Fearless Freep

Jerry Mouse in Anchors Aweigh

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Just thought I’d share this video explaining the creation of one of my favorite scenes in a musical. I thought it was really interesting to learn how it was done.

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Thanks for sharing this wonnnnderful clip on the process of creating live action and animation together. This was truly remarkable and painstaking work, especially since all those tens of thousands of cells were drawn, handcolored, projected front and back in in the pre-digital Green Screen Days. I always love seeing the special features and extended editions of movies showing the creative process. So wish they had thought of doing something like that for all the old musicals. The newer version of An American in Paris DOES have behind the scenes info and audio too.

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That’s mind blowing. What brilliant minds not only to accomplish it but to even think of it in the first place. It must have been exciting to work in an era of such creativity and invention.

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What a process!  But in the end where's Jerry's shadow?  He's like Peter Pan.  Maybe it's the opaque outline glued to the back of him.  He has floor reflections, but above that he goes 2D.

What if they'd erased Gene's shadows; would he have looked more like a cartoon?     

 ........ Just looked at the movie clip.  Once Gene gets away from the stairs into a more open stage he loses his shadow, but it comes back when he's in front of the stairs again.  I know, picky, picky, picky.  

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41 minutes ago, Pastiche said:

What a process!  But in the end where's Jerry's shadow?  He's like Peter Pan.  Maybe it's the opaque outline glued to the back of him.  He has floor reflections, but above that he goes 2D.

What if they'd erased Gene's shadows; would he have looked more like a cartoon?       

........ Just looked at the movie clip.  Once Gene gets away from the stairs into a more open stage he loses his shadow, but it comes back when he's in front of the stairs again.  I know, picky, picky, picky.  

Supposedly, Jerry’s reflection on the floor was a last minute addition; at a preview screening, one of the executives noticed the fact that Kelly had floor reflections and Jerry didn’t, which, as mentioned at the end of the video, meant they had to do another separate animation exposure for his reflection. I’m guessing that either they were so preoccupied with the missing floor reflection that they failed to also notice a missing background shadow, or that they were running so low on time that they simply decided that adding the floor reflection was more important than the background one.

Glad you all like this. I’m also a person who loves seeing the creative processes behind many of these films and seeing something like this always is a treat.

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It was strange how Disney didn’t let Mickey do the film and yet years later, Disney and MGM came with a deal for Disney’s MGM Studios (which is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

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Another fun fact:  Stanley Donen was the physical model for the dancing that Jerry the Mouse does, the same way Marge Champion was the physical model for Snow White's movements.

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10 hours ago, Rose1957 said:

Another fun fact:  Stanley Donen was the physical model for the dancing that Jerry the Mouse does, the same way Marge Champion was the physical model for Snow White's movements.

You added two fun facts! And I'll add a third (because I love these fun facts): the look of Snow White is based on Hedy Lamarr.

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On 6/16/2018 at 8:38 AM, MikeD31784 said:

It was strange how Disney didn’t let Mickey do the film and yet years later, Disney and MGM came with a deal for Disney’s MGM Studios (which is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

      Not so strange when you remember that the Disney that didn't let Mickey do the film was Walt Disney; the Disney that joined with MGM later was The Walt Disney Company. Disney, the man, would never allow his characters to be controlled by another studio. He had, after all, lost Mickey's predecessor (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) because he did not have legal ownership of the character. He never made that mistake again. He also demanded absolute artistic control and complete ownership of all his work. Besides, this "revolutionary" idea of mixing animation and live-action was not new; it had already been done - by Walt Disney.  He produced and animated the "Alice" adventures in the early 1920's, before he shifted his focus to full animation. 

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On 6/16/2018 at 8:38 AM, MikeD31784 said:

It was strange how Disney didn’t let Mickey do the film and yet years later, Disney and MGM came with a deal for Disney’s MGM Studios (which is now Disney’s Hollywood Studios).

 

1 hour ago, Whipsnade said:

      Not so strange when you remember that the Disney that didn't let Mickey do the film was Walt Disney; the Disney that joined with MGM later was The Walt Disney Company. Disney, the man, would never allow his characters to be controlled by another studio. He had, after all, lost Mickey's predecessor (Oswald the Lucky Rabbit) because he did not have legal ownership of the character. He never made that mistake again. He also demanded absolute artistic control and complete ownership of all his work. Besides, this "revolutionary" idea of mixing animation and live-action was not new; it had already been done - by Walt Disney.  He produced and animated the "Alice" adventures in the early 1920's, before he shifted his focus to full animation. 

Not quite true...Mickey was their first choice, and Walt was fine with it. It was his brother Roy that put the kabooms on the deal. 

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Mickey did guest in an earlier MGM picture, 1934’s Hollywood Party, a very silly all-star revue, but in that he was in a stand-alone animated segment that was later removed when the rights to use Mckey expired. Fortunately now he has been restored to the film which is available from Warner Archive. Forward to 1944 and it’s surprising that MGM was willing to bypass their own in-house mouse and animation unit to use Mickey. But of course no animated star is/was bigger than MM. Hanna and Barbera, et al, did a great job of bringing Jerry to life alongside Gene Kelly. The description of the amount of work that was required to do that is mind-boggling. 

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9 hours ago, Walt3rd said:

 

Not quite true...Mickey was their first choice, and Walt was fine with it. It was his brother Roy that put the kabooms on the deal. 

Thanks; I stand corrected. In my zeal to make a point, I let speculation exceed documentation and spoke beyond what I knew with certainty. It was all in an attempt to make the point that the Walt Disney Company that was controlled by Walt and Roy was very different from the corporate entity that bears the name today. Because of the difference, it would not be "strange" for the company of today to make a different decision than the company of old. I concede that it's not much of a point and my attempt to illustrate that point was factually incorrect. 

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