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.


A. At the Beginning

1. Clear and quick introduction of characters.

THREE ORPHAN KITTENS profits much from a clear and quick introduction of its principal characters. When we see them tossed over the fence into the snow, we know immediately that they were not wanted where they came from, that they are alone in the cold, that they are trespassers in the house they enter and hence liable to expulsion. These things are implied indirectly, yet very clearly. The fact that the kittens are trespassers makes the story wind up, particularly when they sneak past the cook and start getting into mischief. The spectator knows that sooner or later they are going to be caught up with and his interest and sympathy are whetted accordingly.

GRASSHOPPER AND ANT. Introduction of Grasshopper, his carefree character made more convincing by the use of song, "The World Owes Me A Living." This feeling implanted in the minds of the spectator remains all through the story. His eventual punishment for laziness occurred at a natural point in the story.

ORPHAN'S PICNIC. A clear and quick introduction was obtained by rollicking singing of happy orphans, led by Donald, who as usual, is quickly in a jam when crashed into a tree, greatly to the enjoyment of the orphans, giving us locale, situation, joyous mood and the personality build up. (Karpe)

GRAND OPERA. Pluto and the hat business was wound up at the beginning, so that the outcome of the picture was a natural result of this. (Patterson)

ROBBER KITTEN is a picture with a poor introduction. The scene in which Ambrose is dueling with his toys does not have any of the clear implications of the early scenes in the THREE KITTENS. The introduction does not take us into a situation that develops naturally. In fact, the story never gets really wound up. (Algar)

B. In the middle

8. Reason and motivation behind the actions.

PLUTO'S JUDGEMENT DAY. Pluto being scolded by Mickey after chasing the kitten, together with his sleeping with his tail in the fire, case his fantastic dream of a dog hell. (Wolf)