Sunday, July 26, 2020

From Bill Peet to Ollie Johnston




Another great example of how animators translate a story sketch into the staging for their scene.
This beautiful story sketch is of course by Bill Peet, who's drawings always stimulated the animators' imagination. There are whole sequences in 101 Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone that maintained Peet's story continuity and staging. Virtually no changes from story sketch to final film frame.
In this scene Merlin is pouring some tea for Wart who just "dropped in". Ollie loosened up Wart's pose a little. Holding his arms behind his back probably didn't feel natural to him. 
As the table grew larger in the final layout there was a chance for Merlin to lean forward into a different pose. All this is called plussing. 
You evaluate what a story artist and a layout man came up with, and you add your own vision to the scene. 
This type of teamwork was essential to achieve top quality in Disney's classics. It was also essential for the films I worked on like Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, The Lion King and all the others.


8 comments:

  1. Replies
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  2. Are there any books and videos focused on Bill Peet's work? Possibly interviews with his advice or experience?

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    1. Pierce, Bill Peet wrote and illustrated an autobiography, it's very long and it's one of my favorite books of all time, I have reread it dozens of times, I highly recommend it. It doesn't go into his techniques though, but it just tells the story of his life, and about half of the book is about working at Disney.

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    2. Pierce, Bill Peet wrote and illustrated an autobiography, it's very long and it's one of my favorite books of all time, I have reread it dozens of times, I highly recommend it. It doesn't go into his techniques though, but it just tells the story of his life, and about half of the book is about working at Disney.

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  3. I love this superb 1963 animated film which in my opinion is very much underrated! It has many superb sequences including the various trials of Wart as a fish and as a bird which leads to the meeting with the wonderful Mad Madam Mim and the splendid Duel between Merlin and the zany Witch! Thank you very much for your delightful Blog Andreas which I enjoy immensely!

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  4. Thanks for sharing Andreas. Love that scene from Sword in the Stone. A few years back I purchased a key master of Wart at the table with Sugarbowl and magic....fun scene. Thanks for the insight on storyboard to screen.

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