Saturday, July 20, 2019

Remembering Eric Larson

Photo by Dave Block

It's not easy finding original animation drawings by Disney animation mentor to so many, Eric Larson. So I am grateful again to my friend Wil for providing scans for most of these beautiful sketches. Eric had a knack for communicating animation techniques as well as Disney's philosophy on entertainment to students. I remember his classes as if it were yesterday.
His articulate and passionate words of wisdom that some of us weren't able to comprehend until much later.
One of his comments which he repeatedly brought up was that Walt always gave you more than you expected. And that he lifted everybody up who worked with him.
When the Disney company entered regular TV animation during the early 1980s, Eric was not a happy camper.
The quality wasn't good enough for him, and he knew it wouldn't be good enough for Walt.

For those of us who were lucky enough to go through Eric's animation training program, he was a mix of  magic link to Walt Disney, the grandfather you never had and Santa Clause.

There are many posts regarding Eric Larson on this blog, here is the link to one of them:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Ward Kimball Article

This is an article from STORYBOARD magazine, 1991.
Ward is in good form here, though real Kimball fans probably won't find too much new information.

Earlier this year this book by Todd James Pierce came out. A great read:

Of course we are all waiting for Amid Amidi's epic "Kimball Tells All" volume.

Monday, July 15, 2019

More Color!!!

      © Andreas Deja

Each new color scene for our film MUSHKA feels like a Christmas gift. Background paintings and character levels combined result in gorgeous images. These colors here are still too vibrant.
But after we add a color pencil texture plus some film grain everything turns out looking balanced and more muted.
We are closing in on more and more finished color sequences.

In this scene Sarah asks her father if she can keep the tiger cub. To find out about Dad's response you need to stay tooned.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Medusa is Interrupted

While studying the treasure map, Madame Medusa is suddenly disturbed by loud noise. She pauses for a moment before getting up from her chair to proceed toward the direction the commotion is coming from. (The alligators Nero and Brutus are out of control as they are chasing Bernard and Bianca.)
This terrific story sketch is by Vance Gerry, who boarded a few sequences involving Medusa.
It was Milt Kahl's job to animate this scene. There was no live action footage to help with her walk in perspective toward camera right. A piece of cake for an animator of Milt's stature.
I love the way Medusa pushes herself upward off her chair and transitions immediately into the walk.
Drawing #37 is that transitional drawing, and by itself it looks a bit odd. But in motion everything works absolutely beautifully.
Nothing more enjoyable to watch than Medusa being irritated and angry!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Mickey at the Walt Disney Family Museum

It is so much fun watching kids (and adults) as they sketch their own version of Mickey Mouse at the W. Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
As I mentioned before I had the pleasure of guest-curating the exhibition, which runs until January.
One of the most fun things I did for the show was recording a commentary track to a large number of Mickey Mouse film clips with none other than Eric Goldberg!
We did this one Sunday afternoon as we dove back into Disney history and the creation of those cartoons. From Steamboat Willie and The Little Whirlwind all the way to Get A Horse.
These clips can be seen and listened to on a large interactive monitor.

 An original cel set up from The Nifty Nineties.

A large section covers Mickey on TV, including The Mickey Mouse Club phenomenon.

An original cel from the animated title sequence.

Mickey in Modern Art includes this amazing painting by Austrian-Irish artist Gottfried Helnwein.

The evolution of Mickey in the Disney theme parks over the years.

Here is my earlier post on Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World

Banners with infos about the exhibit all over town.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Hercules in Live Action ?

I found this casting proposal by someone online, but I am not sure if Disney is considering such a project.
Still, this lineup for the lead actors is pretty inspired, but I don't know if these actors can actually sing Alan Menken songs if this would be a musical like our 1997 animated film.

Thinking back, I really had a great time animating this guy. After three Disney villains in a row, Hercules presented a new welcomed challenge.
And I very much enjoyed working with Ken Duncan (Meg) as well as Nik Ranieri (Hades).

Here is a link to an earlier post about my work on Hercules:

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Jock by Ollie Johnston

This is rough animation by Ollie. The character of Jock is responding to Lady who is saddened because Jim Dear had called her "That Dog !"
Jock: ("Well, now, Lassie...I wouldna worry mah haid about that.)
Remember, they're only humans after all."

This is Scene 68 from sequence 2.0, and the length is 4-08 ft.

It is a little bit surprising that Ollie chose to animate the eye wink so early in the scene.
What happens during a scene's first few frames doesn't register much to viewers. Your eyes always need a moment to adjust to a new scene.

I love Ollie's simplicity. While Jock is talking, his scull is leading the forward head motion, while the muzzle follows through.
A little bit of animated gold!

Again, my thanks to Wil for letting me post these gorgeous rough drawings.

Be sure to click on each image 2x, in order to enjoy each drawing large size.