Animation History Round-Up #3

Drawing by Marc Davis

• Disney theme park designs by animator Marc Davis.

• Funny frame grabs from an Iwerks Willie Whopper short.

• Grim Natwick and Dave Hand talk about Norm Fergusons’s rough animation. The post goes well with this Michael Barrier piece, “How Rough Were ‘Fergy Ruffs.’

Alvin storyboard

• There are more funny drawings in this Alvin Show pilot board than in entire runs of most animated TV series nowadays.

• Weightless Life was a recent four-part documentary about the history of Russian animation. The first part of the doc has been translated into English by blogger Niffiwan and posted on his blog. His post is well-annotated with plenty of links to the films and artists discussed in the special.

• A step-by-step painting by classic Disney background painter Ralph Hulett, plus an extra tip about perspective from Hulett.

Ferdinand Horvarth drawing

• Bob Camp is in the house, and he’s started a second blog to post older artwork. Currently, he’s sharing some delightful Disney concept art by Ferdinand Horvarth. There’s more biographical info about Horvarth in this article by Wade Sampson.

• Animator/director Will Finn talks about learning how to draw like yourself and uses a couple classic print cartoonists as examples.

Previously on Cartoon Brew:
Animation History Round-Up #1
Animation History Round-Up #2


  • http://danielpoeira.org Daniel Poeira

    Amazing as usual! This doc on russian animation is fantastic, the first part is about the influence they had from Disney back in the 1930s. The comparison between american animation coming from newspaper comics and russian animation coming from propaganda posters and later from illustrated children books is very enlightening! Great images too, and seeing Khitruk speak is always a pleasure. He does most of the talking on this first episode!

  • http://www.cremadeinsectos.blogspot.com agustin

    hey great post!!

  • http://www.babsandknuckles.com Michael DiMilo

    I haven’t seen those beautiful Marc Davis drawings in years. They used to sell a book full of those drawings at the Disney Theme parks and as a kid I treasured mine. What is striking is how faithfully they replicated those designs for the Pirates and Country Bear rides. Who else but Disney would try to replicate an animator’s imagination with creepy mechanical robots? What contrast those dusty dilapitated horrors stand to the vigorous joyful drawings that inspired them. Thanks for the post.

  • Zach

    Wow… Bob Camp has a blog? This is big news, at least to me.

  • http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/ Niffiwan

    Thanks for mentioning my translation, Amid. I’m working on the other 3 episodes right now. The second one is also very interesting; it deals with characters and features a lot of footage from Norshteyn’s “The Overcoat” (which’ll be partially released by the end of this year).

    What’s really amazing is to look at the sort of crude Disney imitations that Ivan Ivanov-Vano started out with (see 9:40 in the video), and later see what great films he ended up making only a few short years later, during WW2. Here, for example.

    It sure seems that WW2 was what spurred Russian animation into the heights that it achieved. The difference in quality between “The Little Liar� (1938) and “The Stolen Sun� (1944) is enormous.

  • John Stout

    That Character Design Blog is really cool; I am surprised that you don’t have a link for them on the side of your blog. It seems like a great resource. Thanks for posting the link to the blog. Those Marc Davis pictures are amazing.

  • Bob Camp

    Hi Amid,
    Thanks for posting a link to my blog. As usual it’s always a pleasure to check out the Brew!
    Hope you are well.

  • Christopher Cook

    Very interesting to see how the characters on the Alvin storyboard would transition into the figures that would eventually turn out. Even on its meager TV budgets, there’s more joy in a Format “Alvin” cartoon” than many of today’s cartoons could ever imagine of transmitting.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    > Very interesting to see how the characters on the Alvin storyboard would transition into the figures that would eventually turn out. Even on its meager TV budgets, there’s more joy in a Format “Alvin� cartoon� than many of today’s cartoons could ever imagine of transmitting.

    If only they listen, and give us that long-awaited DVD box set for the show! People need to be reacquainted with this gem again.