Wednesday, 31 August 2011

With a Soup, With a Bowl...

Hiya, I'm still a long way from making the "Dwarfs song" sequence, and in the meantime I forgot to add the sequence in which the dwarfs have soup, with a musical number in it by Frank Churchill and Larry Morey.

As you know, this sequence was cut from the film because it was too slow-paced, and the gags weren't really that funny. Also, it was pointless because we've already seen enough of the dwarfs, and the tub-washing sequence and the soup sequence both don't have connections with the story, but the tub-washing remained because it was funnier.

Ward Kimball is known to have animated all the sequence, but there are other animators too: Ward Kimball only animates the entire song score (with Grumpy by Bill Tytla), and then he animates them briefly again in the scenes of the dwarfs practicing how to be mature while slurping soup, "Spoon in the hand, bending the wrist, into the bowl and out with a drip!" - that's Kimball. Grim Natwick animates the entire scenes with Snow White featured. Even Bill Roberts gets a chunk to animate, (most of the scenes with Dopey swallowing his spoon isn't featured in the film, but it's still all Roberts). There are also scenes animated by Fred Spencer (who animates the beginning) before the song, Marvin Woodward and Dick Lundy do at least one or two scenes each.

I suppose that there is one continuity in the film, that the soap finally comes out of Dopey's stomach, but I never thought you could hiccup from swallowing a film, I thought you would more likely choke. But, it still doesn't follow up the plot, and the song isn't so great too. If that survived the film, the audience probably would've got bored because there was too much comedy. I think it was the right thing to do, cut the sequence out - even though Ward was furious about much of his work in that sequence cut and wanted to leave, so he got to be an Animation Director on Jiminy Cricket instead.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Snow White /mosaic: Part 13

Sorry, that it's been too long since I last posted a sequence in Snow White - here is the sequence. I've been too busy with the other blog, and I have a feeling that the mosaics might go slowly because I haven't had much time working on them.

The sequence starts off back to the Queen's house, as we've seen enough of the seven dwarfs for now. Our main focus is to get back onto the queen and it's the evening. We truck to the castle (and the shots are reused layouts but the backgrounds are different, but credited to Sam Armstrong), and then we see the Queen who believes Snow White is dead. Not being boastful about her death, she goes to the magic mirror (as she does often), and she asks "Who NOW is the fairest of them all," - she's so sure that she's going to get a different answer, and is still assuming Snow White is dead. The Magic Mirror (who seems to know all), assumes the Queen that Snow White is still alive and still is the fairest of the land, and announces that the Huntsman tricked her and was in league with Snow White all along. The Queen feels embarrassed that she was tricked.

The Queen walks all the way down the stairs and is aware that since hiring a huntsman was no help, she'll go down and kill Snow White herself without her knowing that it's the Queen, or anyone else knowing. She pulls out a book from a bookshelf with a formula that demonstrates on how to prepare a disguise, and she has to create a potion that turns her into an ugly old witch (otherwise known as "Mummy Dust").

The scenes where the Queen is transformed into a witch was always described as one of the many frightening moments in theatre, that it even scared Walt Disney's daughter, Dianne. There is a lot of animators who work on the transforming scenes. It even finally credits effects animators, while so far in the draft, we have seen very little effects scenes credited. It credits George Rowley, Stan Quackenbush and Josh Meador, and that's their only known credit so far in the draft. There is even a scene of the Queen's hair turning white animated by Campbell Grant. The task that Grant was assigned to was probably not to difficult to animate, but it's important in terms of colour because her hair changes from back to white. It was a task for the ink and painters, and not much a challenge to the animators.

The effects animation in this sequence is incredible, especially the transforming scenes. The effects animators who animate the bubbles provide a great atmosphere in whole changing sequence. There aren't any effects scenes credited in the scenes when the Queen is making her recipe, and I assume those effects animators mentioned would've worked on it. Shot 21 with the effects animation is just perfect animation, with the whole layout changing into whirls. That is simply incredible for 1937, and I don't know what greater there was that had been accomplished. It's interesting to find that Eric Larson handles effects animation scenes, but none of them involve thunderstorms or liquid. Shot 21C, Larson handles an effects scene in which the Queen's hands transform into old, rusty hands. The hands are not very well designed, but they do look hideous. It's not an assignment that a character animators always get, but it has happened before. Shot 26 is also animated by Larson, and he animates the Witch in silhouette, before zooming down with a Witch by Norm Ferguson.

The Queen here is not only animated by Art Babbitt, but he also has Bob Stokes handling a chunk as well. Bob Stokes animates the entire beginning with the Queen at the Magic Mirror, and walking down the stairs with rats watching (did Stokes animate rats, I don't see another animator on that scene). As soon as Art Babbitt enters the sequence, he handles most of the shots with the Queen. Bob Stokes mostly handles the Queen's hands. I forgot to point out that in an interview, Art Babbitt claimed that he didn't rotoscope any scenes he did on the Queen and says that he has proof that he didn't rotoscope it. I wonder if Stokes rotoscoped his scenes on the Queen?
Woolie Reitherman returns again but only briefly when he animates small characters like the Magic Mirror. It's such a difficult and probably (dull) assignment to animate the mirror. The scenes isn't much, but it probably took such a long time to complete the footage of the mirror. Woolie also got some scenes of the dwarfs where they are building the bed, and it was cut - with the mirror being his only surviving animation.

Norm Ferguson steps along and he starts off with his famous assignment on the Witch in Snow White. He also animates scenes of the raven, too. The Witch isn't VERY well animated, but the design is very well done - and Joe Grant did a good job on the design. Norm Ferguson makes the animation of the Witch look very frightening, and I think that it was Fergy's main task to make her scary. The animation didn't have to be very good, but just very frightening and ugly. He provides some broad acting here when the Witch reads through the book. I also like his raven, too. He provides some great staging and acting on the raven inside the skull. The scene shows the raven in fear, and we feel sorry for how scary the Witch is, but the scene with the raven in the skull is also quite broad. Shot 33 when Fergy looks at the audience with the line "in the sleeping death". She looks frightening once she looks at you, and the freeze frame is just perfect timing to end the sequence.

I wonder what Tony Rivera is doing in this sequence? We've seen him by Jack Campbell a lot in this film on the Snow White character, and now we see him working with Fergy? I wonder how that happened, or unless this is a different "Tony", but I can't think of another Tony around Disney in 1936-1937.

Hope this is keeping a bit up to date. I'll try and post the entertainment sequence next, when I get the chance. I'm posting these fairly slowly, mind you.

Friday, 26 August 2011

A Third "Paranormal" Adventure?

Recently, I bought the DVD of Paranormal Activity 2 as part of my birthday money, and ever since about a year ago - I used to brag on about the new sequel and how exciting it would be. I saw the film only a few weeks ago - on my own. I heard about what people thought of it at school, they seemed to shiver with fear, I remarked "If you want to see something REALLY scary, then watch the first Paranormal Activity film!"

As I watched Paranormal Activity 2 the film was more or less "hit and miss". There were so much footage that showed the family that I thought was pointless, the whole concept isn't as scary as the original film, and considering that the film was set before the first film, it makes it less scarier, and the trailer looked much scarier. The film was quite disappointing at times, and I must say there were some scary moments.

In the meantime, only a few weeks ago - I saw the "new" trailer for a Paranormal Activity 3! I thought that this was crazy, the second one was mediocre, and now a third one? Here is the trailer:

The trailer actually takes back MUCH EARLIER than the other movies. Instead, the movie shows two girls named Katie and Kristi (both as adults in the other films) and it appears to be that they are children, and that this is where the haunting began with the demon. The trailer didn't look very scary, and I suppose that it won't be as scary.

The child actresses playing the two girls actually do look a little scary themselves. That's as much as I can say. I guess that the trailer is meant to show stuff that isn't much scary and that the scarier stuff will be shown in its theatrical release. The film will be released on October 21, 2011 - and I probably will see it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Going away camping for a few days, will return posting by August 26.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Poor Pooch

I got this from an e-mail by my dad, it's so hilarious and you've all got to see this - and the look on that poor dog's face, and this is a true story in the east part of Northampton about a man who gave his dog a haircut:

He was sick and tired of thugs breaking into his garage shop to steal tools, etc.
So he came up with this idea to give his dog a haircut. He put the word out that he had a new Mexican Lion that would attack anyone that tried to break in or climb his fence.
Would-be thieves saw the "Lion" from a distance and fled the scene.

HA! You can stop laughing for five minutes, and past this on via emails.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 12A

(Just as a recap from my previous post yesterday, and as promised - here is the commentary on this sequence, and I'll be writing this down...)

This is a classic sequence that has been remembered a lot by the audiences, and it's a personal favourite sequence of mine in this film. It's a lot of fun and there are a lot of gags you can do with washing as it's demonstrated in this whole sequence, in the washing song. There is a great amount of character personality used between Grumpy and the seven dwarfs. How they plan to get Grumpy back from his insults. Of course, Grumpy's personality doesn't change one bit until much later on in the film.

Whilst Snow White has sent the dwarfs to wash their hands and get ready, and she is doing the cooking off-screen. The dwarfs do not know how to wash and they are unsure if they have to go inside the tub, and the line where Bashful says "Do we have to wash where it doesn't show?" and I assume that he's talking about "private parts".

I also like the song in it very much, and it's quite clever on how that Doc is demonstrating the men how to wash and yet he finds a way of putting some rhythm into it, and I like the whole music in that song, and I think it's one of the best Disney songs ever written.

Bill Tytla is the main animator on that sequence. He animates nearly ALL of the sequence by himself, with some scenes of Dopey and the soap by Fred Spencer, a scene of Snow White calling for "supper", and a scene of the fly washing itself with soap by Riley Thompson. Tytla is the best animator here and what amazes here in what Tytla uses in his animation is the weird poses here - and I'm not saying weird in a bad way. He has some good poses there and he really has a lot of fun with the animation. A lot of the scene grabs in Tytla scenes shows some extreme poses in Tytla's shots.

When I hear animation folks talk about one of their favourite pieces of animation by Bill Tytla, an example of an answer might be oh, the Devil in Night on Bald Mountain, or Stromboli in Pinocchio. An answer I would say is this sequence. This is one of my all-time favourite film in this film, and I just love all the animation. Shot 36A is perfectly done well and I love the squash and stretch used on Dopey's head. Tytla uses the "squash and stretch" animation element a lot in this sequence, and it works very well.

There is also the classic part of the whole sequence where the dwarfs plot on washing Grumpy in the tub, after Grumpy's response that there would be no chance that they would get washed. So, they surround Grumpy and they grab him to be washed in the tub, and each dwarf grabs his hands and arms so he has no chance of escaping.

I should note that I notice that Bill Tytla has a different animation style to the seven dwarfs compared to other animators like Fred Moore, Frank Thomas, Fred Spencer, Dick Lundy, etc. and his way of animating the dwarf is more menacing looking, and he gives his characters sharp poses and and also thick eyebrows. The style and his way of animating in this sequence works very well.

Fred Spencer's scenes of Dopey trying to catch the soap is very fun to watch, too. I like them very much - and it's very broad and very funny, and I believe that Eddie Collins does the voice effects of Dopey, as he was a burlesque entertainer. The scenes where Dopey tries to catch the soap were originally animated by Fred Moore and they thought his original tests didn't suit the scenes and the shots were reassigned to Fred Spencer.

What I do notice, is that the reflection effects of the dwarfs from the tub look as though that he were animated as well by either character or effects. This was before when special effects in films like Fantasia or Bambi had very realistic water reflections, and that Snow White was in the early process of effects animation when it was just building.

Here is the whole washing sequence, with most of the animation by Bill Tytla, himself.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 12

(I'll post the commentary tomorrow, I haven't got time - too busy on the reviews, but I will post it tomorrow for recap - I promise).

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Corny Cole Interview

Due to the recent passing of an animation legend Corny Cole (1930-2011), Michael Barrier has quickly posted an excellent and interesting interview of Corny Cole, and there is some very interesting discussions on the people who worked for Chuck Jones, and also some hatred.

He described Chuck as an "asshole" when it started off that he would take Cole out for lunch if he was an assistant animator, and when he was an animator - he would ignore him. Also what interested me was that Cole seemed to be an assistant for a few months and an animator for the next few months and then back to assistant, because he had no assistant animator while animating.

Cole also mentioned that only Chuck's story guys made his cartoons great like Michael Maltese or Tedd Pierce, and that when Chuck was trying to write a cartoon on his own it was "atrocious".

He also seemed to be cold towards legendary animator Ken Harris, and also describing him as a fascist, and at one time when Corny was struggling on a scene Ken bellowed "Goddammit, Cole, if you can't get that scene right, you'll never get it right," and Cole muttered "F*ck off you old fart" behind his back. It seemed that in a way Cole, was one of those youngsters who felt they would talk behind the older animator's backs.

I find it interesting that when he mentions that there is a difference in talent - like Ken Harris is a natural animator, and he could just animate a scene quickly because he wanted to do his own hobbies like tennis, driving a car or play snooker - and Ken didn't bother whenever or not he would ruin a scene. Dick Thompson, was an animator who struggled at animation and it meant a lot to him.

Cole not only had a career in Warner Bros. but he also worked at Disney for a brief period of time, inbetweening on Lady and the Tramp and also working for studios like UPA, and on the animated feature Raggedy-Ann & Andy.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

When I Came Home From My Holiday Today...

...I heard about the news that involved a lot of rioting and looting across cities in the UK such as (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, etc.) and the whole riot showed a lot of chavs or teenagers in their hoods breaking into shops and smashing buildings with an excuse to steal items from shops claiming that they can't afford it. That's no good at all, and a very bad excuse.

The rioting started on August 6, and I was just on my cruise on that first day - and hearing about the riots. I thought it was awful, and I admit - I was quite worried. It all started when it started off as a peaceful protest after the shooting of a criminal named Mark Duggan, and it turned out that the protest went out of hand, and became a huge riot. Well, this is just from what I've heard. From that point, there was looting and rioting going on in many areas of London (Tottenham, Hackney, etc.) I have a sister living in Hackney, but thank goodness she's away and is in a honeymoon. I hope their apartment is ok, since their area was quite trashed.

This here is a local London man who protested against the whole riots, and I remember watching that live in my cruise cabin, and I couldn't stand hearing it and I turned it off!

By August 8, almost everywhere in London had looting going around - I had friends living in Croydon and I heard about the experiences, that I do not wish to say, but they're fine now - I recall watching it on television with flames at nighttime and also rioters burning a car. The next day, the rioting was spread around north and there was also an incident where there were 3 guys in a car, and they got killed by the rioters. This is just a tragic, and it's tearing the whole country apart.

David Cameron must have been really ticked off when he found out that the UK riots were going on and that they were worse than ever. He even had to cancel his holiday early to try and sort out the riots and end it once and for all. He attended the COBRA meeting and ordered thousands and thousands of London police to take care of the streets all around London, and even suggested using a water cannon for any further rioting. In that case, not much rioting was going on and the police started to arrest the looters and sending them to prison. It may take months to arrest all the looters and rioters, but the police are DEFINATELY going to arrest every single one even if it's the last thing they do!

What was funny to hear was that there were 10 year old kids and 11 year olds that were looting because they thought that the police weren't going to arrest them because they were too young to go to prison. Erm, thick heads(?) - the legal age of being sent to prison here in the UK is actually aged 10, and you're obviously not going to get away with that. There was even one looter who thought he was doing the right thing and thinks he won't get caught, and thinks he's such a smart-ass, and saying "Oooh, they can't send me to prison - because the jails are over-crowded" - that's BALONEY! Well Mr. Looter - the jails may be overcrowded, but there's ALWAYS room for one more...

I admit that I was kind of worried because I was worrying that the rioting or looting could come to Horsham (the town I live in) and I thought that there was a slight chance, but a very fat chance because it's outside London and there isn't such to break into. Anyhow, I was relieved to hear that the rioting officially stopped on August 10th, I knew I would come back home today safely (and I did).

I would die a happy man if those police would keep those vile looters as long as they would live, they've basically ruined our country. Think about next year, at the 2012 London Olympics - tourists from other countries are going to think Britain is a dump because of all the looting.

Anyhow, I'm sure glad this whole looting has stopped - and I hope not to see another huge riot again (well, you'll never know).

Friday, 5 August 2011

Snow White Mosaic: Part 11

Hiya readers - I've finished my first vacation at Sayer's Croft (an activity centre, 5 miles from where I live), and I'm able to post this mosaic today. Of course, (August 6) I leave for a cruise and I won't resume posting I'm afraid. My second blog still can't be updated until August 13th, too I'm afraid. Sorry, my holiday - my call.

In this sequence, this shows some more unsophistication out of the seven dwarfs, and this time in involves personal hygiene and manners on the table (except the manners on the table part doesn't show up until the deleted "soup" sequence). Snow White plays an important role in this sequence, and he controls the characters here. Since she is the maiden of this cottage, she also has to make sure the dwarfs are down what they are told, and plus - she treats the dwarfs quite mother-like in this sequence.

As soon as the seven dwarfs smell the lovely smell of soup, they all rush down stairs (Dopey being stuck on the banister part of the stairs) and they all scramble around on the table, fighting over where they are going to sit - or fighting over pieces of bread, and also snatching. As Snow White stops the fighting and bickering - she warns them that they "have time to wash". The dwarfs are baffled, and have no idea that it's mannered to wash your hands before supper.

Unsophistication turns up when Doc is unsure of Snow White saying "wash", and he tries to get out of the situation along with the other dwarfs, that they told a fib that they had lied - considering that they washed "recently". Snow White, who shows an astute personality in this sequence is aware that the dwarfs are fibbing with Doc hesitating, and the dwarfs not being able to get a full answer out until they all (exc. Dopey) say "Recently" in a group. Snow White is also aware that they are lying, because of the evidence that they are not showing their hands that are dirty from mining all day. As, all seven pair of hands are dirty (Grumpy doesn't show his hands), and they all are ordered to wash or no supper for them.

Snow White's line "You'll go straight outside and wash - or you'll not get a bite to eat." That is one of the old-fashioned ways of punishment to children, if they didn't follow their parents orders or they misbehaved, and (usually) as a warning note, they would not have anything to eat for dinner and sent to bed early. Of course, Snow White is a teenager and yet she has power to tell the dwarfs what to do because of her beauty. I'm afraid that I've always never understood that, beauty isn't always everything. But, Snow White is part of the Royal family and is the princess and the dwarfs must show a lot of sympathy and respect for her.

Frank Thomas animates the bulk of the dwarfs in this sequence, and gets the good personality shots. Bill Tytla animates the personality shots of Grumpy, and wonderful timing on Grumpy's facial smear in Shot 20. This is one of Frank's earlier animation where he handles personality scenes wonderfully. His dwarfs animation are appealing, as well as the acting is very good. He gets a lot of personality particularly in shots that are about 30 feet long and also Shot 13B which is roughly 39 feet of animation in 26 seconds, of the dwarfs revealing their dirty hands. I assume that the assistant animator had to probably add the dirt on the dwarfs' hands, while Frank did the animation. Shot 18 by Frank Thomas has some good staging in the scene where the dwarfs march to the bathroom to wash, and Dopey walks on with his "hitch steps" - a gag contributed by Frank Thomas. Grumpy is also in the scene just standing there cantankerously. The shot is 32 feet song and it lasts 21 seconds.

Fred Spencer mostly animates crowd shots of the dwarfs on the table and fighting. I suppose that's animator casting - the director had an animator cast onto crowd scenes, and Fred was suitable for the scenes evolving around there.

Snow White is mostly animated by Grim Natwick here who takes control of her personality. Grim does some wonderful animation there of the wise princess who can't get fooled by the dwarfs. He also animates the scenes of Snow White and with Tytla's Grumpy scenes. Jack Campbell handles the first shot where Snow White runs to the cauldron and cooks the soup. It surprises me to find Campbell credited for animation here, the first shot doesn't even LOOK like Campbell's animation. It's a completely different animation style from Jack's and it really does look like a child Ham Luske scene. Unless, this is one of the theories I heard about the Snow White animation scenes been swapped around. Maybe Jack very well handled that shot, and it wasn't rotoscoped at all - but I don't know too much on his animation background.

What's good to find here is that the single-shot scenes of Snow White warning the dwarfs to wash, and knowing that they are lying, the fireplace animation is animated with real fire. It seemed that the director on this sequence was very aware with errors, and wanted to make sure that the fireplace animation had animated fire when it couldn't be noticed in the background. I think that was pretty good back for 1937 - although it's a shame that most effects animation in this film is never credited at all in this film. We may find some effects animation credited later on.

This was the sequence where Frank Thomas contributed to the story and that Dopey should continuously throughout the film do hitch-steps to catch up with the others, and as Walt Disney thought it was a good idea - he got the animators on the dwarfs (when the animation was already greenlit) and called to reanimate scenes to add Dopey's hitch steps - the animators blamed Thomas for the amount of work. Frank also said that when an idea already comes during the animation process and Walt Disney liked it, he would always ask animators to reanimate scenes or start again. The "hitch steps" gag is an example.