Saturday, April 07, 2007
Pinocchio Part 6
A couple of notes on the draft. The effects animator on shots 3 and 35 is listed as Struther and Struthers. It's probably Sandy Strothers. Also, the effects animator listed as Case in shot 13 is probably Brad Case, but Alberto Becattini doesn't list him as being at Disney this early. I'm not aware of another Case who might fit the bill.
While the draft lists 1.01 to 1.06 as separate shots, they are continuous in the film. My assumption is that it was easier to treat it as sections in terms of assigning the work.
That opening shot, craning from the church bell tower down through the town and ending on Gepetto's door is similar structurally to the first shot of the story proper, where the camera cranes from the wishing star to Geppetto's house. That first shot spatially connects the star with occupants of the house, declaring the connection between them. This shot connects the world with the occupants and the second act will be all about how the world affects Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy and their relationships.
The shot also mirrors the characters on Geppetto's clocks, but these characters are real and less predictable than Geppetto's mechanical creations. If those clocks are facsimiles of real life, we discover when Geppetto leaves Pinocchio at the world's mercy that Geppetto is as much a facsimile of a real father as Pinocchio is of a real boy. Geppetto witnessed Pinocchio playing with fire and knows of his son's lack of worldliness, yet he gleefully sends Pinocchio off to school, dancing back into his house, oblivious to the monstrous wrong he's just committed.
Jiminy is nowhere to be found either, so Pinocchio goes into the world unarmed. Everything in the second act will flow from these opening moments.
Geppetto in this sequence is all Babbitt's. Babbitt's animation is warm, showing Geppetto's pride in his newfound son. The dancing scene is particularly effective, though it has to be viewed ironically in view of what follows.
Milt Kahl and Les Clark handle the bulk of Pinocchio. Clark's Pinocchio has a less appealing face. The features don't generate the appeal that other animators are able to get. Shots 15 and 30 are typical of the problem. When Pinocchio's cheeks are not cutting into the bottoms of his eyes, the eyes tend to look vacant. Clark also draws Pinocchio's eyes more round than oval, which doesn't help.
Don Lusk and Lynn Karp get the best Figaro scenes here, even though Eric Larson gets a scene.