farmyard symphony 2

9 11 2010

during the production of disney’s MULAN I always had an inspiration-folder with me, a collection of illustrations, layouts and backgrounds from all different sources. one major part was from a disney 1938 SILLY SYMPHONY – FARMYARD SYMPHONY. the style of the layout drawings was interesting, the way the wooden posts, the grass and straw, the cottages were translated. thicker, rounded shapes that made them look like woodcut toys and reminded me a bit of the romantic 1900s LUDWIG RICHTER woodcut illustrations. there was no overloaded detail in these layouts, just where it was needed. and the same simplicity was so well copied and even enhanced in the soft watercolor backgrounds. the colors were earthy and subdued, and the light created an early morning mood. just in total a perfect balance with the characters reading clearly on that stage. I am still in awe whenever I look at these masterpieces created over seventy years ago.

© disney enterprises, inc



3 responses

9 11 2010

It interesting how some pencil drawings looks much better than final background.:O)

9 11 2010
Ernesto Melo

It reminds me the Rembrandt’s sketches, not only the similar light and mood, but how he felt the elements of the scene. The Holy books, the wood,
drapery- are thick, heavy, almost fat objects. I remember in Lilo when they comment how they followed the silly symphonies watercolor style, they had to imagine as if they stuck a straw through every element and was inflated… 🙂

from hans –
hi ernesto, I wonder who came up with that idea first in the thirties. there is no documentation about it, I searched everywhere.
but I am sure nobody looked at rembrandt, – or maybe someone did…

10 11 2010
Ernesto Melo

Hi Hans!, yes you’re right, as how they describe in “The Illusion of Life”, there were intuitive and
self taught artists, with few academic knowledge and rules in mind because they were burning
while creating the new laws of the animation drawing. But, at the same time, there were some people like Joe Grant, I guess
he had huge knowledge (I remember you mentioned that in that time he knew Simplicissimus).
Well, now I’m thinking that many people came from Chouinard, the California Watercolor School…
I guess the knowledge in those places float in the air and you learn even though you don’t want to.
And I guess you lived this marvelous experience during many, many years.

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