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speedracer5

Art of Disney Animation

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I had this idea while corresponding with Lorna about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the I Just Watched... thread.  This is also to slightly piggyback off NickandNora's Disney thread.

Regardless of how you feel about Disney's politics, corporate practices, whatever, this thread isn't about that. 

This thread is an appreciation thread for the art of Disney animation.  Today's Disney films have a completely different style than Disney films of the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, etc.  The early days of Disney, when Walt Disney was still alive and running the company, featured films with hand-painted backdrops and art work.  There were the famed "Disney's Nine Old Men" who created some of the most beautiful looking animated films of all time.  I stated that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wasn't among my favorite Disney films.  While I find Snow White to be annoying to no end, I think the Evil Queen is gorgeous and awesome, and I will concede that Snow White is a beautiful looking film.

This thread is to share your favorite pieces of Disney animation, favorite backgrounds, favorite characters, favorite pieces of music, favorite character costumes (outfits?), anything that involves the art of making Disney animation.  Art in regards to the theme parks is allowed too.  

This thread is a celebration of the art of animation.  

I think Sleeping Beauty is one of the most beautifully designed and animated films ever.  The hand-painted backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous.  Maleficent is one of the most glamorous of all the Disney villains.  Prince Phillip is the most attractive of all Disney princes.  This entire film from beginning to end is just magnificent.  

disney-animals-matchmaking-3_large.png 

Even though the animation style is completely different than that of its predecessors, I love the animation style of 101 Dalmatians. I love the "unfinished" look of the film.  

101-dalmatians-1961-5-1.jpeg 

This isn't a Disney film, but I love the art of Mary Blair.  Blair was credited as a "color stylist" for Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella.  She also worked on many of the Disney cartoons that were created during the 1940s.  She also designed a mural for Disneyland's Tomorrowland in 1967 (which remained in place until it was covered in 1998) and also designed the facade for Disneyland's "It's a Small World" ride.  

MaryBlair.jpg

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Cleo from "Pinocchio." I think she is a very wonderfully drawn fish. There is something appealing about her in the sense that you can clearly tell she has a personality. 

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I seem to remember reading somewhere that the Cinderella dress transformation piece was one of Walt's favorite pieces of animation. I also think it is quite magical, as well as quite impressive for its time (1950). 

Image result for 101 dalmatians opening

I also really like the decision to situate all the opening credits onto dalmatian spots. Ingenious idea. 

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Even if the animation in the segment was a little too "cutesy" by the 30's-40's animators standards, the use of music in Fantasia was so perfectly timed and dead-on, I still get those perfect-movie-music chills when Iris flies over Disney-Olympia to Beethoven's "hymn of praise" theme from the Pastorale symphony.

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Even if Fantasia 2000 was considered too mainstream, commercial and "new" 90's-Disney to follow in its footsteps, they did have their one big Fantasia-legacy moment when the "Rhapsody in Blue" characters start living their dreams on skates, to Gershwin's big romantic orchestral swell:

fantasia-disneyscreencaps.com-3051.jpg.07dedd3b94db6201f60cd16be1b2ab9d.jpg

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At work some of us would talk about this sort of thing.  The general opinion was that while we all thought Disney had the superior ANIMATION, the WARNER BROTHERS "Looney Toons" were much funnier.  Many would prefer MICHIGAN J. FROG over MICKEY MOUSE anytime!  ;)

Sepiatone

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The animation and background artwork in The Jungle Book blows me away. Just gorgeous.

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The old Terry tunes featuring Famer Gray and the mice and cats are far more complex and innovative than today's cartoons.

Animation in general has become less sophisticated. Today's animation can't compare to this excerpt from the Betty Boop/Cab Calloway Snow White. Apart from the visual artistry, imagine combining a children's cartoon/popular fairy tale with a song about syphilis!

 

 

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I'm watching Snow White right now and I will concede that the animation is gorgeous.  I love the forest scene.  What great animation! 

qiv7Dqj.gif

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11 hours ago, Swithin said:

The old Terry tunes featuring Famer Gray and the mice and cats are far more complex and innovative than today's cartoons.

Animation in general has become less sophisticated. Today's animation can't compare to this excerpt from the Betty Boop/Cab Calloway Snow White. Apart from the visual artistry, imagine combining a children's cartoon/popular fairy tale with a song about syphilis!

 

 

Can't go wrong with syphilis, I always say.

Apparently when the animators were first designing the Snow White character, she looked more like Betty Boop.  Walt Disney didn't want his princess all tarted up so he had the animators redesign her to look more innocent.  Supposedly Snow White is only supposed to be 14? She looks like she's 30. 

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15 hours ago, Janet0312 said:

The animation and background artwork in The Jungle Book blows me away. Just gorgeous.

I agree.  I haven't seen The Jungle Book in years, but I remember loving the style of the animation.  I thought Disney did an especially great job with the look of the animals. 

maxresdefault.jpg

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12 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I agree.  I haven't seen The Jungle Book in years, but I remember loving the style of the animation.  I thought Disney did an especially great job with the look of the animals. 

maxresdefault.jpg

I think the purveyors of disney's modern form of frenetic hyperkinetic hyperactive animation style oughta look at the jungle book and feel shame for having brought a great animation factory low with political correctness and feminist driven agenda politics.

I'd like to say to them after them looking at animation cels of the jungle book...

"look at that! and you clowns have the gall to put yourselves in their class?

the hamilton luskes, don bluths, wolfgang reithermans and ward kimballs?

get outta here!

if walt disney were alive he'd choke to death laughing."

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14 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

if walt disney were alive he'd choke to death laughing."

If he choked on anything, it would be mountains of cash.

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(Actually, if ole Walt were to choke on anything it would probably be some errant ice in his throat in the hyperbaric chamber.)

 

(ITS TRUE)

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On 4/29/2018 at 9:52 PM, speedracer5 said:

 Prince Phillip is the most attractive of all Disney princes.

My vote goes to Aladdin (despite his humble origins he's usually considered a Disney prince) with THE LITTLE MERMAID's Prince Eric the runner-up.

 

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3 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

My vote goes to Aladdin (despite his humble origins he's usually considered a Disney prince) with THE LITTLE MERMAID's Prince Eric the runner-up.

My top 3 would be Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty with Flynn Rider from Tangled a close second.  Aladdin would fill out the top 3.

At the bottom 3: 1) Post-transformation Beast in Beauty and the Beast, yuck!; 2) Prince Florian from Snow White; 3) John Smith, Pocahontas (is he a prince? I think he married Pocahontas at the end?) 

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5 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

I think the purveyors of disney's modern form of frenetic hyperkinetic hyperactive animation style oughta look at the jungle book and feel shame for having brought a great animation factory low with political correctness and feminist driven agenda politics.

I'd like to say to them after them looking at animation cels of the jungle book...

"look at that! and you clowns have the gall to put yourselves in their class?

the hamilton luskes, don bluths, wolfgang reithermans and ward kimballs?

get outta here!

if walt disney were alive he'd choke to death laughing."

I do agree with you re: how the animation has changed.  There's something to be said for the hand-drawn and painted animation cells of Disney's classic age.  I am not sure when computers started coming into play, I am assuming that this probably started in the late 1980s.  I actually enjoy many of Disney's CGI films, but prefer the hand-drawn films.  I disagree about the alleged "feminist driven agenda" as I like that the Disney heroines aren't all just damsels in distress.  Not every lady wants to (or needs to) wait for some man to come save them.

If Walt Disney were alive (and we'll forget the fact that he'd be well over 100 years old), he'd probably be choking because he smoked so freaking much!   

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5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

If he choked on anything, it would be mountains of cash.

Or his 23 Oscars!

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3 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

Or his 23 Oscars!

That too! My point to Nipkow was that the Disney company has done very well even after Walt's demise. At the moment they are undeniably the biggest movie company in the business, dominating the box office in both live action (Marvel & Star Wars) and animation. And Disney films have won an additional 48 Oscars since Walt's death, too.

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Just to add my two cents in regards to the thread topic, I like the animation style of Snow White. Several of the other hand drawn ones are nice, too, although some are perhaps a bit uninspired. I like The Jungle Book look. But I also don't have a problem with the CGI animation either. They're new tools for new stories. And there is a variety within the CGI medium as well, so they don't all look the same. Some are better looking than others. If the story is good, I can overlook bland or second-rate animation. 

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does anyone love george bruns' opening music to the jungle book?

 

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On 5/1/2018 at 2:56 PM, HoldenIsHere said:

My vote goes to Aladdin (despite his humble origins he's usually considered a Disney prince) with THE LITTLE MERMAID's Prince Eric the runner-up.

In the disastrous first draft, Aladdin was going to be closer to the original tale, where he was a little street kid, with Michael J. Fox's voice--It was Jeffrey Katzenberg who famously said "The princess wouldn't fall for him!  Wouldn't she go for someone who looked like Tom Cruise, instead?"

And since it had beaten the Disney movie by a few years, there are more than a few shots in the movie, than just Prince Eric's uncanny resemblance to Treat Williams, to suggest that the Little Mermaid animators were directly influenced by the "Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre" version:

1605485994_ScreenShot2018-05-01at8_31_47PM.png.0450bdae71e8d13a0ee5d6d84958e217.png

On 5/1/2018 at 2:39 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

(Actually, if ole Walt were to choke on anything it would probably be some errant ice in his throat in the hyperbaric chamber.)

(ITS TRUE)

(Ward Kimball didn't make it up as a press prank to keep reporters away from Walt's family funeral.)  😆

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

(Actually, if ole Walt were to choke on anything it would probably be some errant ice in his throat in the hyperbaric chamber.)

 

(ITS TRUE)

As a former cast member, I can tell you that during the orientation classes we all had to attend, the instructors (if you will) constantly spoke of Walt in the present tense. Coincidence, I think not. I don't know, just something to think about. 

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8 hours ago, HoldenIsHere said:

My vote goes to Aladdin (despite his humble origins he's usually considered a Disney prince) with THE LITTLE MERMAID's Prince Eric the runner-up.

 

Artist Jirka Väätäinen did a series of illustrations depicting the Disney princes in a more "realistic" way.

Here are some examples of his work:

 

540266-211016-gs-rla-10tt2.jpg

Aladdin

 

 

bdf8f3ff5463e78bf6a2198dad98d8ea.jpg

Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid

 

  realistic-disney-movie-princes-jirka-vaa

Prince Phillip from Sleeping Beauty

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On 5/1/2018 at 12:43 AM, speedracer5 said:

I'm watching Snow White right now and I will concede that the animation is gorgeous.  I love the forest scene.  What great animation! 

qiv7Dqj.gif

THE FOREST SCENE might well be the best animation in the whole movie, can you fathom the difficulty of hand drawing and syncing into simultaneous movement her arms, hair, the billowing fabric of her dress and cape, the branches, and the swirl of leaves? Then of course, there is the brilliant, dream-like quality with which the scene plays out- with Snow's feeble mind imagining logs becoming alligators and the like- allegedly this scene caused a lot of kids to wet the seats over the years. I remember LOVING IT in the theater as a child and it stuck with me very much.

the mathematician Alan Turing who cracked the enigma code and endured some horrific persecution over his homosexuality allegedly loved SHOW WHITE and killed himself using a poisoned apple** i bring this up here because i guess he was smart enough to understand the math and skill and meticulousness involved in pulling off the whole film.

I think the animators relished working on the darker parts of this movie, and Thank God they did.

it's the darkness that saves SNOW WHITE and makes it one for the ages.

 

**as i recall from a biography on him i tried to read until

I realized there was too much Math in it. i might be getting

some facts wrong as I am want to do.

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author's note: i am well-aware that none of the following is "how it works" but for the sake of comedy, go with me.

 

Wouldn't it have been a hoot if Disney had been playing poker one night with THE OTHER MOGULS and had been kvetching about his troubles with getting SNOW WHITE across the finishing line because "the damn animators have to sleep some time" and LOUIS B. MAYER offered his advice to "get 'em hepped up on these little red pills I get by the hundreds from Mexico. I got everyone on the lot hooked on 'em, except for Rainer- she's on codeine."

and Walt, being Walt, took the advice (and the prescription) but exceeded the recommended dosage by dozens for everyone involved in the making of the movie and a week later, they present him with a private screening of the following crucial scene:

 

(ps- from 1:22 to the end is priceless.)

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