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History of Animation

Part 2:
The Road to the First Animated

Walt Disneys Dream:

Walt Disney began planning an animated

feature film early in his career:
Attempt #1- (1931)Alice in Wonderland
Commonwealth pictures released a live action

version before he could begin.


Attempt #2- (1933) Alice in

He wanted to do a combination like the

Laugh-O-Grams with Mary Pickford as Alice.

Paramount released a live action.

The Saga Continues

Attempt #3- (1933) Rip Van Winkle

Would have starred Will Rogers.
Paramount owned exclusive rights to the


Attempt #4- (1933) Babes in Toyland

Hey he got the rights, but he needed a

better team.
Pulled the plug because his artists needed
more practice before making a movie.

The windfall of change

1934- One of Disneys Silly Symphonies

made it big!
The Three Little Pigs (1933)
The short was very successful, Disney

Studios made huge amounts of money on

With these profits, Disney got a Bank Loan
of $1 Million Dollars from Bank of America.

With this money, he was able to plan

an animated feature length film.

The Three Little Pigs (1933)

The road to Snow White

Picked because he watched a silent

movie as a boy- fond memories.
1935- Held a late night sound meeting
with his animators.
They thought he was announcing that he was

closing the studio.

Instead, Disney announced the movie.
He acted out every scene.
A mood of hushed awe came over his audience
as he slowly completed his performance by
turning and seeming to actually recede into the
happily ever after.

The silence followed, until finally one

person began to clap. What followed
was a thunderous round of applause,
which Walt acknowledged with a smile,
a nod, and the holding up of one hand,
palm out, fingers spread apart.

Disneys Folly:

News of Walts plan was not good.

The Film Industry felt that no one
would want to sit still for over an hour
watching drawings move.
No one could become emotionally involved

with cartoon characters.

(Wonder what they would think of Frozen.)

Two problems:

1- The bright colors of animated films

might be irritating if watched for too
Answer: They muted the colors in the

move on purpose.

2- Flat animation wouldnt keep the

audiences interest.

Answer to Problem #2

A New Invention:
The Multiplane Camera:
(Disney introduces Multiplane Camera)

Multiplane Camera at Work:

The Old Mill (1937) was the first short

to be filmed with the multiplane
Received a special Oscar.
Became the standard for ALL animation
until the mid-90s when computers took
The Old Mill (1937)

Interesting facts:

Walt Disney didnt direct Snow White.

He was an awful Director.
Only directed one short: The Golden Touch.

- So bad it has never been released. (It is

however on YouTube.)

Original Names for the Dwarfs- Happy,

Sleepy, Doc, Bashful, Jumpy, Grumpy,
and Deafy.
Disney challenged each dwarf to be
distinct so audiences would be able to
tell them apart at a distance.


Rotoscoping was used in Snow White.

Live performers act out the characters

scenes before a camera and the

movements are traced.
Helps the artists achieve a greater sense
of realism.
Sleeping Beauty Live

Snow White Drawn

Alice (both

Snow White and the Seven

Dwarfs (1937)

Released by RKO pictures rather than

United Artists.
Released December 21, 1937.
Los Angeles, New York City, Miami.

Huge hit!
But banned in 7 states because of content.

Won a special Oscar- 1937

1998- was named #49 in the 100
greatest films ever made.

The Disney Process:

The making of Disneys Snow White