Saturday, May 25, 2013

Vance Gerry & Ollie Johnston

Story artist Vance Gerry came up with these beautiful sketches in which he explored the bond between Penny and Rufus from The Rescuers. Vance always drew from the insight out, meaning that what motivated him were things like atmosphere, personality relationships and clear staging within storytelling. 
A sentimental sequence like this one where Rufus tries to cheer Penny up could become saccharine very easily if in the hands of lesser artists. 

It is interesting to see how animator Ollie Johnston applied Vance's staging to his animation. 
The poses on the bed at the beginning are practically identical. When the story artist, who has given the situation a lot of thought, offers sketches so well worked out, why not use them?
Penny's dialogue is: "Gee, we better hurry, or we'll be late for supper."  Ollie synced his animation beautifully with the two accents  HURRY and SUPPER. Penny lifts up the cat on HURRY, and then she makes her first step forward on SUPPER.
I love the weight of the cat, Rufus almost falls through Penny's arms when she adjusts her grip. Then when she moves screen left the cat's body moves screen right for counter balance.
And it's nice to see Ollie's rough lines under the clean up. 
Wonderful stuff!

If you print out these sheets and flip through them you will learn a lot, I promise.

You can watch the scene at the end of this youtube clip: