Disney Drawings Step Step

animator: Fred Moore— Snow White.

The first scene Fred ani-mated on Snow White was with this early model of Dopey. Later scenes refined his appearance, adding charm and appeal.

ARTIST: Fred Moore — Three Little Wolves.

The changing shapes in Fred Moore's animation gave a special excitement to his extremely simple drawings and great clarity of action. STARTS ON PAGE 169

Dopey Freddy Moore
The final model of Dopey had the same mischievous look that Fred possessed.

the projectionist would have to run back again for a fresh start and he would overlap into the scene with the big finger again. Then they would be off on another round of "the finger is too big." Fred would cringe and wonder why he did not just sit down and correct that dumb finger. Week after week the sweatbox note would be like this one from October 25, 1936:

Scene 26. O.K. for cleanup with changes: Make Dopey, Happy and Sneczy smaller. Grumpy's arm and finger get quite large when he says, "SHE'S AN OLD WITCH". The action is okay, just cut down on the size of the finger and the length of the arm.

The three characters in the right f.g. could be silhouetted a little bit.

It is sometimes hard on the ego to take all the criticism that goes with swcatboxing, but Fred must have realized that he was one of the few that Walt was using to set a standard of excellence for his first feature.

Evcrytime Fred got back a test with a mistake on it or an action that did not please him, it would be because he had forgotten something basic, something he had actually known for years. He would look disgusted and say, "Heck, everybody knows that. I shouldn't make a mistake like that. It's just because you always forget something! I oughta make a sign and stick it up in front of me on the desk so I never make that mistake again. But there are about a dozen things you never should forget. Instead of a sign, they ought to be on a wheel; and every day when you come in. you just give that oP wheel a turn and that way it would keep reminding you!" So he started a list of the fundamental things an animator should always remember, and he discovered that he had 14 basic points.


1. Appeal in drawing

2. Staging

3. Most interesting way?

| Would anyone other than your mother like to see it?)

4. Is it the most entertaining way?

5. Are you in character?

6. Are you advancing the character?

7. Is this the simplest statement of the main idea of the scene?

8. Is the story point clear?

9. Are the secondary actions working with the main action?

10. Is the presentation best for the medium?

11. Does it have 2 dimensional clarity?

12. Does it have 3 dimensional solidity?

13. Does it have 4 dimensional drawing? | Drag and follow through|

14. Are you trying to do something that shouldn't be attempted?

I Like trying to show the top of Mickey's head)

The relaxed, unsophisticated manner that made his drawings so great also made it difficult for Fred to adjust to Walt's constant pressure for new things. One day Fred came back from a meeting and asked, "Why does Walt always try to get us to do things we can't do? Why doesn't he just let us do the things we can doV

In the public's mind there have been no more memorable characters than the dwarfs, and Dopey in particular. Dopey seemed to reflect or contain so much of Fred himself—innocent, but with a touch of mischief; naive, but with just enough worldliness. There was nothing hidden or mysterious about Fred. His personality was on the outside for everyone to see. What he lacked in sophistication he made up in charm. He had honesty, integrity, and was always willing to help the young animators. As Dick Huemer said. "He was the sweetest guy you would want to know."

"My God," Marc Davis says, "Fred Moore was Disney drawing! We've all done things on our own, but that was the basis of what Disney stood for. It was certainly the springboard for everything that came after. He had to be as close to a boy genius as. . . . He never grew up, and this is what he animated. He animated what he knew, and he died that way—never growing up."

The last ten years of his life Fred experienced disappointments and frustrations. He had burst onto the scene in full bloom and, like some others whose talents flowered early, he found that he had achieved all his goals in a relatively short time. He was quoted as saying, "I have reached everything I want, and I'm only twenty-four. Now what do I do?"

He could not have realized that the very thing that made him great was now the thing that held him back; this childlike quality that prevented him from growing with the changing standards. "Two animators whom I have always thought of as tragic victims of this development in animation," said Ben Sharpsteen, "were Freddie Moore and Norm Ferguson. They simply did not have the background, the training, and the intuitive ability to measure up to the best men we later had on our staff. What is sad is the fact that they were not secondary men; they both had been top men, and I'm sure it was a crushing blow to their pride."

On November 23, 1952, Fred Moore died as a ^ result of an auto accident at the age of forty-two. t)

Mickey Disney Fantasia SketchDisney Animation Background Drawings

polite to interrupt; so while he was waiting for his opening he would unconsciously start making funny little half-whimpering, humming noises, as if he were tuning up to be ready when his opportunity came, a kind of anticipatory sound.

Bill loved and believed in the characters he was creating, but he was concerned about whether he would animate them as well as he should. He need not have worried, for he had the sensitivity

'_.lf Tytla was the brooding type. He was the greatest." Physically Bill was very striking with his swarthy complexion and broad shoulders. He bad a big mop of coal black hair, heavy black brows, and very piercing dark eyes. But more than that it was what was under the surface that made him stand out. He had great feelings churning around inside of him and tremendous nervous energy.

Bill was a very intense person, often moody and more often very emotional. In spite of these

to understand his characters' motivation in terms of acting, and the ability to interpret that into drawings and staging. He could portray the darkest evil and the most frightening terror. His powerful drawing of the devil in the "Bald Mountain" sequence of Fantasia was the most awesome piece of animation ever to reach the screen, and his Stromboli was probably the most terrifying and truly evil personality of all the Disney villains. It is true that the basis for these characters is found in the story, but to capture Stromboli's mercurial moods, his lightning changes, and to show the emotions that came from the inner feelings of his characters was one of Tytla's greatest achievements.

His comments in Snow White story meetings, where personality was discussed, all show that he was looking for that inner feeling and mood to

Drawing Night Bald Mountain

animator. Bill Tytla — Night on Bald Mountai

Powerful action, sc drawing, and dramc staging helped to creat character never even tempted previously in c motion, but it was the f ing of an inner spirit,. and primitive, that re* made him live on screen.

animator. Bill Tytla — Night on Bald Mountai help him determine how the character would react. Amid constant suggestions by others that there should be a special attitude in the drawing on each dwarf, Bill stubbornly came back to the same argument: the way to get a difference in the appearance and attitude is by knowing the mood and the personality. In a meeting on November 17, 1936, director and story man Perce Pearce picked Bill's brains on this subject:

Perce: Let's take Doc, get him from scratch, and say, nobody knows him. First his most obvious feature is his pompous attitude. He shows this pompous attitude with his chest. For instance, how do you see him, Bill, when he is pompous?

Bill: His pose is a reaction to something. It is only a reaction of what he is going to do, otherwise you are just making a drawing. Since it is up to Doc to

1i» m
Bill Tytla

animator: Bill Tytla—

Snow White.

This pompous attitude on Doc came from the animator's knowledge of what the character was thinking.

explain to the group what is going on. he sort of takes the leadership whether he is entitled to it or not. He immediately strikes that attitude. He gets flustered, and doesn't know what he says, tries to make out—sort of a French Provincial Mayor's attitude. Grumpy throws him off balance. Doc recom-poses himself and tries to regain lost ground. So far we have had no opportunity to really try to do anything as far as mannerism or gestures are concerned —in so far as gestures react in dialogue. There has been no opportunity to use any scratching or Doc fooling around with his beard. We have only had dialogue so far.

While Bill's work stood out with all its power and strength, its emotions and inner feelings, its pathos and deeply touching moments, it is reassuring to the rest of us to know that he sometimes made mistakes. In the preceding quote he explained very lucidly how he felt Doc should act in this type of situation, but in the following sweatbox note from Walt it is evident that he missed on the timing of the flustered feeling and its relation to the dialogue. Doc seemed to be anticipating his own mistake, and that was Bill's mistake. too.

March 5, 1937 Walt sweatboxing with Bill Tytla Tytla Scene 8 Seq. 4D Original Make Doc's "come on" gesture a broader one— not a point at himself on "follow me." The feeling now is that Doc knows he is going to say HEN instead of MEN. He should say COME ON. HEN with a broad gesture, seeming to complete it, acting as if he were saying the right thing, then do a quick half gesture on the mistake, and follow with a broad gesture on the—MEN, FOLLOW ME. The half gesture is not too definite, but just a nervous feeling. Have Doc turn on the FOLLOW ME in anticipation of walking out.

The range of Bill's characters was phenomenal. His ability to get inside the innermost reaches of their personalities enabled him to develop great scope in his work. He seemed to understand the problems that his characters faced as well as their feelings about what was happening to them. Could anyone's thoughts be portrayed in a better way than Grumpy's after Snow White kissed him? The audience literally could feel the warmth that surged through him as he finally released his bottled-up feelings.

But, Bill's most poignant scenes were of the little elephant in Dumbo. Bill's inspiration for the sequence of Dumbo bathing came while watching his own son playing in the tub, and his great perception enabled him to adapt to animation the spirit of what he saw in real life. His draftsmanship is at its best in this section, and there is excellent analysis of what to exaggerate in the action as the baby scampers playfully around his mother. But through all this, the big overriding theme is the elusive quality of love and affection that Bill's animation captures so beautifully.

Many of Bill's characters were muscular like himself, and when they came on the screen it was like a charge of electricity. He made everything work for him, because he drew so well and felt the personality so strongly. He wanted his characters to move in a special way. to really live! He animated the head, body, hands, and drapery all in different colors. It was not until he had each part working, communicating, and moving properly that he would make one complete drawing in black. The eyes, the mouth, the gestures. and the secondary actions are are all brilliantly there in Stromboli. This character has been criticized for moving too much, making it hard to follow on the screen at times, yet no cartoon character has put over any better a rich, volatile, and complete personality. This character is extremely powerful and frightening.

Bill felt all these things through his whole body when he animated, always trying to transfer his tre mendous energy into his characters. T. Hee3 recalls a day during the making of Fantasia while Bill was working on the Devil in "Bald Mountain." He wanted to see Bill about something, but he opened the door to find the room in semidarkness. with Bill intently curled over his board. The only light came from the glow of the fluorescent lamp under Bill's drawing, which was shining up in his face in an eerie way. As T. Hee waited at the door he felt a tension and a mystical force at work. Strange things were going on. T. was so unnerved by this sight that he quietly backed out into the hall without ever saying anything to Bill.

Tytla had studied at the Art Students League in New-York with Boardman Robinson, whom he regarded very highly both as a man and a teacher. Robinson was aware that Bill leaned a little toward the flashy style of drawing. So he made Bill hold his pencil at the very tip. He told Bill that if he knew what he was trying to draw and really knew how to draw it, he could do it that way. Too many artists have learned tricky ways of making a drawing look impressive, even when it is actually "out of drawing" (inaccurate). As Bill himself said. "A whole bunch of men can draw the figure, but one or two of the men can do something to the drawing that gives a hell of a lot of meaning to it. whereas others in the group can impress you. for the time, with flashy stuff."

Later he studied sculpture in Paris, which accounts in part for the solidity and weight and excellent relationship of forms in his work. Because of this art

Disney Animation Layout Design

background. Bill thought of his scenes more in terms of composition than most animators. He wanted depth, not only in the drawing of the character, but also in the way it moved through the layout; so the total design of the scene had to be right. Ken Anderson says that it was difficult to make a layout that would please Bill; he always had some adjustment that would make the scene more interesting, have better staging, and be more dynamic.

Bill was one of the few animators at that time who had any art training. He was deeply appreciative that the studio was looking for more quality and better drawing from the animators, that Walt would go so far as to set up his own art school under an expert like Don Graham.4 Bill and Don grew to have great respect for each other. It is obvious from Bill's remarks in a lecture to the young animators that this art school atmosphere was like a breath of fresh air to him:

When I first came out here about two and a half years ago. they started having action analysis classes and I fell for them like a ton of bricks. I was in a period between the old and the new stage of animation. Running stuff in slow motion was like lifting a curtain for me. Then sweatbox sessions were another revelation. After all, if you do a piece of animation and run it over enough times, you must see what is wrong with it. Formerly, I never saw what I animated. We would catch a movie every two weeks to see a scene we had experimented on for drawing, or spacing or timing, but we couldn't get much benefit from one viewing. In the theatre they would only run the picture twice—the whole thing whizzed by and you forgot all about what you tried to do. And unless you did go to the movie, you would never see what you had done. Furthermore. I never saw a thing run in reverse except once in New York when they ran a scene backwards of a fellow diving off a board. . . .

animator Bill Tytla — \ Snow White.

• v. Grumpy made a great show of indignation when Snow White kissed him good-bye, - \ but as he stomped a way his v>. mood began to soften. until pv- the audience could feel the

- . lp - warm glow permeating his whole body.

My boss in New York never knew about a moviola—he probably still doesn't. When he got a letter from one of the boys here telling about the tests— roughs, semi-roughs, semi-cleanups, cleanups and finals—then the whole thing is done over again, he wouldn't believe it. My boss thought it was funny as hell—a bunch of fellows running around in hallways with pieces of black and white film in their hands looking for moviolas. He said. "When I hire a man to animate, I want him to know how."

The things done here now, I would consider sensational, and I know the fellows back east consider them sensational when they hear descriptions of the training and opportunities here. But here at the studio those things are considered commonplace. The average fellow here doesn't even realize what is being shoved on him. He is being coaxed and encouraged to better work, and he probably thinks it is a pain in the neck. I really can't compliment Walt and the organization enough for handing out the stuff. There is no other fellow who will do it.

Besides telling a lot about Bill, this material gives an insight into why the studio rose above all other places, and it gives a graphic picture of Walt's philosophy and why there was such a thing as the "Golden Age."

Bill could not stand the ordinary. If you were interested in your work, then you should take the pains to observe and study and make your characters different and unique. No two scenes should ever be alike and no two characters should ever do something the same way. Bill put it this way:

Stock methods of doing things are careless animation; very often, moreover, they are based on no observation at all. Frequently, some animator will animate not something he has observed, but something he has memorized that some other animator

Moving Things Animation

at Bill linking trader has done. In such cases, it is a matter of one animator copying another, memorizing a lot of stock stuff. This is evident in cartoons where all the characters, regardless of personality, walk, run and move the same way. The animator has not given even a thought to the personalities involved, to delineating character and personality through variations in reactions and actions.

Bill was intolerant of any animator sloughing off on a scene just because it did not interest him. His advice on an animator's responsibility has become a classic:

Another thing in animation. When you start you will probably wish that you could get a lot of stuff that is already funny to start with. You may get a very dry piece of business to do, and no matter how you work at it, you will feel you can't make it funny. If you can make it interesting, you will have done a very good job. But if you can take a piece of business that is dry and uninteresting and if you can animate it so that it will be alive and vital, then as an animator, I think you have fulfilled your duty.

Not every aspect of Bill's animation can be properly analyzed, for his thinking was complicated and involved. However, it is interesting and enlightening to list the components that are found in Bill's work. In his best animation they are all there. It takes steady concentration to have this knowledge and skill at your th in movement i the rough ex-Grumpy's defi-

th in movement i the rough ex-Grumpy's defi-

fingertips and be able to use it right. Like a baseball pitcher who has that momentary lapse and gives up a home run, the animator can get himself into a hopeless situation through lack of concentration. This list of components in good animation is quite an imposing group to combine in any scene; any one element on the list is a challenge to the best of animators:

Inner feelings and emotion

Acting with clear and definite action

Character and personality

Thought process through expression changes

Ability to analyze

Clear staging

Good composition


Solidity in drawing Power in drawing Strength in movement Imagination

Bill had done a scene on Pinocchio that he and the other animators thought was great. "Well, it's good," was Walt's comment, "but it's not what I'd expect from Bill Tytla." Bill was crushed. For a time, like many highly emotional, sensitive, and creative people, he found it impossible to work. A week, maybe two weeks, passed before he gradually started to search around and explore other possibilities. In the end he did find a better way, and Walt liked it. This had been


animator: Bill T\tla-

Snow White.

When the animator distorts the figure, he must always come hack to the original shape.

I 4+

terribly hard on Bill, but he had been shown something about his own great capabilities, that he had more to offer than he realized, and that was why he loved the studio.

According to Ben Sharpstcen. "Tytla somehow got pegged as an animator of heavies. After Snow White he was cast on Stromboli in Pinocchio and the devil in the Night On Bald Mountain' sequence of Fantasia. Walt made quite a point of Tytla and his abilities on the latter character. He built it up as a special feature." Wilfred Jackson, who directed the "Night On Bald Mountain" sequence, describes how he and Bill Tytla worked together on it:

I was told by somebody, maybe Walt, I was supposed to get {Bela) Lugosi and shoot live action. So we got him and he looked upon it as an actor's job, but this was not what Bill wanted. He was interested in the movement. Lugosi started showing him how he could unwrap his wings like that and we were getting along great, but Bill was having an awful time—he was telling Lugosi how he should do it. Finally Bill gave up and went over in the comer and sulked, so I got the best stuff I could out of it and after it was over Bill said, "Jack. I don't like what he's done. I like the way you do it; won't you take your shirt off and get in front of the camera?" So I took my shirt off and he ran the music and we used that stuff. Yeah, the photostats of skinny me. We never told Walt. Bill and I made it up in the music room before Lugosi ever came, then I just went through what I had been doing with Bill. Each time we'd do it he'd say fine. I even did the hocus pocus thing with the little guys on my hands.

I'm not sure Walt intended to have such a powerful character, but when you have a piece of animation like that you're not going to turn it down.

Someone once asked, "Who replaced Bill Tytla when he left?" The answer was, of course, no one—although someone may have taken over his assignment. Bill Tytla. like Fred Moore, Ham Luske, and Norm Ferguson, brought his special magic to the screen, and when he left that particular way of doing something disappeared with him. It would not be possible for anyone else to duplicate Bill's way of animating the powerful devil or the tenderness in his handling of the poignant Dumbo scenes. What others do must be different, for as both Fergy and Bill said. "It is too limiting to copy someone else." But it is not out of reach for those who feel as deeply as Bill did. to do something equally great in their own way.

No one thing seems to explain the reason for Bill's departure from Disney's in 1943, though changing studio policies and the feeling that his family would be more secure during wartime on his Connecticut farm were certainly strong considerations. In the East, Bill continued in the animation business as both animator and director, but he was never again to find the self-fulfillment and personal gratification that he had found in his work during those great days at Disney's. Bill -died in 1968.

Joshua Nava ArtworksGod Hieroglyphics

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