Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Shock of the New

When I first heard that Walt Disney didn't like the look of 101 Dalmatians at all, I couldn't believe it.
What a great film, and watching the animation in rough form added even more life to the characters than ever before. The animators were sure happy, because audiences for the first time were able to see on the screen what came directly from their animation desk. Loose, dynamic drawings that weren't re-interpreted by inkers with super clean ink lines on the cels.
I remember Milt Kahl remarking that all the way back to Peter Pan that he told Walt about the idea to find a way to reproduce the rough animation as final footage. But Walt's response to Milt was was:"Ah, you want that fine line around those characters." Walt didn't want to remind the audience that they were looking at drawings.
But Sleeping Beauty turned out to be the last inked animated feature at Disney. Economics forced future productions toward a simplified production pipeline, and that meant photocopying the drawings on cels. Black lines and all.

As for myself, I love the inked classic films, but I really am crazy about xerox. That's why my film Mushka won't include any clean up animation, I wanted to keep the drawings loose, because I like the vibrancy that comes with rough animation.

For more on xeroxed cels go here: