Sunday, February 21, 2016

Roger Rabbit Scenes II

"Pasword!" "Walt sent me".
The writers of Who Framed Roger Rabbit had a field day as they came up with all kinds of inuendos that referenced the golden age of Hollywood animation.
I remember animating this little scene, it was a little tricky to lock the gorilla's partial face into the subtle camera move.
A reminder, this film's animation was still painted on cels. The red shading in the gorilla's eye was rendered with a color grease pencil right on to the cels. (As were Jessica's lips.)

This was supposed to be the bouncer of all bouncers, absolutely huge.
Bob Hoskins knew this when filming the scene, he looked up way high as he imagined this oversized gorilla.

This was a tricky scene as well. Hoskins was filmed hanging on wires as he approaches the camera fast. It turned out that a believable throw needed to be faster though, so the live action footage was sped up by skipping a few frames. I liked the challenge of animating the gorilla as he is holding on to Hoskins before throwing him forward.

This was my first eye popping Tex Avery take. I animated Roger's eyes coming forward during a stagger, but my first test didn't show a perfect eye contact between human and toon. So Dick Williams made me change Roger's eye direction in order to follow Hoskin's movements.
It was a good call. Made the scene much more believable.

Oh boy, here is a scene that I thought was un-doable. Both characters argue for a while before Roger jumps on the bed in order to get his point across, being closer to Hoskins. The camera moved in on them EVER so slowly. The photostats I had to work with didn't show the wrinkles in the bed sheet, so how was I to register Roger's feet during the camera truck in?   
Again, Dick Williams came to the rescue. He said, the rabbit is agitated anyway, so don't animate his feet planted on the bed the whole time. Instead have him do little nervous steps, so the contact is only for a short while each time. 
My animation is not technically perfect in this scene, but apparently good enough. I didn't get fired.
Roger's acting is ok though, I think.


The reason Roger is holding his right hand way up high at this moment is because Hoskins is looking in that direction. So in many cases as an animator you needed to be clever to come up with gestures that accommodated the actors' eye line.

After all these years KUDOS to Bob Hoskins, who should have won an Academy Award for this role. He was absolutely BRILLIANT!

A Pecos Bill Myth

Ward Kimball and Milt Kahl both animated personalty scenes of Pecos Bill from the 1948 Disney movie Melody Times. This was outstanding casting, Ward brought zaniness to the character, while Milt added believable (yet often hilarious) character animation.
I do remember Ward talking in lectures and interviews about one specific scene. When Slue Foot Sue embraces Pecos before planting a big kiss, his pistols go off by themselves to show...excitement.
Ward took credit for animating the scene, and was almost giddy about the fact that Walt Disney never caught on to the real meaning of the scene...Pecos is getting his rocks off (Ward's own words).

Well, Ward didn't animate that scene, it was one of Milt's. I don't have to check with the animation  draft (even though I did) to realize that drawing and staging is pure Milt Kahl.

I don't know if Ward had anything to do with the idea for the scene, but this episode makes for good story telling.

A clean up model sheet made up of Milt's key drawings, including the scene in question.