Thursday, January 31, 2008
Disney Animation 101
When the comic book adaptation of Walt Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Four Color 1103) was published in 1961, the inside back cover consisted of a feature of special interest to animation aficionados. Drawn by Al Hubbard (who also drew the book-length comic adaptation of the then-new animated film), “Dalmatian Animation” is a simplified explanation of the very complicated animation process. In eight illustrations the page attempts to explain animation production to its audience (mostly children, no doubt) and does a credible job. A few misrepresentations creep in, including one endemic to general “how do they make cartoons” elucidations: the impression that the voice artists record their performances after the animation is completed. And sadly no mention is made of the fact that the “idea” for this particular animated feature came from a book, The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (although Ms. Smith’s book is dutifully credited in the comic book’s indicia on page one of the story). But let’s not belittle this fun attempt to remind readers young and old that talented people made (literally hand-made) the film on which the comic is based.