August 28th, 2015

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Animation: A Drawing Lesson From Walter Lantz

Walter Lantz

Walter Lantz was one of animation’s pioneers. His career in animation went all the way back to 1917, when he was an assistant working at the Hearst cartoon studio under the supervision of Gregory LaCava. He became a director for Bray, creating the Dinky Doodle series, where he appeared in live action alongside the animated title character.

He moved to Hollywood in 1927 and worked for a time as a gag man for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach. A friendship with Universal studio chief, Carl Laemmle led to Lantz heading up his own studio at Universal. For the nearly half a century, Lantz produced great cartoons starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Andy Panda, Woody Woodpecker and Chilly Willy. He won ASIFA-Hollywood’s highest honor, the Winsor McCay Award in 1973.

Animation Resources supporter, Rich Borowy has been hard at work digitizing vintage television tapes from his personal collection for the Archive Database. Here is an example of the treasures he is contributing. This is an episode of the prime-time Woody Woodpecker Show from 1964. In this episode, Walter Lantz gives the kids in the audience a basic drawing lesson by showing a few of his staff artists at work. Included in this clip are Paul J. Smith and one of the few female animators from the golden age of animation, LaVerne Harding.

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

The best part about this program is that it includes the original commercials… and they are all animated! There are Kellogg’s spots by Lantz’s own studio starring Woody, as well as examples from Hanna-Barbera and Jay Ward.

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Click on the link below to see a clip from this great TV program. Many thanks to Rich Borowy for sharing this with us!

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Woody Woodpecker Show (Lantz/1964)
(Quicktime 7 / 13.8 megs)

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

INSTRUCTIONINSTRUCTION

This posting is part of an online series of articles dealing with Instruction.
Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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

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Posted by admin @ 1:01 pm

August 27th, 2015

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Illustration: Rojankovsky’s Frog Went A Courtin

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

Animation Resources supporter, Kent Butterworth dropped by with a wonderful children’s book by the great illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky. Titled, Frog Went A-Courtin’, this book won the Caldicot Prize in 1955 for Best Children’s Picture Book of the year.

Rojankovsky was born in Russia in 1891, and served in the Russian army in the first World War. He spent some time in France, then emigrated to the United States when war broke out again in 1940. He was a prolific illustrator, creating over 100 picture books for Western Publishing’s Golden Books line and for other publishers as well. When asked how be began his interest in art, he replied…

Two great events determined the course of my childhood. l was taken to the zoo and saw the most marvelous creatures on earth: bears, tigers, monkeys and reindeer, and, while my admiration was running high, l was given a set of color crayons. Naturally, I began immediately to depict the animals which captured my imagination. Also when my eider brothers, who were in schools in the capital, came home for vacation, I tried to copy their drawings and to imitate their paintings.

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

Later when l went to school in Reval Tallinn, an ancient town on the shores of the Baltic sea, my love for art was enhanced and strengthened by a passion for nature. Tallinn was surrounded by forest. The sea presented wonderful opportunities for excursions and study of sea life. But there were also steamers, sailboats, flags, and all the excitement of a port. This was no less exciting than playing Red Indians or reading James Fenimore Cooper, the beloved author of all Russian children before, during, and after the Revolution.

SELECTED ILLUSTRATIONS FROM
FROG WENT A-COURTIN’

>Make sure to click on these to see them large. Rojankovsky was a master of texture, and the smaller size images don’t show that as well.

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

RojankovskyRojankovskyIf you like this book, you’re in luck… it’s still in print. You can find it at Amazon.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

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Posted by admin @ 2:06 pm

August 26th, 2015

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Animation History: The Building Of The Disney Studio

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

Among the collection of Clair Weeks was a publication from 1939 dealing with the construction of Disney’s studio in Burbank. It’s a fascinating look at the way the Disney operation was structured at the peak of its success. The end of the article is taken up with a detailed description of the production process at Disney. (Note: There’s an error in the order of the steps in the section on story- the script was transcribed from the storyboard, not the other way around. And they discuss voice recording out of sequence as well.)

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley
Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley
Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley
Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

Now that you’ve read the article, click on these images to see Hans Perk’s AFilm LA for more info on the Burbank lot…

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

Aerial view of Burbank before Disney’s studio is built.

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

Aerial view of the Disney studio.

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

Helen Jordan’s photos of the studio under construction.

Valley Progress: Disney Comes To The Valley

The newly completed animation building in 1939.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

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

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Posted by admin @ 1:52 pm