Sunday, August 3, 2008

YouTube Gold: Disney Animation Special:The Illusion of Life

I was very well rewarded on this trip onto Youtube. Have you ever heard of the book Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, written by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas? According to the Disney Books Web-site, "The Bible. Does not request any further comment. This is THE best book about Disney animation. Period. Found on every animator's desk (even non-Disney ones) and in every serious library about Disney." I was well aware of the book although not fortunate enough to have ever read it. I was more than surprised to find a 1981 TV special title: Disney Animation Special: The Illusion of Life. This was posted in 5 parts by Yensidtun over on Youtube. This special is hosted by Hayley Mills. The first part is an intro by her and then a storyboard and recording session withPearl Bailey as Big Momma from the Fox and the Hound. Part 2 has Ward Kimball discussing the early animation at the studio including all of those rubber hoses.
Frank and Ollie than step in and discuss showing a characters emotion and how important the right voice could be as we see with Snow White.
Part 3 has Ken Anderson talking about Walt's intro to the idea of SnowWhite to the animators. Frank and Ollie discuss various characters from features they had worked on.
John Musker and Hayley Mills look at animated facial emotion. Eric Larson talks about personality in characters such as Figaro and how the Live Action session with Peggy Lee helpedhim with Peg from The Lady and the Tramp. Marc Davis then shows a little of how live action helps the animator with help of Cruella. '...somehow out of your own experience there is a way this character should behave. This is the way they should do something.' Live action provided that experience. Part 4 has Marc Davis talking about the child like manor of Fred Moore which came across all to well with Mickey Mouse. And the worldliness of Bill Tytla that comes out on his work of Night on Bald Mountain and his work in Pinocchio.Mill Kahl continues about Bill Tytlas methods. Milt goes on about his own challenging work. Ward returns and talks about personality characters and abstract animation. "I would fight Boredom with Innovation." Part 5 has Glenn Keane getting inspiration from the Morgue from Woolie Reitherman's Bear attack scene and Woolie talks about it.Hayley takes us through the Ink and Paint, Camera, and Dubbing depts. We see some of the camera design and background art and even some character design from the Black Cauldron. Hayley ends with a quote she remembers from Walt, "The only limit to imagination is animation. How else could you see an elephant fly." Please enjoy these looks back. I did. Don't forget Disney Fans Youtube is your Friend. See you next time.

Sources: Wikipedia, Disney Books,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link to the videos.

Beside being the bible of animation, it is also the biggest book in my collection (even bigger than the Harry Potter books)!