Saturday, 26 March 2011

Walter Elias “Walt” Disney |December 5th , 1901 – December 15, 1966
Fig 1 | Walt Disney
‘Walter Elias Disney’ a.k.a. ‘Walt Disney’ is one of the most notorious animator of the 20th century.   His work spanning the early half of the century and influencing others to join his cause and become one of the if not the biggest franchise in the animation industry. Moreover Disney’s work was characterised best in his collection of animated interpretations of great works of classical music which came to screen by the name of Fantasia and it 60th anniversary counterpart Fantasia 2000.
Fig 2 | Fantasia 'Cover Art'

The effects revolutionised the 2D animation by completely faking 3 dimensions and pushing 2D animation to a whole new level past the limitation of the old multi-plane which in turn appointed Walt Disney as the innovator of the multi-plane, moreover ‘Lotte Reiniger’ who was the original innovator.
Fig 3 | Snow White Screenshot

The effect however in the Fantasia Series was evident and mind blowing at that. Fantasia followed the success of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The synopses followed a silly symphony that contains multiple shorts.  One of which being the ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ which is a short based on a demon in the mountain calling upon minions and ghost of the deceased from the town below. Film evidently has the 3 dimensional affect, as creature weave through the building below and the demon upon the mountain. For ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ the priority was to get the fluid motion of a flock of supernatural beings alongside the ‘The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra’ rendition Mussorgsky’s ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ which was achieve thanks to multi-plane camera. However for Disney the film as a whole implied his opinion on animation and the importance it had. Moreover, how it was a revolutionary art-form and as Roger Ebert states he nurtured it into an art form that could hold its own against any “realistic” movie.’ (Ebert; 1990)   Another, evident piece of this was ‘Nutcracker Suite’ which so a depiction of a fairies and other wildlife coming to life and dancing through the lands to the notorious ‘Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker’ as the animation again shows an uncanny and realistic motion as well as implying the use of the multi-plane camera. It’s noticeable overall however that both share the same signs of Disney’s innovation to illustrate the magic of music through visual representation.  This was a possible influence for the later works ‘Norman McLaren’ such as Lines Vertical and Pas De Deux. In turn this was the starting point for Walt Disney to revolutionise animation and demonstrate it possibility as its advantages over “real action”. Ebert recalls this after reading into 1981 book called ‘Disney Animation’; he states the book makes clear, it’s that there’s a lot more to animation than just drawing little animals and cartoon characters and having them hop around.’ (Ebert; 1990). In conclusion, showing the reason that the Walt was more an entrepreneur but visionary of the animation practice.
Fig 4 | Night On Bald Mountain
Fig 5 | Nutcracker Suite
This is evident in the 60th anniversary edition of ‘Fantasia 2000’ which shows multiple techniques and designs to create animation. Feature such as ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’, ‘Firebird’ and ‘The Pines of Rome’ showing classic drawings, CGI designs and a mixture of both. Evidently, showing the legacy that Walt Disney gave to the animation world and moreover showing why his creation ‘Disney’ became one of the biggest franchises in the world.
Fig 6 | The Pines Of Rome Screenshot
Fig 7 | The Steadfast Tin Soldiers Screenshot
Fig 8 | Firebird screenshot
Fig 3 Disney, Walt (1937) ‘Snow White’ Screenshot
[Film Still] Snow White

Fig 4  Disney, Walt (1940) ‘Night On Bald Mountain’ Screenshot
[Film Still] 'Fantasia’

Fig 5 Disney, Walt (1940) ‘Nutcracker Suite’ Screenshot
[Film Still] 'Fantasia’
Fig 6 Disney, Walt (2000) ‘The Pines Of Rome’ Screenshot
[Film Still] 'Fantasia 2000’
Fig 7 Disney, Walt (2000) ‘The Steadfast Tin Solider’ Screenshot
[Film Still] 'Fantasia 2000’
Fig 8 Disney, Walt (2000) ‘Firebird’ Screenshot
[Film Still] 'Fantasia 2000’
Edberts, Roger (1990) Fantasia Review,
Disney, Walt. Fantasia
Gitlin, Martin (2009) Walt Disney: Entertainment Visionary, 8000 West 78th Street, Edina, Minnesota: ABDO
Krasniewicz, Louise (2010) Walt Disney: A Biography, ABC-CLIO,LCC, 130 Cremona Drive,P.O, 1911, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO
LaMarre,Thomas (2009) The Anime Machine: A Media Theory Of Animation, University of Minnesota Press, 111 Third Avenue South, Suite 290 Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press
Sutcliffe,Jane (2009) Walt Disney. 241 First Avenue North, Minnesapolis, MN: Lerner Publications 

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