sábado, 30 de abril de 2011

Dave Smith Takes Us Behind the Slipper for a Look at Walt's "Cinderella"

It's hard to call one film the most beloved in the Disney canon—but "Cinderella" must surely rank right near the top of the list. Maybe it's the timeless appeal of justice winning out over tyranny. Maybe it's the beautiful songs. Maybe we all wish for a Fairy Godmother. Whatever the reason, "Cinderella" has warmed the hearts of millions, and Cinderella remains a favorite Princess among little girls (and grown-up ones too).

Insider: How did "Cinderella" influence other Disney animated films?

Dave: If "Cinderella" hadn't been a success, there probably would not have been any other Disney animated features. Walt had just gone through a difficult decade, notable for World War II, and ... the company had had major financial problems. After" Bambi," in 1942, Walt had been unable to get the financing for another full-length animated feature, so he had to be satisfied with package features, like "Make Mine Music" and "Melody Time," which combined a number of short cartoons. Finally, by the end of the decade, he had been able to scrape together enough cash to do "Cinderella," and the whole future of Disney animated features rested on its success. Thank goodness it was a big hit!

Why was Walt so attracted to fairy tales as source material?

Walt felt that when he used a fairy tale there was already a built-in audience for his film, because the audience members already knew a little about the story, and would be curious to see how Disney would depict it. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" had been such a big hit, while following films, not based on fairy tales, had not been. He felt that if he attempted another film based on a fairy tale, it might match "Snow White's" success.

Can you talk a little about what added to the story?

The tale of Cinderella was well-known, so mainly Walt had to find a new way of telling it, and he accomplished that by introducing additional strong characters, such as Gus and Jaq and the other mice, the birds, Bruno the dog, and Lucifer the cat. They helped carry major parts of the story. Walt also added the King and the Grand Duke to the tale. Nothing showed off the abilities of animation over live action more than the exciting transformation of Cinderella and the Pumpkin Coach by the Fairy Godmother.

Why do you think "Cinderella" has resonated so much with audiences?

"Cinderella" tells a timeless tale—the poor, abused, downtrodden little girl who has great hopes and aspirations, and despite those who try to hold her back, is finally able to fulfill those aspirations in an even grander scale that she could have ever hoped. So many people yearn for the same magic that the story has continued to be meaningful to generation after generation. As Leonard Maltin has said, "The film's strongest point is its ability to elicit emotional response from its audience."

Can you talk about Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World? Why Cinderella?

Walt Disney had originally intended to name his Disneyland castle after Snow White, but then made the switch to Sleeping Beauty because he had the "Sleeping Beauty" film in production and naming the castle would help promote it. By 1971, Walt was gone and there were no more fairy-tale movies in the offing, so the Park's designers decided to return to the Cinderella story as the inspiration for their new castle. They wanted it to be different from the Sleeping Beauty Castle, and Cinderella seemed to fit the bill. It would be a grand, majestic castle, more than 100 feet taller, so as to fit the larger scale of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Are there any items in the Archives related to Cinderella?

The Archives contain story materials on "Cinderella," though the artwork is all in the Animation Research Library. We have the press releases, press books, posters, and other materials that were used to promote the film, and a collection of the resulting reviews. There are also Cinderella toys, figurines, games, clothing, books, and phonograph records, not to mention hundreds of photos in our Photo Library. I really like the ceramic figurines of Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the mice, made by American Pottery in 1950.

quinta-feira, 28 de abril de 2011

Disney´s Fantasia - "Dance of the Hours" Ballet

Fantasia's "Dance of The Hours" celebrates a great Italian opera with a ballet chorus of animals.

Although Ponchielli's "Dance of The Hours" was first performed at La Scala, Milan, in 1876, it remains today a glorious example of the danse classique at the pinnacle of its full fruition. The ballet occurs in the third act of the opera La Gioconda (The Smiling One) as the Duke Alvise entertains his guests with a divertissement in the grand ballroom of the palace. The distinctive choreography, so charmingly baroque, yet at the same time so daringly conventional, is permeated with the true spirit of the early idiom and presents a significant commentary on the eternal struggle between the powers of light and darkness.

As the curtain rises, Mlle Upanova, solo ballerina, symbolizes the dawn as she summons her dancers, the early hours, to her side in a series of graceful arabesques. The ballet chorus, in classic patterns, sur les pointes, follows her about the spacious hall until, in a lovely tableau, they kneel at the edge of a sunken pool. Then, as a nymph arising from the waves, Hyacinth Hippo emerges from the pool. Her hand-maidens circle about her in the vivacious faux pas, executed from the second position, portraying with tender nuances the languor of the day.

Now, to the music's mode minor, a new corps de ballet interprets the twilight hours, and although there is still a gay abandon in the superb pirouettes of Elephanchine, there is a hint of something to come, a half-veiled, illusive mood of breathless desire. And it comes! Ben Ali Gator, maitre de ballet, sweeps in with his sinister band, heralding the sullen approach of the hours of the night. In a magnificent cherchez la femme, the chorus leaps about in bold double entendres, while their leader executes the brilliant triple entente with virile grace.

The music's quickened tempo foretells the return of Hyacinth Hippo. She is timorous before Ben Ali Gator as he, entranced with her beauty, makes a passe-partout in her direction. Then, suddenly infatuated, she surrenders to him in the electric measures of the adagio as he lifts her triumphantly above his head in a swift demi-nelson. In the grand finale, the tout ensemble expresses the transcience of night and the victory of day in a spirited allons a buffalo.

When we see what this talented troupe does to l'arte des danse in the true classic tradition, we can only marvel at what the future may hold.

Burlesque Ballet Danced By Ostrich

"The Dance of the Hours" by Ponchielli, one of Fantasia's most famous segments, introduced an unlikely ostrich named Mlle Upanova to the world of ballet.

One of the funniest spots in Walt Disney's full-length Fantasia is the wild burlesquing of a ballet, done to the music of "The Dance of the Hours" by Ponchielli. The "prima ballerina" in this irreverent kidding of the dance is Mlle Upanova. Pronounce her name slowly and you'll get it. On the screen, you'll see her as coy, winsome ostrich with feet like canal boats, a black velvet ribbon tied around her long neck, wearing a costume of her own plumes. Such crazy goings-on when the Mlle really gets started with a chorus of her sisters happen only in the delirious designs of Walt Disney. Mlle Upanova is assisted in her satire by Hyacinth Hippo, whose name is a clue to her rattle-brain character; by Ben All Gater and his pals, who are the villains; and by a chorus of "beef trust" elephants who finally wreck the place. The ballet as an art, of course, is no doubt here to stay. But after Fantasia, which is released by RKO Radio, there will be many people who never again will be able to watch toe-dancing without thinking of Mlle. Upanova, the side-splitting ostrich diva drawn by Disney.

From the 1940 Fantasia Program

sexta-feira, 22 de abril de 2011

The Art of Jim Shore

The Art of Jim Shore

Q: The name of your collection of Disney inspired figures is called Disney Traditions. Can you share with us what Disney Traditions means to you as an artist?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a huge Disney fan. Like everybody in my generation, I grew up with it. Characters like Mickey and Donald, stories like Snow White and Pinocchio, were an important, everyday part of our lives. And it wasn’t just great entertainment. We picked up some pretty important life lessons too. Disney stood for the values we admired most, things like courage, loyalty, friendship. And what’s great is those classic Disney movies and characters are as popular now as they were when I was a kid. As an artist and for me personally, being associated with that kind of creative tradition is an incredible honor.

Q: Reminiscent of folk art, the detailed quilting patterns and scroll designs along with meticulous attention to character detail and color are all indicators of your signature style of art. What path led you to this unique style?

I grew up in a family of quilters, so I guess that part of it sort of comes naturally. But as I grew older I was drawn to the broader traditions of American and European folk art, things like rosemaling, tole painting, Fraktur and what’s called Pennsylvania Dutch. The unique thing about my work is the combination of these different folk art elements. The challenge is pulling everything together into something that makes sense visually. The goal is to keep the eye moving across the entire piece, taking in all the different elements while appreciating the composition as a whole. It’s not as easy as it sounds!

Q: No matter the subject, the color story used for each of your creations can be described as bright and cheerful. How do you select your color combinations?

My grandmother specialized in what’s called Crazy Quilts, which combine apparently random bits of cloth into abstract designs. They were pretty wild and she was pretty out there when it came to color. No combination was off limits to her. I grew up watching her work and I guess I picked up on that mindset. And since I never went to art school that early influence didn’t get bogged down with a lot of formal training. Consequently I use color in a way that most artists would find unconventional. For me it works to put a pink next to an orange next to a purple next to a green. I guess I’m a lot like Grandma that way.
The Art of Jim Shore
Q: Speaking of favorites, we often see the same character portrayed in different pieces, especially when it comes to your seasonal designs. Do you have a favorite character and what about this character inspires your creativity?

I love Tinker Bell. She’s smart, loyal and very spirited. She’s full of fun but always seems to do the right thing in the end. Plus her size makes her an interesting subject to work with. I have a great time drawing her in scale with stuff around the house like clocks, candy canes and the like.

Q: Those of us in the know have seen you appear on more than one occasion at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. What brings you back and what do you enjoy about the experience?
I’m a grandfather several times over, at a stage of life where fairy tales and pirate adventures aren’t supposed to mean much. But the Disney Parks bring out the kid in me and I love going back. I’ll be signing at Disneyland November 20-21 and at Walt Disney World December 3-5. It’s a great time to go because everything at the parks is getting ginned up for Christmas. There’s a special energy that time of year.

Q: The pieces you design for your Disney Traditions collection are among our Guest favorites. Can you give us a sneak peek as to what we might see next?

We’ve got a lot of good things in the pipeline. And what’s gratifying for me is that a lot of them have to do with special memories I have with my kids. My daughters watched Aladdin ‘til they memorized every line. We have a new Genie piece coming out and flying carpet with Aladdin and Jasmine that’ll make them happy. And I used to watch the Muppets every Saturday night with the kids, so the new Muppets collection due out this winter is a family favorite. Plus we have a new take on a musical Disney Princess collection and maybe a theme park piece or two to follow up on the Hitchhiking Ghosts piece I did last year. I’m pretty excited about it. I love doing the Disney pieces.

quarta-feira, 20 de abril de 2011

The Art of Randy Noble

Randy began his career with Disney Parks in the fall of 1998, when he joined Disney Design Group as a Senior Character Artist.

Cinderella Watercolor

Dara: Our Guests have gotten to know you through your Disney art and collectible merchandise as well as your original artwork. How would you describe your art style to someone who has never seen any of your work?

Randy: I guess as far as my paintings go the paintings guest react the most to are my watercolors. They are loose with big washes of color and are more free flowing in style not worrying about where the color may go. I like to work in a variety of mediums like oil, acrylic, casein, and gouache but watercolor is still my favorite.

Dara: In addition to limited edition art work, what additional projects have you worked on that our Guests may not be familiar with? Are there any past projects that you have worked on that you’re most passionate about?

Randy: I have been very lucky to have worked on many great projects during my time at Disney Design Group such as Star Wars Weekends, Food & Wine Festival, Pin events, Disneyana, and the creative for our Disney Store on 5th Avenue in New York. I guess I was most passionate about Vinylmation. This was a project that my partner in Arts & Collectibles (Aaron Babcock) and I started from scratch and have watched it grow much larger than we first envisioned.

Goofy Watercolor

Dara: When selecting the characters that will appear in your art, is there a process you go through to help determine what character you’re going to focus on? Where do you draw your inspiration for each piece?

Randy: Each time I sit down and think of a new painting I try and keep in mind our guest and what characters they love. I do have favorites like Goofy and Pluto but I really enjoy painting all the characters. My inspiration comes from Disney Parks, I’m reminded every day as I drive onto Disney property what a great job I have, and how lucky I’ve been in my career.

segunda-feira, 18 de abril de 2011

The Art of Darren Wilson

Darren Wilson is a Graphic Designer for Disney Design Group and his talents can be seen not only in his fine artwork but also in popular Disney Theme Park Authentic items such as Disney's co-branded Dooney and Bourke collections and on the high seas with Disney Cruise Line.

Snow White & Co.

Darren, your work continues to provide a sense of enchantment to our Guests. Your ability to capture some of our most notable Disney characters in many scenes and scenarios is just part of the charm and magic that makes them so special. What led you to want to depict the characters in such a unique style?

Disney has such a rich history and tradition with its characters that I really try to capture the timeless quality of them. Over the years, I have developed my own vision of how I’ve perceived the characters to be and have created a unique art style that has become well known to Disney fans and collectors. I am inspired by the characters’ essences and nuances by bringing them to life through movement, composition, tone and attention to detail in a vintage classical way.

Rags to Riches

Your upcoming pieces will surely capture the imagination of Disney enthusiasts and collectors everywhere. Can you give us some highlights and insights on the pieces you’ve created for your upcoming artist showcase and why you chose these subjects?

The first painting depicts a scene from one of my favorite movies, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” I wanted to put all the characters in a tight compact space all around Snow White and get them large enough to highlight all their expressions and individuality.

In the second painting, Chip and Dale, I wanted to play up the humorous and mischievous look about them. I chose to keep the palate more tonal with hints of color.

Lastly, I painted Cinderella from rags to riches transformation. This painting reminds me of a moment that we all can relate, where we have come from in life’s journey to where we are now.

When you’re not creating your one-of-a-kind masterpieces, what additional items are you dreaming up for Disney Theme Park Merchandise? Have there been any projects from your past that stand out as favorites?

I am currently working for the softlines division here in Attractions Merchandise. I am really excited about the work I have done with the cobranded business with Dooney & Bourke. I have created the character sketch print, along with fellow designer Donna Kozatek, which has been a huge hit with our guests! We also just released a Princess line of bags that I am excited about that depicts the princesses in cameo poses and is very colorful. I worked on Mickey, Minnie and Tinker Bell tattoo inspired art as well as some Pirates of the Caribbean apparel. But when it comes to the gallery work, I am really excited about the series of Disney Cruise Line paintings I have done for the Disney Dream.

Chip and Dale

One of my favorite questions to ask is ‘How did you get your start with Disney?’ Everyone that comes to work at the most magical place on earth has a unique story to tell. Can you share your story with us?

For my 8th birthday, I got a Walt Disney light-up drawing desk from my parents. The little plastic drawing desk was really cool with Disney characters that I could trace. That little desk inspired me and turned me into a drawing machine! It took several hundred ugly drawings; but before long, I became really good at sketching the characters. I have always been creative, winning art contests through my early years of education. I attended college on an art scholarship, and then graduated with a degree in design from Auburn University in 1993. 

I began my career in Nashville, Tennessee, where I worked as a designer for a public relations firm with clients such as Saturn and Bridgestone/Firestone. I also spent some time designing for a small studio in the heart of Music Row. I arrived in Orlando in 1996 and worked as a designer for Universal Studios. 

Soon after, I received the call I had been waiting for, and since that happy day in 1997, I have worked as a graphic designer for Walt Disney World. I have had the opportunity to create designs for the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney Cruise Line, Disneys California Adventure, Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

I have been happily creating original paintings for the Art of Disney galleries for the past 11 years.

quinta-feira, 14 de abril de 2011

Behind the Scenes with Disney Hollywood Studios Ink & Paint Team

posted at the Disney Parks blog on August 31st, 2010 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

The Walt Disney Company is rich with so many wonderful traditions, one of my favorites being hand-drawn animation. While there have been many changes and advancements in technology that have changed the way we create our animated classics, the beautiful tradition of hand-inked and hand-painted cels is still very much alive at Walt Disney World. In 1997, the Animation Gallery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios began creating the beloved Ink & Paint collection, which is available exclusively at the Animation Gallery. Each cel in the collection is inked and painted by hand, by our talented design team whose passion for the craft helps to keep one of our most treasured Disney traditions alive.

Just last week, I had a the fortunate opportunity to sit down with Ink & Paint Artist, Sharon Vincent, who has been with the Ink & Paint team at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since the beginning. Sharon gave me a whole new look into the delicate world of hand drawn art, which I am so excited to share with you today.

Dara: I’ve heard that you’re an expert when it comes to Ink & Paint Animation cels. How long have you been Inking & Painting? How did you get involved with such a delicate and intricate craft?

Sharon: My father was a very talented artist, and began teaching me when I was about 5 years old. He loved many different forms of art, and encouraged me to be versatile, and to always try and “learn something new.” In 1985, while reading the newspaper, my Dad spotted an article about a new art studio that would be relocating to Central Florida. He said, “Hey, this is right up your alley.” So, as soon as this company arrived, I went and applied for a job, which was at the independent Ink & Paint Studio. I was very excited and honored when in 1989, I was invited to join the Walt Disney Feature Animation opening crew, here at the Florida Studios. 

Ink & Paint

Dara: A lot of people don’t know what it takes to create a Hand-inked and Hand-painted Animation cel. Can you walk us through the delicate process of creating an Ink & Paint cel?

Sharon: The term cel is short for Celluloid Acetate, a transparent material which is used for hand-painted animation frames. Here’s a quick synopsis of what it takes to create a Hand-inked and painted cel. Once we finalize the rough concept art it is sent through a final clean-up stage. During this process the line work for the characters is refined, insuring that each individual line is fluid and tapered allowing us to breathe life into the characters. The character’s line work is typically applied by traditional hand-inking (using an old fashioned quill pen nib), or by a silk screening process on the topside of the cel. Once the line’s are complete, the cel is flipped over, and the paint is applied by hand on the reverse side, allowing us to achieve clean lines when flipped back over and viewed from the front.

The most common technique used for animation painting is known as “floating”. This is where paint brushes are in contact with the paint only, never touching the surface of the cel. Our last step is to ensure that each cel is complete, has been beautifully painted and has dried thoroughly, so it’s ready to hang in your home.

'Dreams Come True'

Dara: The new “Dreams Come True” cel is particularly special. It’s the first time that we see
Walt Disney in a cel, from the Studios’ Ink & Paint Collection. What can you tell me about the creative process you and the team went through, to dream up the cel? Is there anything about the new cel that you want share with our Disney Parks Blog fans?

Sharon: We start with a brainstorming session and then build a story around it, add a little character and viola! We all felt it was time to create another vintage cel, highlighting everyone’s favorite, Mickey Mouse, but this time taking it all the way back to 1928, as my teammate Jim Bonserio, suggested. This particular cel tells a heartwarming story, of how “Dreams Come True” and recounts the legend of when Walt dreamt up the idea of Mickey, on his train ride from New York City to Los Angeles.

Do you have your own questions for Sharon and the rest of the talented Ink & Paint Team? Or would you like to look at the hand painted cel collection in person? Then be our Guest at the Animation Galley at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Saturday, September 11 from 10:00am – 1:00pm & 2:00pm – 5:00pm to meet the artists and to join the premiere celebration of the newest cel, “Dreams Come True!”

Can’t make it to the Studios but would love to add the “Dreams Come True” Cel to your collection? Call Walt Disney Event Services at 407.827.7600 to order your cel, or visit ArtofDisneyParks.com for more information.

segunda-feira, 11 de abril de 2011

The 101 Dalmatians - Color Keys

Below is a collection of Walt Peregoy's art for the 101 Dalmatians film.

He was the color stylist and you can see his work discussed in greater depth in the Cartoon Modern book.

"To this day, Walt Peregoy's color styling on 101 Dalmatians (1961) remains a fine example of how color can be used creatively in animation while serving more than a merely decorative function
- Amid Amidi (Modern Animation Authority)

He was the painter on Sleeping Beauty (1959) and worked at The Sword in the Stone (1963), Mary Poppins (1964) and finally The Jungle Book (1967).

After several years working at Hanna-Barbera, he returned to WED Enterprises (1977 - 1983) being responsible for the architectural facades, sculptures, fountains, show rides and murals for The Land and Journey Into Imagination pavilions durginf the design of Epcot Center.

Do you recognize this one? It's up there in the title of our blog! 

You can see him (along with Marc Davis, who worked at 101 Dalmatians too) as 1 of the 4 featured artists in Disney's Four Artists Paint One Tree documentary*.

* "Four Artists Paint One Tree" (16:08) is a Sleeping Beauty Extra on SD-DVD Disc 2. It's a 1958 featurette that has four Disney artists (Marc Davis, Eyvind Earle, Joshua Meador, and Walt Peregoy) painting the same tree, each showing their own personal style. Walt Disney himself encourages each to "be themselves." 

terça-feira, 5 de abril de 2011

The 101 Dalmatians Storyboard

Click to enlarge the strips below
Click Here to read: New Xerographic Animation Presented In Walt Disney's "Dalmatians" Feature

Click Here to read: Painting of Spots Huge Job in Producing Disney's "Dalmatians"

Click Here to read the original post at Michael Sporn Animation inc.