes of the unicorns flying and swimming in the pool. Murray McClennan handles some shots of the unicorns. Harry Hamsel does some effects animation (mainly water).

Since both Eric Larson and Don Towsley are both Animation Supervisors of the sequence - I'd assume that Don Towsley was the main animator on this sequence - because he handles more shots than the other animators, and I'll assume that he planned the sequence along with help from Eric Larson. Of course, Jack Bradbury and Lynn Karp worked under Larson at the time but I don't think Towsley really works well here because he seemed to have worked closely with Ward Kimball on Jiminy Cricket and Dumbo sequences.

Don Towsley's animation of the unicorns flying is interesting - and even some of the shots of the baby black unicorn with its rear end of clouds' dust is quite amusing - even some of it's facial expressions. Although, what does put me off the most is the adult black unicorn. If you notice in some of the shots - he seems to have red eyes, and I just don't think it suits the character.

Don Towsley.

The red eyes remind me that the unicorn looks evil for some reason. It reminds me of one of those Jawa people in Star Wars - only the eyes - except the colours of the pupils are red, not yellow. I think the eye pupils for Peaguses' (the white unicorn) eye pupils are fine and appropriate - but I don't think red pupils for a character looked appropriate.


However, despite the colours - I do like shot 38 with the unicorns flying through the clouds. Good timing and atmosphere. It was animated by one of the second string animators which is Don Towsley (who looked like his career at Disney was having delights) he animated a good chunk of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio or Timothy Mouse and baby elephant flying in Dumbo. He seemed to have got some important scenes at the time, and yet not many people know that name well. But, he worked with Disney until the late 1940's on Goofy - and then worked at other studios like the Chuck Jones version of Tom and Jerry. Anyway back to the scene: on frames 1 and 3 the adult unicorns are flying past the mountains. On frames 4 to 6, the pink baby unicorn flies through the cloud (and the adult black unicorn's tail still shows at frame 4). Frames 7 to 10 show the yellow and blue unicorn flying through the cloud, and frame 10 only shows the cloud except a bit of the tail. And finally, the last two frames shows the "runt" of the Peaguses family.

I have to admit, shot 55 with the fauns animated by Walt Kelly is probably the worst part of the animation in this sequence. The animation is just clumsy, I feel that the body's shape wasn't drawn right - it's timing is fine and staging - but I just felt that the faun looked "ugly". Although, maybe this has something to do with Kelly having troubles with copying characters from model sheets because he was a better cartoonist on his famous comics. Although Kelly's other shot of the fauns are quite good - excellent timing though. A long time, Kelly was claimed to be long-credited for animating Bacchus and his donkey along with Ward Kimball, or that he animated fauns - well, to let you know that Bacchus was animated by Ward Kimball and (Fred - Jim) Moore.

That's all for me to say - the next post is my favourite sequence of the Beethoven segment.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Me on the TV


Hey folks, I found the clip of my school that was interviewed by the BBC of Speech and Language Impairment on YouTube today - and it's the actual footage that was broadcast on BBC South Today on January 24th at 6.30pm. As part of the public interest of speech and language therapy because of the hit movie The King's Speech.

I was one of the lucky people to actually have the privilege to have been interviewed by the BBC camera people - and the hosts. But, what was a bit of a shame was that in the final broadcast version - my interview did not make it onto the television because they could only really show roughly a two minute clip of my school out of HALF AN HOUR OF FOOTAGE.

Although it was a wonderful experience, although when four people were interviewed and it was originally just four to be interviewed - but I do recall that I sort of put on a disappointed look on my face because I wanted my shine to be interviewed and share my experience. Luckily, I was given the chance to be interviewed about my Asperger's syndrome - and my clip was roughly about minute long. At the time I was interviewed, I was the only one of the bunch who hadn't yet seen The King's Speech yet and I explained my diagnose.

Those lucky people with the interviews (Smith, Cox, Robson) had their interviews mainly about their thoughts on The King's Speech and how it influenced their life and the struggles they faced. The clip showing me and other people in the Science Room in Moor House School was filmed in the morning. The camera woman who was a young lady told us to not look at the camera and talk about their thoughts on The King's Speech of course, I hadn't seen the film at the time and I didn't have much to say but to pretend that I was in the conversation.

Despite my interview not making it on the screen, but what did make it on the television was myself. If you notice me and know what I look like in photos and pictures, you should be able to spot me in three separate shots - one shot of my head the other way. There is one long shot of me and the crowd, and including one close-up between 1-48 and 1-51.

Of course, it was a little of a shame that my interview didn't make it - but I understood that not all the footage could make it - but I am proud to have made my television debut as a crowd person. My interview not making it didn't really bother me much - although it didn't bother me much when I lost the election in my house team for being Captain/Vice Captain for the Yellow House Team - I exploded when I found out I lost.

Anyways, I just thought that this clip would be interesting and I hope that I will achieve and continue my success in the future...

Remembering Ward Kimball

If Ward Kimball was still alive with us on this planet - then today would have been his 98th birthday. Ward Kimball was a marvelous man who enjoyed being wacky and entertaining. He animated many characters in features like Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, The Crows in Dumbo, the title character in Pecos Bill, The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, the band in the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song in Mary Poppins, and many more!

He later became a director for television and on shorts like It's Tough To Be a Bird and Toot, Whistle, Plunk & Boom (both of whom won Oscars). He was also a trombonist in his band The Firehouse Five Plus Two.

He was the only guy that Walt ever called a "genius".

A rare picture of Ward Kimball working on Jim Crow in "Dumbo".

WARD KIMBALL
4 MARCH 1914 - 8 JULY 2002