Saturday, March 30, 2013

Twenty Years Ago...



…to this day Marc and Alice Davis were hosting a garden party for family and friends to celebrate Marc's 80th birthday. 
As you can imagine I was looking forward to the event, but didn't want to show up to congratulate Marc with a store bought card. So I came up with this illustration in which Jafar invites Maleficent to a dance. I added lyrics from an old song in order to point out that Maleficent had an influence on the way I designed and animated Jafar. Simple, clear lines and shapes, resulting in a stylized design for the character.
The photo shows me presenting the drawing to Marc, who seemed to get a kick out of it. That's animation historian Charles Solomon in the middle.



In this clip from an interview from the late 1980ies Marc talks about how he developed Maleficent.
One thing about his calm and kind demeanor, behind all that is a forceful artist with brilliant judgement and strong opinions. If you asked him a question he would always tell you what he honestly thought, but unlike Milt Kahl, Marc did it with a tone of patience and composure.

Marc, you are greatly missed. Happy 100th birthday!


20 comments:

  1. First of all, I love the drawing you made for Mr. Davis' 80th birthday. I bet he did get a kick out of it!

    Question: I've read several articles in the past where Walt told Frank Thomas and Milt Kahl to teach Marc to animate. Another article I read said that Marc claimed Grim Natwick taught him to animate. Can you clear up who actually instructed Marc how to animate?

    Thanks. As always, great, inspiring stuff! :)

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    1. Marc did mostly clean up work for Natwick, but I am sure he learned a thing or two about animating from him.
      Later Frank and Milt took Marc under their wings during Bambi and taught him how to animate.

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  2. That illustration of Jafar and Maleficent is adorably evil. :D And it's easy to see such a nice guy in the clip of Mr. Davis. Happy 100th!

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  3. Andreas,
    Thanks for sharing.
    This was a beautiful gift to Master Davis.

    Paulo
    Rio - Brazil

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  4. Maleficent and Jafar...it must be a match made in heaven (or hell)!

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  5. Is there anymore to the video interview with Marc Davis? I would love to see the rest!

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  6. Hi Andrea,

    Here a question that I always wondered. It is well know that 101 Dalmatians was the first use of Xerox process.

    And like you said in an previous post "For the first time they would see their own drawings on the screen thanks to the new Xerox process."

    Now I notice that on ALL the animation drawings done by the nine old men we see time charts writing notes etc... Witch is clearly in frame. So how come the Xerox never copy the notes? Did somebody still went over the their drawings and clean them up? I also notice looking at some scenes in certain movie like Jungle book that the ruff drawing done by let's say Frank Thomas where actualy roughfer then the version in the film.

    So is the drawings on the screen really the work of the nine old men or some clean-up artist?

    I've been working in animation as a director for 15 years and never got a good answered.

    Please Help!!

    Christian

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    1. The timing charts were either off field to the side, but if they showed up on the xeroxed cel, they were wiped off.
      The animators' drawings were tied down by an assistant on the same sheet of paper, it was called Touch Up.
      If the animator drew too rough or off model, then the assistant redrew everything on a new sheets of paper, but in the same loose style to match the rest of the film.

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  7. Oh wow!!! He must have loved getting that! Also thank you for posting the clip - so insightful! I love your blog!

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  8. Also a happy birthday to your, Andreas. You are one of my biggest idols, and i love your blog. I am learning something new every time i read it. So thank you

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. April fool's...that explains everything, right?

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  9. That's quite a "card" you made for Mr. Davis' birthday!

    But Maleficent can do better than Jafar. She should hold out for Capt. Hook.

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  10. Happy Birthday!
    I didn't even know it was your birthday.
    I was just looking through the wikipedia birthday section and stumbled across your name and thought I'd venture over hear and say it. (What are the chances I find your name on there? Ha!)

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  12. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one to draw pictures for peoples birthday. Great job as always Andrea. hey with the Paperman process going on at Disney do you think you will animate more films for them?

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    1. Paperman was computer animation, so that's not my expertise.

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  13. What a great picture! Thank you so much for sharing with the rest of us.

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  14. Oh my… How I love all this things! just thank you for sharing all this stuff with us!

    Andreas, you are a light at the end of the tunnel for us.

    Thank you again!

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