Archive for the ‘refpack’ Category

Friday, October 11th, 2019

RefPack030: An Amazing Russian Fairy Tale Featurette

Reference Pack

REFPACK 030
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Every other month, members of Animation Resources are given access to an exclusive Members Only Reference Pack. These downloadable files are high resolution e-books on a variety of educational subjects and rare cartoons from the collection of Animation Resources in DVD quality. Our current Reference Pack has just been released. If you are a member, click through the link to access the MEMBERS ONLY DOWNLOAD PAGE. If you aren’t a member yet, please JOIN ANIMATION RESOURCES. It’s well worth it.


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DVD QUALITY VIDEO:
Russian Animation

Dead Tsarevna & The Seven Bogatyrs
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Ivan Ivanov-Vano / 1951

Although this film closely resembles the story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, this adaptation is based on a Russian fairy tale about the Princess Tsarevna. The film closely follows the poem written in 1833 by Aleksandr Pushkin. If you are interested, there is a synopsis of the story at Wikipedia.

The director of this film, Ivan Ivanov-Vano began his career in animation in 1927 and made three dozen films over his half century career, most of which were based on Russian folk tales. Early on, he was heavily influenced by Disney, but his personal style developed and grew over his career. In 1947 he directed the first Russian animated feature film, The Humpbacked Horse; and he helped establish ASIFA (The International Animated Film Society) in 1961.

This film incorporates design motifs unique to Russian art and it reflects its culture perfectly. In the modern world, animated films are made in Asia, India, Europe and the United States that all look pretty much the same. It would be good if a diversity of regional styles developed again. After all, art should be a personal expression of one’s life and culture, not a product manufactured to someone else’s design.

REFPACK030: Dead Tsarevna (1951)
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MP4 Video File / SD / 29:58 / 645 MB Download


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Friday, August 30th, 2019

RefPack029: Toby Bluth’s Storyboard Collection

Reference Pack

REFPACK 029
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Every other month, members of Animation Resources are given access to an exclusive Members Only Reference Pack. These downloadable files are high resolution e-books on a variety of educational subjects and rare cartoons from the collection of Animation Resources in DVD quality. Our current Reference Pack has just been released. If you are a member, click through the link to access the MEMBERS ONLY DOWNLOAD PAGE. If you aren’t a member yet, please JOIN ANIMATION RESOURCES. It’s well worth it.


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PDF E-BOOK:
Toby Bluth Storyboards

Toby Bluth Storyboard Collection
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Fantasia / Pinocchio (1940)

From his childhood years in Texas on through to his family’s move out to Los Angeles, Toby Bluth was enamored with the animated films of Walt Disney. Their story sense and striking visuals would inspire him to a long career in creating beautiful imagery. He went on to design and direct over one hundred stage productions; he illustrated numerous children’s books; and he worked on countless projects in animation. Some highlights include winning the Hollywood Drama-Logue Critics Award four times, and being named Disney Fine Art’s top selling artist for a number of years. He also was art director for the Disney animated films The Tigger Movie and Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers.

Toby Bluth Storyboards

In his later years he would refer to the first five Disney animated features as his greatest inspirations. His intense love led to a close study of these films, and their influence can be seen in just about everything he created in his life. Even his home, with its wooden corbels and stained glass windows, were reminiscent of something out of Pinocchio.

While working as the art director on The Tigger Movie he had copies made of nearly every layout drawing from Snow White that was in the Disney Animation Research Library. Now I don’t know how crucial those were as reference for the look of this particular Winnie the Pooh feature, but Toby didn’t miss his chance to be able to study these rare treasures. He certainly had an eye for the good stuff!

Toby Bluth Storyboards

This collection of storyboards is a vivid example of the sort of reference material that inspired and influenced Toby’s art. These vintage photostats were used in the production of the films, and were among his most prized posessions. The clarity of staging and lighting in the early Disney features is something Toby always strived for in his own work. When explaining the appeal of his drawings and watercolor paintings he would refer to the importance of light and air. He would often refer to chiaroscuro, the treatment of light and dark, and its importance to his technique.

In Toby’s paintings, the highlights and shadows defined both mood and form. When he began a painting, he would always paint the atmosphere first. He would achieve this by laying in a wash to represent the shadows in a complimentary color to the source light. Next, he would glaze in the local color in layers, one after another. His pencil drawings would be also be completely rendered to show form and depth, a standard practice for the early Disney films, but not always done in later animated productions. You can see this wonderful examples of these rendered layout drawings in some of the storyboards contained in this collection.

I’m sure Toby would be happy to know his collection can now be shared with other students of fine image making, and likely for the very first time. I hope they inspire you as much as they did him! –Colby Bluth

Many thanks to the family of Toby Bluth for sharing this important collection of vintage storyboard photostats with us. This e-book is set up to be printed single sided on 11 x 17 inch paper, so you can print it out, pin it up on cork boards and break down the structure to learn how to apply the techniques to your own work.

REFPACK029: Toby Bluth Collection
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Adobe PDF File / 86 Pages / 316 MB Download


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Friday, August 23rd, 2019

RefPack029: Two Interesting Films By Harman Ising

Reference Pack

REFPACK 029
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Members Only Download

Every other month, members of Animation Resources are given access to an exclusive Members Only Reference Pack. These downloadable files are high resolution e-books on a variety of educational subjects and rare cartoons from the collection of Animation Resources in DVD quality. Our current Reference Pack has just been released. If you are a member, click through the link to access the MEMBERS ONLY DOWNLOAD PAGE. If you aren’t a member yet, please JOIN ANIMATION RESOURCES. It’s well worth it.


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HD QUALITY VIDEO:
Harman Ising

Milky Way
MGM / Rudolph Ising / 1940

Perhaps the most unjustly neglected classic animated shorts are the early MGM cartoons. Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising left Warner Bros in 1934 to join MGM, producing several cartoons starring Bosko, along with a series of musical one-shot cartoons called Happy Harmonies. Roughly patterned after Disney’s Silly Symphonies, these musical cartoons ran far over budget, and in 1937, MGM severed its contract with Harman and Ising and formed their own in-house animation studio under Fred Quimby. Harman and Ising were hired on as contract employees of MGM, directing one-shots and Barney Bear cartoons until they parted company with the studio during WWII.

The two films we are sharing with you today represent the best of Harman and Ising’s work. “Milky Way” was the first non-Disney animated short to be awarded an Oscar, winning over the first Bugs Bunny cartoon and the first of the Tom & Jerry shorts. It richly deserved the honor. The lushness of the production values rivals the most elaborate of Disney’s shorts. In particular note the solidity of the drawing by Mike Lah, Pete Burness and Ray Abrams, the brilliant color palettes of the backgrounds, and the spectacular effects animation. Many of the shots in this short consist of pans with action beginning in one end of the pan and tracking it through to the other end. This contributes to the forward momentum of the film and prevents it from dragging like so many other Harman-Ising cartoons.

REFPACK029: Milky Way
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M4V Video File / HD / 7:28 / 387 MB Download


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SD QUALITY VIDEO:
Harman Ising

The Hungry Wolf
MGM / Hugh Harman / 1942

The other MGM film we are featuring, “The Hungry Wolf” is unique to the Harman-Ising filmography. Produced at the very end of the directing partners’ tenure at MGM, the animation staff includes many of the finest artists ever to work at the studio… in particular, Irv Spence, Ken Muse, Jack Zander and Pete Burness. When this film was made, Rudy Ising had already left MGM to open his own studio. Soon after, Rudy Ising would resign to join the Army Air Force’s First Motion Picture Unit.

A while back, I received a phone call from Ralph Bakshi asking me about this film. He had stumbled across it on YouTube and was blown away. He praised the power and guts of the animation- clarity and directness of purpose quite different than the typical “lily gilding” and excessive polish common in Harman-Ising cartoons. Ralph pointed at a few scenes in particular and asked who the animator was. It turned out to be Bill Tytla, who was picking up work with MGM after the Disney strike. Ralph insisted I share this film with all of you so you can study it too. Here it is!

REFPACK029: The Hungry Wolf
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M4V Video File / SD / 9:02 / 199 MB Download

Many thanks to Advisory Board member Steve Stanchfield for sharing these rare films with Animation Resources. We are very fortunate that Steve uncovers these lost jewels and shares them with us. Steve’s video company, Thunderbean Animation is doing great work transferring and restoring rare animated films. We greatly appreciate his unfailing support of our Animation Archive Project.


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