Friday, March 29, 2013

Moments with Marc

I was working on the Mickey Mouse featurette The Prince and the Pauper, when I got invited to attend a screening of the story reels for Marc Davis and Joe Grant.
I remember that both men had quite a few story notes. Marc told me that if I was going to animate Mickey, to keep in mind that even a little cartoon character like him has an inherent anatomy.
You can squash and stretch him all you want, he added, but it's important to maintain the specific structure that is so typical for him.
Can you tell that I am paying attention to Marc's words of wisdom?

In this photo Marc is giving direction to Jane Fowler alongside director Clyde Geronimi.
Jane is standing in for Eleanor Audley, who voiced the character of Maleficent and provided live action as well. Jane later married effects animator Jack Boyd.

A beautiful sculpt of Maleficent's head by Marc Davis.

This meeting with Walt seems to be going very well. That's sculptor Blaine Gibson on the right, who perfectly captured Marc's designs in three dimensions. 

The Disney ride It's a Small World was created by top notch artists.
The "unforgettable" song was composed by the Sherman brothers, Mary Blair did color and art direction while Alice Davis not only researched all of the folklore patterns for the dolls' costumes, but also supervised the manufacturing of the outfits. 
(We celebrated Alice's birthday earlier this week).
Marc helped with final staging of the many characters, he also developed their motion range.


  1. Man there are so so many strong poses going on there!! I'm referring to the photos lol

    And just look at you, one line behind them right in the middle, super streched neck, not blinking at all... is amazing

    I need to draw this


  2. ...anyway thank you for share this, I love the last picture, you can feel it's all made with fabric just looking at the colors

  3. Such great snapshots! :D I found a new appreciation of It's A Small World from that vibrant last image.

  4. Little confused here - are you saying Marc Davis sculpted the Maleficent head we see in the picture or was it Blaine Gibson?

  5. Amazing. He really was a Renaissance man! One question, what was Mr. Davis approach in animation. Was he analytical as Mr. Thomas or Mr. Kahl? Or more like Ollie. Thank you so much for Mr. Davis celebration.

  6. Fantastic stuff. all of these Marc Davis posts are brilliant. The 'Small world' drawings are really cool, I don't think I've seen him do simple, cutesy stuff before.
    Thanks for posting all this great stuff!

  7. Nice to see the Marc Davis info: he was a fine artist and major factory in Disney's achievements - thanks for sharing! It also jogged memory of your presentation years ago at the ElCapitan "Cinderella" screening - a pity Marc was not there but was great to see other key cast members as well.

  8. I also remember, when visiting Marc, he was working on a motion analysis book with lavish illustrations and helpful hints. Perhaps you or other could help Alice Davis finish that book and get it published as a classic animation reference?

  9. Andreas,

    Do you have pictures of the Sleeping Beauty character sculptures Blaine Gibson created?

    I believe he is still with us. I hope you are able to visit him often.

    (Blaine Gibson Interview:

  10. Happy birthday, dearest Marc! Thank you, Andreas, for sharing all this.