Slow In and Slow

Once an animator had worked over his poses (the "extremes") and redrawn them until they were the best he could do. he naturally wanted the audience to sec them. He timed these key drawings to move quickly from one to the next, so that the bulk of the footage of the scene would be either on or close to those "extremes." By putting the inbetweens close to each extreme and only one fleeting drawing halfway between, the animator achieved a very spirited result, with the character zipping from one attitude to the next. This was called Slow In and Slow Out. since that is the way the inbetwcens were timed. Too much of this gave a mechanical feel to the action, robbing the scene of the very life that was being sought, but it was still an important discovery that became the basis of later refinements in timing and staging.

Walt continued to ask us to analyze the actions more carefully, and to understand how the body worked, since that was the only way to gel the caricature of realism he wanted. "Our work must have a foundation of fact in order to have sincerity. The most hilarious comedy is always based on things actual."

One animator from outside the studio was "amazed that anyone would be that interested in the mechanics of motion." but this unique approach was the very heart of our work. Marc Davis2 summed it up. "Disney animation is just very different. Nobody. I don't care who he is. can come from the outside and draw a Disney character without a full understanding of what it's all about."

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