Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dumbo Part 9

This really is Woolie Reitherman's section. He animates practically everything. Ed Brophy, the voice of Timothy, gives an excellent reading, alternating between coaxing, thinking out loud, cheerleading and puzzlement. Reitherman catches all those emotions in his animation. Between Brophy and Reitherman, we get a good understanding of Timothy, a character who is warm-hearted, considerate and intelligent.

Reitherman's posing is broad and has a strong line of action, though he's fairly conservative when it comes to changing the character's shapes. As I mentioned in the last section, Reitherman's Timothy is more structural than Fred Moore's.

The sound effects in shot 10, when Dumbo vacuums the peanut away from Timothy and spits out the shells, is very funny.

The pan in shot 24.1 is on twos, another indication of the corner cutting in this low budget film. Generally, pan backgrounds are shot on ones, as twos work less well for moving backgrounds than for characters. The reason to pan on twos is to save the work of putting the animation on ones to match a smoother pan.

(In an interview in Hogan's Alley, story artist Bill Peet claimed that he redrew an entire Bill Tytla scene, making it acceptable to Walt Disney. Michael Sporn offers his thoughts on Peet's claims.)


Eric Noble said...

Wonderful post, as always. I love your analysis of the film. Woolie Reitherman definitely did great work with Timothy. I would have liked to have seen him challenged with more quiet, personality scenes like these.

John V. said...

In "Pinocchio" there are a few short action sequences near the end where Woolie animates "practically everything" (Pinocchio, Jiminy, Monstro). I guess this type of assignment was the next step up, although I was surprised to see Jaxon directing such a sequence rather than Bill Roberts, who seems to have been the director who usually worked with him around this point.

Steven Hartley said...

Woolie draws the sequence really well, and even some Dumbo shots are beautiful and I've read Bill Peet's interview in Hogan's Alley many times in the past and he said that the people working on Dumbo were considered as 'poor', while the top-animators were working on Bambi. That doesn't really make much sense, because Bill Tytla was probably the top animator at the time and he did most of the elephant animation, 92 shots! As I counted.

Steven Hartley said...
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