Friday, August 13, 2010

Dumbo Part 18

The clowns are still celebrating and decide to raise the platform that Dumbo jumps from. On their way out to ask for a raise, one of them knocks into the table, spilling a bottle of champagne into a bucket of water.

This is a very curious sequence from a graphical standpoint. Like the previous clown sequence played in silhouette, the layouts are credited to Al Zinnen. However, that sequence was animated by Berny Wolf and this one was animated by Art Babbitt. This sequence is quite a bit busier graphically. The characters are not as well defined by the negative spaces around them and their silhouettes are not as strong. The clowns' hair is far more complicated here. There are more clowns on screen, which also clogs up the graphics.

Did Zinnen lay out both sequences or was he supervising two different layout artists? Did Berny Wolf make a conscious decision to streamline the layouts he was given? Did Babbitt add more detail and characters? Personally, I find Wolf's sequence more attractive than Babbitt's. Babbitt's is a bit of overkill.

I also wonder about Babbitt being assigned to this sequence. He's the animator who did the Queen in Snow White, Gepetto in Pinocchio and the mushroom dance in Fantasia. He animated the stork earlier in Dumbo. Why put an animator of Babbitt's caliber on this sequence? Were his union organizing activities affecting the assignments he was given? It may simply be that he needed work and this was what was available, but it's a rather dry assignment.

According to the draft, the sequence opens with the clowns singing. I assume that what the sequence currently starts with was the end of shot 4, with the clowns laughing at their lyrics.

While shot 18 is separate on the draft, there is no cut from shot 17. It's only the addition of Josh Meador animating the bottle and the liquids that justifies giving it a separate shot number.

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