Walt Disney Studio Bulletin No. 5 : The Trend of the Development of Cartoon Stories, Characters and Gags

(Click on graphic for full-sized image.)

Page 3 of 7

From the collection of Patrick Malone.

[…] built around Mickey's fight with the elements and the bandit. YE OLDEN DAYS, KING NEPTUNE, BABES IN THE WOODS, and THREE LITTLE PIGS, are built with cumulative suspense from exposition to climax and settlement, with actions and gags directly growing from the plot and characters. The inner continuity and stronger coherence are conveyed in some of these pictures by the underlying idea or theme. In YE OLDEN DAYS, the humble plebian minstrel, Mickey, is contrasted to his advantage with the mighty King and the half-wit feudal Prince with all his knightly attributes. The unifying theme of THREE LITTLE PIGS with timely implications of the Big, Bad Wolf symbolizing depression, or some other destructive social force, is too well known to be commented on further.

3. Stories held together by characters and message.

Good characterization, building up of personality, conflict of mental attitudes and philosophies, and convincing reactions, in keeping with the character focus the attention of the spectator, arouse his interest, and establish more personal relationship with character of the story. Such characters are striking and memorable, and give the unifying vertebra to the whole story. It is the mental attitude of Donald Duck and his relationship to the orphan kid audience, not only his physical appearance and actions, which make him stand out and unify the story in ORPHANS BENEFIT. The opera singer Hen, with her well-developed lungs, is not easily forgotten, because her whole physical, as well as mental, attitude is so excessively expressed by the animator. BIRDS IN SPRING is unified by personality and attitude of the exploring, venturesome, little bird - not by mechanical contortions to the musical beat. The conflict and race between the two personalities - the boastful and speedy creature and the persistent and slow one in THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE - unify this picture. In KING MIDAS the actions of the King develop out of the passionate desire for gold […]