Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two Links

Before posting the last part of the Wes Anderson series later this week I’d like to guide you towards two Disney related pieces:

Fantasia mosaic
Steven Hartley is literally in the middle – he has just reached the intermission – of posting a Fantasia mosaic using the drafts to comment on who animated what on Walt Disney’s ground breaking third feature. Steven seems to be a bit disappointed that he doesn't get too many reactions from readers. In any case, these mosaics come in very handy as a starting point for researching an animator's particular work.

Walt Peregoy in his own words
Most of you might have already seen this as it was on cartoonbrew last week, but as someone who is interested in animation backgrounds and 101 Dalmatians in particular I feel obliged to mention it here as well:
Steve Hulett has just posted a new interview with Walt Peregoy over at the TAG blog in two parts (here and here). It’s always interesting to hear the veterans tell their story in their own (in this case explicit) words. While recounting the facts and putting them into context is better left to the researching historians, such interviews reveal more about the way these people think and how they see themselves within their working environment and society.

However derogatory Peregoy’s remarks about his fellow employees may be, he does show great respect for the fans – the people who research animation history - and he knows that he is famous among them. If anything, he likes Amid Amidi’s book Cartoon Modern an awful lot, especially the comparison of his and Eyvind Earle’s backgrounds for Paul Bunyan (see Amid’s online version here).

From the interview, we do not get too much insight into Peregoy's artistic point of view other than that he is very proud of his unique work. I would have loved to hear him talk about the thinking behind his color concepts or how he approached work on a new film.

There’s one instance where he questions one of the “trite clichés” as he calls them: According to Steve Hulett, on Jungle Book, his father (Ralph Hulett) wanted the characters to read light on dark, because he thought that jungles were dark, but Woolie wanted them the opposite way, dark on light backgrounds. Walt Peregoy: “your father was wrong in this sense. I did most of the key Jungle Book backgrounds, they were colorful. And here’s the thing: your father suffered from the ancient “reading them characters”. […], anything that moves reads."

Light characters on dark background: Cinderella's pastel colored characters were often staged against shadow areas - day (left) or night (right).
Dark characters on light background: with little exception all the Jungle Book characters are seen against lighter backgrounds - day (left) and night (right).
While this is basically true and you could get clear silhouettes across easily by strong outlines and such, this was the opposite of Disney’s intentions to minimize the outlines around the characters. Woolie had his way and Al Dempster finally did the conventional key backgrounds for the version of The Jungle Book that got made (after Walt Peregoy was fired und Bill Peet left the studio).
One of the few Jungle Book color keys by Walt Peregoy found in Pierre Lambert's book.

Later on, Peregoy referred to this again saying: “If it reads, the thinking is, it’s a flat inked and painted image over a flat background. But that’s not necessary and I know this”, because of his work on The Lone Ranger series and The Shooting of Dan McGrew.


Best animation programs said...

Amid's version was pretty good

best animation software said...

Hi, great views, thanks for the info, now we want the next chapter. :D