Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dumbo Part 13

The elephants, who have all suffered from the collapse of the pachyderm pyramid, learn that Dumbo has been made a clown and take an oath declaring that he is no longer an elephant.

I love the end of shot 13, which is a literal visualization of putting somebody's tail in a sling.

Once again, we have Bill Tytla showing off his versatility as an actor, handling the various elephant personalities and keeping them distinct as individuals. In shot 21, when the Verna Felton character barks, "Out with it!" Tytla animates a great, fast accent on Catty before she reveals Dumbo's fate. Catty typically oozes through her movements, so the accent really emphasizes how surprised she is by the command.

Throughout the draft, there are shots that are missing in the final film. In this sequence, it apears that shots 17-19 were done and then scrapped. They could be as simple as story panels in a leica reel or could be full colour shots. I wonder if there is Tytla animation from this film sitting somewhere in the Disney archives. I'm not aware of anything like that showing up as a DVD extra for this film.

As good as Tytla's animation is, the assistant work is lacking. If you carefully watch this sequence and pay attention to the various bandages as the elephants move, you can see that they're not nailed into place. They tend to drift. While it's not enough to bother a casual viewer, anyone with an animation background can spot the problem. My assumption is that this is another byproduct of the tight budget.

There is an inconsistency with the elephants' trunks. In shot 16 there is an elephant whose trunk is totally bandaged, yet in shot 24, when presumably all the elephants take the oath, that trunk is nowhere to be seen.


Steven Hartley said...

This is bascially a whole sequence with animation by Bill Tytla, and no effects on the ice block block in Catty's head, no its just an ALL Tytla sequence!

Can't wait for the Clowns sequence!!

Eric Noble said...

I love this. Bill Tytla was one of the greatest animators ever. It really is the strength of the characters and the character animation that carries this film. I love how every sequence builds on the previous one, giving a more rounded view of that world.

Steve said...

In Stephen Kanfer's "Serious Business" it's stated that Tytla animated the trunk touch sequence and then quit Disney. I wonder if the imperfect assistant work in this scene may have been caused by Tytla's departure.

Mark Mayerson said...

Stephen Kanfer's book is shot through with errors and this is one of them. Dumbo was released in 1940, before the U.S. entered World War II. Tytla definitely animated on Education for Death, which was made after the United States entered World War II, so he was at the studio for several more years after Dumbo before he left.

David Nethery said...

Tytla also animated on Victory Through Air Power, released in 1943 . Canemaker's long biographical piece on Tytla (available on the ASIFA Animation Archive) states that Tytla resigned from Disney on Feb. 25, 1943.

Steve said...

Goes to show there's a good deal of misinformation out there. That's why I enjoy these posts. Thanks.