Norm Ferguson And Ham Luske

"Inmost instances, the driving force behind the action is the mood, the personality, the attitude of the character—or all three. Therefore, the mind is the pilot. We think of things before the body does them."

Walt Disney

Richard Kelsey Animator

Disney storyman Dick Kelsey once said, "There is no perfect window for a house; there is something wrong with all of them. They warp, corrode, rust, swell, twist, and need constant painting. It's a matter of what you like and what you're willing to put up with." And the same applies to animation. There is no best way to animate any more than there is one "greatest animator"—or greatest painter or writer or actor. Each brings his own personal message and interpretation to his craft, and if he has something to say that audiences want to hear, and if in addition he can effectively communicate that message, he may be considered great. His work may grow and become timeless, or changing tastes may outdate him in his own time.

In late 1935, Walt picked four men from his talented group of animators to supervise the animation on Snow White. These men were Norman (Fergy) Ferguson, with a mastery of broad staging; Hamilton (Ham) Luske, with great ability to analyze and develop procedures that others could follow; Fred Moore, with superb appeal in his drawings; and Vladimir (Bill or T-bone) Tytla, with an ability to portray great emotions and inner feelings in his characters. We have to believe that Walt, with his uncanny intuition, must have realized that he had found a magic combination in this group.

Their rise had been rapid and their contributions tremendous. But their careers, whether due to changing tastes or personal problems, were to be fairly shortlived by Disney studio standards, where many animators have produced successfully for periods of over

Norm Ferguson

forty years. Their work, beginning with shorts in the early thirties, reached its height in Snow White, Pinoc-chio. Fantasia, and Dumbo. During this time they more than justified Walt's confidence in them. But continued success eluded them, and, somehow, when their time had passed, they were never again to find the same opportunities to express their particular talents. Animation took a direction that demanded a refinement no longer compatible with their styles.

These men were fine craftsmen whe had helped to break away from the rigid traditions of the past. Their scenes were identified with the new, important uses of fundamentals—the broad Squash and Stretch and the

Vladimir Tytla

strong Anticipation. Their work was easy to understand, to recognize, and to study. But as new men with formal art training came along, and Walt's thinking turned toward an increasingly sophisticated type of animation, a more subtle kind of action with more complex acting and more meaningful expressions developed. The animation became so sophisticated that it was almost impossible to recognize the basic principles. The medium had developed into an art form.

Perhaps it was fate that brought these four animators together with Walt at this time. Their styles were as diverse as any four could be; rough or clean, intuitive or analytical, it did not matter. It was the combi-

Fred Moore Norm FergusonMarc Davis Disney
he animators. Bill 'ojected the strong-tional feelings into racters.

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