Host Leonard Maltin led the panel, and it showed how much knowledge and appreciation he has for the film. While Disney art director Paul Felix and myself represented a newer generation, Donnie Dunagan and Peter Behn were the real stars of the evening. They recalled how they were selected as the voices of Bambi and Thumper. Behn remember how frightened he was watching the forest fire during the film's premiere screening. Dunagan at age 5 fired his manager, who thought the audition at Disney for a baby deer wouldn't be worthwhile.
It really was a historical evening. Disney provided a 2 1/2 min. pencil test from the film which left the audience in awe.
There was also a tribute to Tyrus Wong, whose fingerprints are all over this movie.
The two kids who made movie history: Donnie Dunagan and Peter Behn.
Many of you know that the father in the film Peter Pan was largely animated by John Lounsbery.
Milt Kahl animated the character in the final sequence of the movie. He kept the animation subtle and believable. See image above.
But this really is a Lounsbery character. He established Mr Darling during the film's opening sequence. Here are copies of a few rough Louns drawings where the father stumbles over the dog Nana. "And that's my last word on the matter!" (about Wendy getting her own room).
Lounsbery didn't draw hands as well as Milt, but who cares? His strong use of squash and stretch is legendary. I am telling you, if you flip the first drawing with the lastone, lightbulbs will go off. The shift of volumes is just beautiful. Lounsbery went broad on this character in order to avoid another straight, live action based personality. It was a good choice!
I recently did a post on "Drawn Water" in Disney films. Here are a few images from Pinocchio showing various stages of production, concept art, story sketch, a cel set up (below) and final frames.
All artists had an amazing vision of how water should be handled in the film.
The final animation is obviously based on realism, but it is also stylized. The wave patterns in the ocean scenes have an elegance that beautifully matches the fluid character animation.
When I see water these days in CG animated films, it simply duplicates the real thing. Where is the artistic interpretation that makes you feel something?
The last two images show water effects that were largely achieved without animating water. There is ONE painting for the water level. A plate of rippled glass was then moved across it. Simple, inexpensive, and very effective.
I don't have hi res files for these spectacular drawings by Fred Moore, but even at this resolution the two sketches are jumping of the screen! A duck, a rooster and a parrot. Three different birds, three different beaks.
Beautiful compositions for the group of star characters. It's funny how Fred never bothered to draw Donald's toes. Probably because he was thinking about simple basic shapes that could be put down very quickly.
Whoever owns these two little treasures...congratulations!! Pure and virtuous Disney!
For more Three Caballeros art by Fred Moore go to this post:
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of Disney's Bambi, the Academy in LA is going to host a panel discussion, and I feel honored to be a part of it. This event will take place on May 15.
I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Behn (voice of Thumper) and Donnie Dunagan (voice of Bambi) a number of years ago, and I look forward to talking to them again.
A reminder of the caliber of artists who were part of this incredible film. These signatures are on the title page of the out of print Bambi Sketchbook.
Marc Davis spent several years in story before animating the character of Flower.
A long vertical layout from the film's opening sequence.
It takes a lot of guts to be simple when it comes to animation backgrounds. This film would have looked very different if it wasn't for the dramatic artistic vision of Tyrus Wong.
I posted about my first get together with Bambi's voice actor Donnie Dunagan here: