Friday, March 21, 2008

Annoying Fly, early gag sketch for Snow White

The Fairest One of All art exhibit at Disney California Adventure's Animation Building will soon be over. I was there last weekend and spoke with one of the "cast members". She said that the exhibit would last only one to two more weeks, then it'd be taken down. She was not sure what would go in after or if this Snow White exhibit would move anywhere else.

So GO SEE IT while you can.

Here is a gag sketch called the Annoying Fly that was an early proposed gag for the dwarfs.

It's done comic strip style, though there are no frames. The dwarf is up on a ladder and tries to slap an annoying fly buzzing around his head, he falls and bounces on to a bellows.

The gag apparently continues on another large piece of paper, but that second part of the gag -- what the bellows blows on and causes to happen, I assume -- is not in the exhibit.

Click on the pic to get a larger image. The quality of these photos are not high, but you can see fairly well all the different sequences (they go right to left, top row, then bottom row).

Anyone know who drew this gag?

Ken O’Conner signed story sketch

Here's a fantastic story sketch for the bathing scene of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that is at the Disney California Adventure art exhibit, The Fairest One of All. This sketch is sgned by Ken O'Conner. The drawing itself is beautiful enough and shows how the Disney artists were working to provide the creative input to Snow White. And interesting as well are the technical notes or directions written on the sheet. It's nice to have it signed so we know who drew it. (Click on it for a larger picture).

Ken O'Conner has a page at The International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) Cartoon Hall of Fame. Here's the link: A. Kendall O'Conner.

He was born in Perth Australia and worked on Snow White and 12 other Disney animated features. He was awarded the Annie Winsor McCay Award in 1987. Take a look at the Cartoon Hall of Fame page linked above. The comments are heartfelt and informative from his loved ones.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pixar Toy Story Zoetrope at California Adventure

Amazing to See

It really is amazing and it's wonderfulness can't be captured on video. The Zoetrope consists of a number of Toy Story figures in time-sequence poses situated around a circle that acts as a carousel. It begins revolving and gets up to a high speed where the figures all blur together as they whiz past. Then - boom -- at the same time the Toy Story music and a strobe light begin and the figures are moving, jumping, parachuting, hopping and bouncing through the ground and Jesse the Cowgirl swings her lariat. (Click on the images for much larger pictures).

There are many YouTube clips of this but none of them do it justice, or even come close. Some are incomprehensible even. The strobe light makes it very hard for a camera to pick up the action and motion.

The best two are at these links:

A longer one

A two second clip which is the most clear.

Those will give you the idea of what the experience is like.

This is at the Animation Building at California Adventure, where the Snow White exhibit, The Fairest One of All, is. If you've got a chance, go see it.

There is another strobe-light Zoetrope like this in Japan at the the Studio Ghibli Museum. It's said that that Zoetrope of Totoro characters was so impressive to John Lassater that he had the Toy Story Zoetrope made.

The Ghibli zoetrope is at the Ghibli Museum in Japan and this link will take you to a page about the museum, with a photo of their zoetrope.

To see this sort of strobe light zoetrope is quite an experience. If you get a chance, I recommend taking a look at the Pixar Zoetrope at California Adventure.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jet Pack at Tomorrowland, Disneyland

Once upon a time Tomorrowland did a Jet Pack demonstration. I remember seeing this when I was a little kid. I was very happy to find a short video of the Jet Pack at Disney Frontier who found it at Daily Motion.

One thing I remember is that it was LOUD!!! Look at the video, when the Jet Pack Man takes off, first thing you'll see is a kid plugging his ears. Every crowd shot has people plugging their ears. Seeing the man fly was amazing, spectacular, but it was loud, a loud screeching howling loud.

Here's the embed from Daily Motion, posted by an obvious philanthropist named donaldtheduckie

Tomorrowland's loss

I always wondered why the Jet Pack demonstration didn't last long. Even today it would be a spectacular show. I think it must have been the noise. It was just too loud to keep as an attraction.

Yet, this is the sort of thing that Tomorrowland is for. Today there's not much comparable. The closest I can think of now is the Asimo robot show in Innoventions where the Honda humanoild robot, Asimo, is shown off.