Monday, June 02, 2008

101 Dalmatians: Part 10A

The first part of sequence 8 is really just exposition. The news of the stolen puppies finally ends up with the Colonel and Tibbs. What exists is suspense: where are the puppies? At the end of this part, we're know they've been located when Hell Hall is revealed as the DeVil place.

The strength of this sequence, however, is that we're introduced to five new characters and they are all distinctive. In relatively little screen time, we understand the personalities of the various characters as well as their relationships. They feel like well-rounded individuals with real lives, not just characters stuck in to carry story points.

I would point out that with the exception of John Lounsbery on the Colonel, none of the other nine old men have animation here. More evidence, if it was needed, that lesser-known Disney animators were fully capable of doing the job. Eric Cleworth and Don Lusk create good interaction between Towser the bloodhound and Lucy the goose (who's voiced by Martha Wentworth, who also does Nanny). Lusk's goose is nicely energetic and flighty in contrast to the more staid Towser. Julius Svendsen's best shot of the horse is 16.1, where the horse whinnys. Cliff Nordberg's Tibbs comes across as the loyal adjutant, tolerant of the aged Colonel's diminishing powers out of respect for his position.

Lounsbery's Colonel is a great character, voiced by J. Pat O'Malley, the same actor who voices Jasper. He catches the character's stuffiness and befuddlement wonderfully. The choice of a sheepdog, with his eyes covered by fur, is a good choice for a character who is never quite sure what is going on. Lounsbery has fun playing peek-a-boo with the Colonel's eyes, teeth and tongue, occasionally popping through all the fur. The fur itself is animated beautifully, working as a follow-through element as well as flaring during the exertion of barking. Lounsbery occasionally animates the jaw to the side or gives the character an under bite when speaking, providing a distinctive style for the Colonel's dialogue.

This sequence is directed by Woolie Reitherman, the king of re-use. It will become more apparent in the latter part of this sequence, but there is a large amount of animation lifted from elsewhere in this film and from other films as well. Shots 23 and 25, with the Colonel and Tibbs, re-uses animation from production #2079, though I don't know what that is. Lady and the Tramp, perhaps? Shot 45.1. is a repeat of shot 33 and 45.2 is a repeat of 34. Shot 67 has animation lifted from production #2084. Is the horse's head nod lifted from Sleeping Beauty?


Hans Perk said...

Hi Mark - I always look forward to your analyses!

Prod. 2079 and 2084 are both Lady and the Tramp, but the first is the Standard Academy version, the second the CinemaScope version. Some scenes were re-planned for this, repositioning drawings.
Here are the reused scenes:

Seq. 1.1 Sc.3 "Tramp showers under drain pipe" Milt Kahl.
Seq. 2 Sc. 113 "Tramp demonstrates scratching" Frank Thomas.
Seq. 2 Sc. 114 "Trusty scratches" Milt Kahl.
Seq. 11 Sc.6.1 combined with Sc. 6 Jock & Trusty: "Weel now you see Lassie, neither of us is as young as we used to be..." Ollie Johnston.
Seq. 11 Sc 10.1 Jock & Trusty: "If you could find it possible to ah..." Ollie Johnston.

For reference, I put a little list of production numbers on my blog...

Mark Mayerson said...

Thank you, Hans. I was hoping that you could shed some light on this. It never occurred to me that Lady and the Tramp could have two different production numbers.