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

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From the collection of Patrick Malone.

[…] which creates comic and pathetic situations after his wish is granted. It is not necessary to say much about the marvelous building up of personality and mental states on FLYING MOUSE. It is the little mouse's own fault which brings him to disaster and cures him. His every reaction is psychologically inevitable, and keeps the attention and interest of the spectator without flagging. The philosophy and strongly motivated actions of the Grasshopper give the strength to the picture.

4. Stories held together by atmosphere and locale.

In contrast to the stories where locale is only an excuse for throwing together gags, squeezed from the collection of props, modern pictures, especially Silly Symphonies, are establishing more intimate, unifying relations between the locale, characters, and their actions. The atmosphere of PLAYFUL PAN, FLOWERS AND TREES, SANTA'S WORKSHOP, LULLABY LAND, FUNNY BUNNIES, GODDESS OF SPRING, and WATER BABIES, ties together the story and actions of the characters. The spirit of the locale in these pictures is caught poetically and typically, and is unified by characters like Santa, or by mood, as in PLAYFUL PAN, or by the underlying idea, as in GODDESS OF SPRING.

B. Trend in gags.

The types of gags, the way of their grouping and of their building, are being changed in modern cartoon. The progress is noticed from haphazard, rambling, isolated gags, often far-fetched, uncalled-for by the situation and not properly built, to those which are more expressive and symbolic, and reveal the core of the characters and their mental attitudes. The gags become more irresistibly funny, because they give time for the audience to warm up. While growing out of the situation, which becomes worse and worse, they charge it with explosives of humor to such degree that the outbursts of louder and louder laughter could not be suppressed. […]