Sunday, April 26, 2020

Lisa Davis II

A charming article in Sketches Magazine from 2006.
Lisa Davis talks about her experience voicing Anita in Disney's 1961 classic 101 Dalmatians.

Several animators were involved in designing and animating Anita.
First there were Bill Peet's story sketches which served as a springboard to the animators.
Marc Davis (probably before getting going on Cruella) animated Anita at the beginning of the film when she meets Roger Radcliff. There is a little bit of Aurora in these animation roughs which is not surprising. Marc had just finished animation on the princess as well as on Maleficent.

Actress Helen Stanley (who had modeled for Aurora) was filmed as she acted out scenes with Anita.

At that time Les Clark was cast to animate the human female lead, but not before Milt Kahl tried out some  character designs. These are Milt's drawings.

In the end Milt took over the character of Anita, and he caricatured her facial features while maintaining a sympathetic heroine type appearance. Less formulaic, too.

Great character design, wonderful animation and a realistic, modern relationship to her husband Roger. A triumph for a straight, female  Disney protagonist.

Links to earlier post on Anita:

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Monday, April 20, 2020

Roland Dupree

I have mentioned Roland Dupree before in connection with his Peter Pan live action reference work.  But only recently did I find out more about his career as a dancer and choreographer.
This lovely article appeared in Disney's Newsreel magazine in May of 2007. At that time Dupree returned to Disney Studios for the first time since he was filmed as Peter Pan to be reunited with Kathryn Beaumont and Margaret Kerry (whose comment about seeing Dupree again CRACKS ME UP!!).

Dupree was in his mid 20s when he was filmed as Peter Pan, mostly during flying and fighting sequences (Peter Pan's voice actor Bobby Driscoll was responsible for acting out more subtle moments.)
I know for a fact that various animators had a hard time translating Dupree's muscular physique into proper Peter Pan drawings because the character was so much younger.

I wrote earlier about this situation here:

Roland Dupree in action on set at Disney.

A few links that provide you with more information about Dupree's long career:

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Robin Hood

There has been quite a bit of traffic today around an earlier post regarding Robin Hood.
Perhaps this has something to to with the recent announcement that Disney is going to produce a CG version of the 1973 film. 
In this scene Robin is reacting to Friar Tuck's announcement about the upcoming archery tournament.
"Thank you, Little John, but I am sure we're not invited."
Milt Kahl worked hard to make the key poses look good, particularly #59. That pose looks almost unnatural the way the body is bent and twisted. But of course in motion the scene comes off as refined and very much in character.

Here's the pencil test put together by Samuel:

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Galaxy Gas

Check out this cool project that our associate producer Craig Peck plus a number of animation friends  initiated. I'd love to see this film get made. Here is the link to a recent Cartoon Brew post:

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Peter Pan & Dalmatians BGs

A few samples of production backgrounds from Peter Pan, painted in gouache. 
To me everything is painted in a dreamlike atmosphere, soft and illusive. Even the sequences outside of Neverland, like the Darling family home. You are in a dream from the get go. 

BG artists were: Ralph Hulett, Ray Huffine, Art Riley, Thelma Witmer, Al Dempster, Dick Anthony, Eyvind Earle, Brice Mack and Art Landy.

A completely different aesthetic for the art direction and backgrounds in 101 Dalmatians.
Intricate thin black lines on top of washes of paint. I understand that they used thinned down cel paint in an effort too create a strengthened unity between BGs and character cels. I am not entirely sure though if this is true. It sounds like this might have been something Ken Anderson experimented with during pre-production.
101 Dalmatians has a modern story line with no magic in it. The backgrounds reflect that modern realism. Its graphic 'bite" originates from illustrations and fine art typical of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

BG artists: Al Dempster, Ralph Hulett, Anthony Rizzo and Bill Layne

Either style stunning in itself!

These background paintings are currently available for purchase at Van Eaton Galleries:

Friday, April 3, 2020

After You've Gone 1946

This animated short gem was part of the musical feature Make Mine Music.
The song was written by Harry Creamer and Turner Leighton. It was performed by Benny Goodman's quartet, with Goodman on the clarinet, Teddy Willson on the piano, Sid Weiss doing bass and Cozy Cole on drums. 
I love this short. It features nothing more than than a variety of anthropomorphic musical instruments interacting with each other and dancing to Goodman's music. I would call the animation semi abstract, with exhilarating timing and color styling.
I am not sure who sketched these story/color continuity pages, but they are lovely and make for good study as far as how Disney was breaking down a piece of jazz music with entertaing visual results.

Here is a magazine article featuring tis segment from Make Mine Music.