Walt Disney Studio Bulletin No. 12 : How to Catch, Build and Maintain the Interest of Spectator in the Picture

(Click on graphic for full-sized image.)

Page 1 of 14

From the collection of Hans Perk at A. Film L.A. and reprinted here with his permission.

Walt Disney Studio
Bulletin No. 12
March 9, 1936

HOW TO CATCH, BUILD AND MAINTAIN
THE INTEREST OF SPECTATOR IN THE PICTURE

A resume of the examination in the
"Course Fundamentals of Cartoon Story and Expression"
First semester - Dr. Boris V. Morkovin

______________________________________

I. INTERESTING SUBJECT MATTER

1. Familiar subject with a novel slant

TORTOISE AND HARE. The story of a race between the tortoise and hare is age old. Each character, respectively, has become a symbol for a fairly clear cut type of individual. They are stock characters which in our picture, were given new interpretations. If they had been kept one-trait characters, "slow but sure" vs "speedy but uncertain" they would not have been convincing. Each had to be given individual touches that would make him a personality, founded on the basic symbol. The handshaking episode was a small sequence that contributed to the character of each in this manner. Modeling Max hare after the then publicized Max Baer gave the story an added element of timeliness. (Algar)

LULLABY LAND was a novel treatment of a familiar subject in an unfamiliar way. The unique way of bringing to life inanimate objects such as, scissors, safety pins, matches, etc., and the baby's natural curiosity, all had great audience appeal. ([Homer] Brightman)

COOKIE CARNIVAL did not portray a worthwhile idea; theme and moral were very weak. There was no novelty in the way of presenting it, and characters were unconvincing. There was a lack of character build up and there was nothing timely about it. (Kelling)

BROKEN DOLLS - lack of comprehensive theme made this weak. (Miller)

2. Clearness vs Confusion

ELMER ELEPHANT is a good example of clarity in presentation and development of the idea. When the jungle kids mimic Elmer, dangling ropes and leaves in imitation of his trunk, it is obvious to any spectator why he feels as he does about his "long nose." Once this thought has become clearly established early