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

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

KING MIDAS - Greed could have been better shown than by the use of lyrics. (Miller)

5. How to modernize, twist and pep up a fable.

In COUNTRY MOUSE AND CITY MOUSE an old fable is modernized and twisted to give it cartoon possibilities. The props are familiar and the situation remains logical and peppy. Yet the meat of the old story remains. (Penner)

GRASSHOPPER AND ANTS successfully modernized an old fable. The story was considerably pepped up, however, by first portraying the Grasshopper's philosophy which necessarily must be changed as the story runs it's course. Also, the strong contrast of the seasons added an all-human element that greatly strengthened the picture. (Algar)

6. Modernization of an old character, with a new twist, mannerisms, putting him in a new situation, etc.

GULLIVER MICKEY presents an interesting attempt at the modernization of an old character. Mickey's holding the general in his hand, catching the bucking horses by the tail, shooting marbles at the tiny soldiers and blowing the ships about, were all fresh and interesting touches to the familiar Gulliver situation. (Algar)

The pictures now in production demonstrate the point that old characters can be given new settings. THREE MOUSKETEERS starts with the original premise "All for one and one for all" and proceeds to give it a humorous twist. The three characters derive from the originals also, except that they are blind which immediately gives them a new set of mannerisms. It is the novelty of locale and relationship that make such a picture fresh.

TOWN AND COUNTRY MOUSE takes the urban dandy and the country rube as it's main characters. Each must be given his individual personality, attitude, etc. Abner's straw-chewing habit is a minor mannerism that indicates his ignorance of city manners - perhaps even his scorn for the conventional; hence it enhances his personality. Monty's constant consciousness of noise and the necessity of quiet is another trait indicative of his personality. (Algar)

In MICKEY'S FIRE BRIGADE, Clarabelle, cast as a singer in a bathtub, found new vitality in the role. Her female characteristics were exaggerated and successfully dramatized. (Bianca)

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING The duck character is given a new twist, that of actually charging into a fight when heretofore he has only been a big bluff, and a coward at heart. (Couch)