Marc Davis is an example of a talent being shifted to where it is most needed. This happened to many of the men since no one had been trained for the jobs that were being developed at Disney's. Several men actually created their jobs by doing something particularly well—and that is how we got the great results.
From careful cleanup on the delicate drawings of Snow White, Marc moved to story sketch and character design on Bambi because of his ability to draw animals. After doing outstanding work in these areas he was given his first chance at animation on the characters of Flower and his girl friend. After Bambi, the very versatile Marc returned to the story department, where he designed the Eagle and Octopus section of Victory Through Air Power for Bill Tytla to animate. Due to some careless oversight, he never received story credit on either Bambi or Victory Through Mr Power.
In an interview. Marc expressed this philosophy: "To be an animator, you have to have a sense of the
dramatic, a feeling for acting; you have to be a storyteller."11 In his own work Marc also added these qualities: more appealing attitudes, better drawing, and the convincing movement that came with this drawing ability. He saw a unified relationship of all parts of a character and on the flamboyant Cruella deVil made use of everything from her bony elbows to her posturing through her erratic movements.
On Marc's Maleficent, he showed a flair for the dramatic based more on powerful shapes in his design and strong use of color than on broad action. He had a feeling for the importance of a good layout and never overlooked the value of props such as the raven and the staff and made sure they were part of the overall picture.
Marc is a very gentle person, but with strong convictions that he holds to tenaciously!'He has a special sense of humor that usually has some unexpected twist to it. He is a very successful teacher, specializing in drawing for animation. His main courses were given in night school at Chouinard's, and many of his students later followed him to Disney's.
Under the leadership of the Nine Old Men. the original animation principles were refined. perfected. and extended. fly /960. //?<> characters' actions had become so sophisticated it was almost impossible to isolate the elements making them work. Squash and stretch. follow through, secondary actions, all were so subtle and interrelated that only the entertainment in the scene was obvious.
animator: Frank Thomas— Bambi.
Overlapping action became more than just a way to avoid stiff action when Thumper tried to teach the young Bambi to say 'Birdr
animator: Milt Kahl-
Pinocchio is near panic as he begins to turn into a donkey. A lesser animator might have made the reactions so violent and active that the drama of the scene actually would have been lost. Do not confuse action with acting.
animator. Eric Larson— Bambi.
In this quiet scene, the old owl advises some young birds visiting the new baby deer that it is time to go. The situation required a restrained move, but one with clear definition. Do not confuse subtlety with vagueness.
animator: Ollie Johnston— Adventures of Mr. Toad.
Some animators have claimed, ' 'Each drawing isn't important, it's the movementHowever, for clear staging and clarity of action, every drawing in the scene must show the attitude and the acting. This scene had good texture in the timing, contrasting the measured, precise steps at the start with the unexpected whirl and accusing point at the end.
animator: Frank Thomas— The Laughing Gaucho.
This little gaucho had a laugh that shattered glass until his voice changed. His desperate attempt to produce his former laugh demanded repeated changes in all the shapes in his face and body.
animator Frank Thomas— Sword in (he Stone.
The mad Madam Mim was a contrast of wild actions and restraint, with unexpected outbursts accenting her overall timing. Walt had cautioned his animators. "Don't be broad when there is no reason/9 but this was the perfect place for startling activity.
animator MiltKahl—Robin Hood.
It was important that the audience see the Sheriff of Nottingham put this coin in his purse at the same time he delivered a line of dialogue. Flipping the coin in the air attracts the eye to the action and shaking the purse with the coin inside enriches the Sheriffs personality. A fine bit of staging and an example of keeping the action clear.
knimator: Glen Keane— Hie Fox and the Hound.
lien carried this feeling iver into his animation, 'etaining the great scale vhile adding the excitement that conies from movement.
artist: Glen Keane.
Forty years later the principles of communicating through drawings is car• ried on by new animators. These story sketches for The Fox and the Hound have strength and dramatic impact in the design. Placing the bear high on the screen makes him look big and powerful.
We had been taught always to look for things live-action people wish they could do, but too often the story material demanded careful drawing and subdued action. Then story• man Bill Peet gave us the wizard's duel in Sword in the Stone, a perfect use of animation, maintaining personalities through a surprising change in forms and exciting action.
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