Central Idea/Thesis: Disney Animation is marked by innovation from its earliest days animated shorts to today’s full-length computer-animated features. Introduction I. The Illusion of Life A. Do you know what this phrase connotes? B. It refers to the art of animation. II. In particular, the phrase “the illusion of life” refers to the art of Disney character animation. A. Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two members of Disney’s original animation team (the 9 Old Men) state that: “There is a special ingredient in our type of animation that produces drawings that appear to think and make decisions and act of their own volition; it is what creates the illusion of life” (9). B. Ron Miller, executive head of production at Disney Studios, states that : “There just aren’t that many people capable of doing animation in the Disney style” (9).
I. The Illusion of Life
What does it mean?
II. Disney Character Animation
A. Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston “There is a special ingredient in our type of animation that produces drawings that appear to think and make decisions and act of their own volition: it is what creates the illusion of life.” B. Ron Miller “There just aren’t that many people capable of doing animation in the Disney Style”
III. As a fan of Disney animation, as an artist, and as an aspiring animator, I have come to know the Disney style quite well. IV. Today, I would like to give you a glimpse into the Disney magic by looking at Disney’s innovations in animation. V. I will highlight the innovations behind Disney’s earliest cartoon shorts, examine the triumph of the first full length animated feature, and showcase the technological masterpieces that Disney creates today with computer animation.
III. Fan, Artist, Animator IV. (thesis) Disney Innovation V. (preview) cartoon shorts, first animated feature, recent computer technology
I. A little mouse named Mortimer started it all. A. Mortimer’s name was soon changed to Mickey. (Finch 37). B. Mickey was given the gift of personality. (Finch 37) 1. Personality was Walt’s own contribution to Mickey. 2. Ub Iwerks, Mickey’s original draftsman had skill. C. Steamboat Willie steams ahead with synchronized sound. 1. Many shorts were silent. 2. The introduction of sound to cartoons was originally not synchronized. 3. Steamboat Willie was the first to choreograph voice and music with action and movement. D. Flowers and Trees bloom with Technicolor. 1. Film used Technicolor’s 3 film strip system. 2. Thereafter, all Silly Symphonies were in color.
Mortimer A. Mickey B. Personality 1. Walt’s contribution 2. Ub Iwerks- draftsman C. Steamboat Willie 1. Silent 2. not synchronized 3. Willie 1st choreographed D. Flowers and Trees 1. Technicolor 3 strip 2. thereafter color
(Transition: Technicolor paves the way for Walt Disney’s animation legacy).
II. A full length feature dubbed Disney’s folly introduced the genre of the animated feature. A. Snow White was Disney’s 1st full length animated feature. 1. No one believed that a full length animated feature could be made because of time and cost. 2. No one believed that anyone would sit through an hour and a half cartoon. B. Snow White brings sophistication to animation through sketching the human form (Finch 136) 1. Most animated shorts were animals. 2. Most animated shorts were “cartoony.” C. The Illusion of depth creates the illusion of life through the use of the Multiplane camera (Finch 128). 1. Most animated shorts had very little illusion of depth. 2. The multiplaine cameral allowed the feeling of moving through space and a greater sense of naturalism.
II. Disney’s folly A. Snow White 1st full length 1. time and cost 2. sit through B. Human Form 1. animals 2. cartoony C. Illusion of depth 1. flat, no depth 2. multiplane camera
(Transition: Of Course, many animated features and innovations have followed bringing us to today’s digitally enhanced features)
III. Computer technology brought new life to traditional hand drawn animation. A. Aladdin’s magic carpet ride was a computerized fantasy. 1. In true Disney form, Carpet was given the gift of personality. 2. Carpet posed its own challenges, flying through space, giving magic
carpet rides, etc. B. The Lion King’s roar brought a computerized stampede. Computer imagery allowed a magnitude of animals that could not have been hand drawn. C. Toy Story was a complete digital fantasy. 1. While computer animated shorts had been accomplished before, this was the first full length feature done by computer animation. 2. John Lasseter, director of the film, along with Steve Daly, suggest that: “Believability was arguably the most important overarching principle. The Creator’s reached not for mere versimilitude, not for an exact duplicate of mundane reality, but for a created world in which the design of the characters and environment provides and enhanced, hyper-real version of real life” (Lasseter and Daly 18)
III. Computer technology A. Aladdin’s magic carpet 1. personality 2. flying through space B. Lion King’s stampede 1. magnitude C. Toy Story – complete 1. shorts, 1st feature 2. John Lasseter and Steve Daly: “ Believability was arguably the most important overarching principle. The creator’s reached not for mere versimilitude, not for an exact duplicate of mundane reality, but for a created world in which the design of the characters and environment provides an enhanced hyper-real version of real life”
Conclusion I. Of course, Disney’s fantasies have become wonderful reality, and a wonderful pleasure for audiences of all ages. A. It is clear that Disney has been at the edge of innovation from the beginning, from a little mouse named Mortimer to today’s computerized toys. B. The only thing that remains unclear is the boundaries at which Disney will be stopped, for their innovation has taken us to a whole new world.
Conclusion I. Fantasy to reality A. Clear - edge of innovation, Mortimer to toys B. Unclear – unstoppable boundaries, whole new world