Sunday, November 15, 2015

Disney's Most Modern

It's strange for me to realize that the most modern Disney animated feature goes back to 1961. That's over 50 years ago!!
Anything that followed (with the exception of Sword in the Stone) went back toward more conventional realism, and with the advent of CG toward hyper realism.
There is something very beautiful and important that's been lost. Stretching an audience's imagination by telling a story with visuals that are sketchy, raw line drawings and organic shapes meant that they accepted the film as a piece of art as well as entertainment. Pongo and Perdita are most definitely flat and graphically sophisticated representations of Dalmatians. Yet no audience has ever had trouble accepting them as real personalities facing real problems.
I love the snow scene above. The imagery is stylized, but the light hitting the dogs' tracks seems real.
To me this is intriguing, fascinating...and amazing.

At the end of the film Cruella's car crashes with the Baduns' truck, she gives off one last rant in utter frustration. She, along with Jasper and Horace, is depicted fairly small on the screen. The overall scenery includes the accident's wreckage.
A while ago when I was working on the Marc Davis chapter for my book, I came across the actual animation drawings for this scene. It was surprising to find out that Marc animated Cruella full size, in great detail, before her image was scaled down to fit the scene's layout.
I found myself laughing out loud at the facial expressions and body motion. There was no doubt that this scene had to be part of Marc's chapter. You'll find thirty delicious key drawings in the book.


  1. I would argue CG is also moving towards abstraction. With films like Inside Out and the Peanuts Movie, we're see far less realism and more cartoony designs. I think all art forms follow the same basic pattern: first, we try to recreate reality, then we move beyond it. I'm taking Art History and I was shocked how the development of the renaissance is almost identical to how animation developed.

  2. It is unbelievable what they could do in 1961, not mentioning how much work did the 9 old men accomplished.

  3. Although recent CGI films may be less realistic in the character design department, the shading and backgrounds still strive for hyper-realism, at least in Disney/Pixar movies. IMHO, this approach somehow gives a less realistic, less alive feeling to the finished product.

  4. hat heute THENINEOLDMEN ausgeliefert, gaaaanz tolle Zeichnungen, herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch ��������

  5. Dear Andreas, I just received your book. What to say? It's beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, a treasure, a gem. I'm sooo happy. God bless you and keep the memory of Walt alive . All the best from Italy, hoping to see you again soon. Nunziante