Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Appeal, Flair & Magnetism



For some reason I have a difficult time finding those attributes in recent as well as upcoming animated feature releases.
Look at how Donald Duck's world was presented in this 1944 ad. So incredibly charming and inviting. You can't take your eyes off this -I believe- Hank Porter illustration.

I could give you hundreds of other examples from the past that tell me something is missing in today's animation offerings. Not that I expect animation today to look like 1940s Disney. It's just that there was integrity and artistry to cartooning. A higher standard!
I am reminded of what Joe Grant told me, what seems like just a few yers ago: "We had the same problems making animated movies back then. It's just that we drew better."

I could argue that the advent and influence of video games has been toxic on animated features from an artistic point of view. Call me crazy, but I kind of believe that.
Yet box office success speaks for itself. Like someone said: "You can't argue with money in Hollywood."

Anyway, tons of appeal in this James Bodrero sketch for FANTASIA.




The master of appeal, Fred Moore.



I remember that these were the first Disney animation drawings I saw as a kid. This photo of Kimball was included in a small brochure that came with a Disney Super-8 film clip.
I kid you not, my heart was racing. Magnetism on a grand scale.



I am confident though that eventually more artistic "left-turns" will be made in animation. 
Art has a way.....


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Cinderella Photostats




A small selection of photostats from Cinderella
Filming all that live action to help the animators maintain realism in their work resulted in a very short animation schedule. I remember Frank Thomas telling me that they did the whole thing (animation) in six months. Unbelievable!!
Frank gave a LOT of credit for the successful portrayal of his character, Lady Tremaine, to actress Eleanor Audley. He loved her sinister, powerful voice as well as her nuanced live action performance.






Monday, September 30, 2019

WDFM Mickey Mouse Book

Get this book!
The catalogue/book that covers the Walt Disney Family Museum's current exhibition is gorgeous.
My co-curator Micheal Labrie and I had the greatest time compiling this unique selection of images and objects that cover Mickey's astounding career. 
From early black & white short films to color and TV shows, merchandize, Disney parks and a whole lot more. 
This was a labour of love for everyone involved. The exhibit is ongoing in San Francisco, and I can only hope that Walt's daughter Diane would be happy with what we've done. I'll never forget that day when she asked me a few years ago to take on such an endeavor.

We dedicate this book to her extraordinary, supportive husband Ron Miller. I was so pleased when he gave us his blessing after having seen the exhibit's layout and design.
Diane was very much on all of our our minds while we were planing to pay tribute to her dad's most iconic character.

The book includes artwork never before seen, like Mickey and Minnie dancing in the second image. 
From the estate of Les Clark.

Go get this Book! Click on the the Mickey image to the right, which takes you to AMAZON.















Saturday, September 21, 2019

Can't Get Enough of Kley



I really can't.
Each new Kley piece I discover online or at auction takes my breath away. Maybe it's our common German background.
This drawing was titled by Kley "The Patient". Not sure of the date.
What a wonderful whimsical situation. An unwell dragon, an eccentric doctor and a princess.
Just for a moment...imagine this being animated, moving, as is in the illustration!
What a glorious film this could be....





Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Genius of Milt Kahl



Another example of the immense creativity of Milt Kahl during the production of Lady and the Tramp. Milt was able to animate just about any situation with a four legged animal at this point.
He knew a dog's anatomy like nobody's business, and he could animate any scene believably in a masterful way. Milt liked this movie, he thought this film represented some of the studio's better efforts.

More on Tramp here:

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2019/03/a-lady-tramp-masterpiece.html

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2012/06/one-year-anniversary.html

https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2011/07/tramp.html

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Father Daughter Story



I remember animating this sequence from The Little Mermaid. 
King Triton is having a serious conversation with his daughter, who has disobeyed the rules by going up to the ocean's surface. 
His tone of voice has concern, anger, frustration and disbelief. I was in the middle of animating this, when suddenly it dawned on me that all of his feels too familiar. My older sister Christa had started dating way back, and she would go out to have a good time at a nearby disco. 
My dad told her to be back home by 11pm, but of course Christa had a habit of being late. My father would wait in the living room until she returned in order to face her and read her the riot act.
He was very loud in his rants, and he got close to my sister, pointing at her, but never touching her. 
My sister held her ground. 
How could I not reference my dad when animating this? It was a case of art imitating life.

Years later I told my father that his personality and demeanor made it into a Disney animated film.
He wasn't sure if this was a good or a bad thing.

More on King Triton in this sequence here:
https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2016/03/king-triton-stuff.html
https://andreasdeja.blogspot.com/2015/12/king-triton.html


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Mystery Video Tape



This item is currently being offered on Ebay.
The year is 1994, and Disney Art Editions invited Marc and me to have a conversation about our careers and animation in general. The video would be distributed to animation art dealers in the mid 1990s.
Disney Art Editions in those days produced re-created cels of Disney characters from the films' memorable moments.
This is 25 years ago, and I remember vividly what a hot afternoon it was. And also what an amazing honor to spend time with Marc on camera in front of the original Burbank animation studios. What I don't recall is what we talked about specifically.

I actually owned a VHS copy of this, hopefully I will find it and have it transferred to a digital file.
And then post it!





Update: Found it!