Animation: Disney’s Artist Tryout Book

Disney Artist Tryout Book

Today, we scanned another fascinating document from the collection of Clair Weeks. This is the "Disney Studios Artist’s Tryout Book" from 1938. It provides a valuable overview of the production process and description of the various job categories. You will definitely want to print this out and study it carefully.

Here are some quotes from this booklet that you might find interesting…

STORY MEN must be able to draw. The stories are not written but are visualized in sketch form.

The value of an animator is dependent upon his ability to dramatize and caricature life, and to time and stage his characters’ actions in an unusual and interesting way. An animator must be a showman- he must know how to entertain an audience, to present a gag, to picture dramatically an ordinary incident. Above all, he must be a sure and skillful draftsman.

THE DIRECTOR must have complete knowledge of every phase of animation, have executive ability and outstanding dramatic talent. He must be familiar with practically all of the Arts… To date, all directors have arisen from the ranks of the Studio, sometimes through story work, but more often through animation. Because of the complexity of animation it seems that this will continue to be the case.

All inking and painting of celluloids, and all tracing done in the Studio is perfomed exclusively by a large staff of girls known as Inkers and Painters… This is the only department in the Disney Studio open to women artists.

Disney Artist Tryout Book

The original brochure was in very poor condition, with tears and waterstains throughout. I’m sure that this was carried around in Weeks’ back pocket for quite a while. But Photoshop can work miracles, so these scans ended up looking better than the original.

In case you haven’t noticed, Animation Resources has become "an embarassment of riches". We are doing very important work here. I hope you will support our project any way you can.

Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book
Disney Artists Tryout Book

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.

10 Responses to “Animation: Disney’s Artist Tryout Book”

  1. Great to see this again! Thanks, Steve!

  2. Fuller Royal says:

    A friend of mine just gave me a complete copy of this book. It’s in excellent shape and includes the last two pages. His father was 17 in 1938 and applied at Disney. He saved the booklet. Any idea how many of these are known to exist?

  3. Wow, that’s an amazing read. It’s going to require a lot of dissemination on my part.

    Thanks for posting!

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