Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Pinocchio comes to Life

Here once again are a couple of panels (I call them updated storyboards) from the film Pinocchio that demonstrate how the Blue Fairy brings him to life. These are snapshots from the original 35 mm pencil tests, which Walt would review during sweatbox sessions. Some images show key drawings, others are in-betweens (they usually look a little cleaner), there are rough animation drawings and occasionally clean ups. I think these prints are beautiful and insightful documents of how the animation on this film progressed.
Animator Jack Campbell drew the Blue Fairy, Berny Wolf did Jiminy Cricket (surprise!), and Ollie Johnston animated Pinoke’s first scenes, followed by Milt Kahl. A Golden Age of character animation indeed.
The panels need to be viewed next to each other.

On a different note:
The Marc Davis exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum looks great, and the Mary Blair show is extraordinary! You are really missing out big time if you don’t see these breathtaking exhibits. They represent a couple of jewels in the treasure chest, that is the Walt Disney Family Museum.


  1. As Richard Williams said, this film marked the apogee of the performance of Disney animators. For it was in the 1940s that animators definitely mastered the techniques.

  2. How much roto-scoping, if any, do you think was used for the Blue Fairy?

    1. Probably every scene had some live action reference to base it on.