Tuesday, 29 December 2009

A closer look at Snow White sequence 8A: Entertainment (part two)

Continuing from the previous post, this is an interesting sequence when it comes to casting as well, although the assignment of Snow White's scenes are enough to cause a headache!

Scenes 4, 49C and 58A credit two animators when Snow White is the only character on screen, and 23, 31, 37, featuring Snow White and the dwarfs, credit two Snow White animators (supervisor Ham Luske alongside either Grim Natwick and Jack Campbell) alongside one dwarf animator, despite the fact it would seem more logical to have one Snow White animator and two dwarf animators. To the list of scenes with two Snow White animators we can add 9, (Ham Luske and Paul Busch), 26 (Ham Luske and Marc Davis, Grim Natwick's assistant) and 28 (Ham Luske and Max Gray, who, as speculated before, could have been Luske's assistant)... and, following their example, 39 (Ham Luske and Amby Paliwoda). But they're maybe not quite as definite.

In fact, throughout the draft, no matter how many dwarfs are on screen, it is incredibly rare to have more than one dwarf animator credited. This sequence has several scenes of dwarfs playing instruments in the background while others do more interesting things in the foreground, yet each of these scenes credits only one dwarf animator. There could be an ommission in the draft, of course. Sequence 4C is full of them, and, in this sequence, we can assume that scene 49A must contain the work of at least one Snow White animator, even though only Spencer is credited.

The dwarf casting in this sequence partly follows some casting-by-character guidelines, and partly ignores them. Fred Moore and Bill Tytla get a few scenes, starting with some miscellaneous ones at the beginning. Check out Bashful's movements when he yodels in scene 5! Definitely the same animator who gave us Sneezy's convulsions in the "Spooks" sequence. Oddly enough, while Moore also animates the first half or so of the Tall Dopey scenes, it's Fred Spencer who animates the sneeze, despite the fact that Moore animated two of them in "Spooks".

There is a general sense of Dick Lundy "playing" Grumpy, with Marvin Woodward handling Bashful, Fred Spencer Dopey and Les Clark Sleepy. This type of casting can be seen in other sequences as well. However, there are no clear rules: for example, Les Clark animates scene 25A of Dopey picking up a symbal... although he is about to hand it to Sleepy, the latter dwarf is not in shot. Fred Spencer gets a quick shot (scene 40) of Bashful. Spencer animates Grumpy, Sleepy and Bashful in scene 53 (the three dwarfs to be fairly consistently cast, and usually *not* with Spencer!) Les Clark animates Dopey sliding down the pillar in scene 61. The uncredited Riley Thomson gets a few brief shots of various dwarfs towards the end, including an uncharacteristically energetic Sleepy in scene 49G.

There is no real consistent casting of the less prominent dwarfs, which, in this case, includes Doc! Also, Bill Tytla gets Happy's solo verse and tap dance at the beginning. Does anyone have any ideas why this might be?

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the continuity error. Scenes 44 and 45, followed by 49E, show pairs of hands which, judging by the sleeves, must belong to Dopey, even though Dopey is currently standing on Sneezy's head and dancing with Snow White. The draft simply refers to "hands".

In this interview, Wilfred Jackson, who directed this sequence, recalls an animator who did several Dopey scenes but whose name he cannot recall. It seems very likely he's thinking of Fred Spencer.

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