Action Analysis : Analysis and Discussion of Pole Vault and High Jump Action

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

But when the characters were set, they were set by the men who
drew, not by the Story Department. If the men who draw had said
they couldn't do it, then the story would have been changed or
the animation would have been changed. This is an important
point because everybody along the line says, "Nuts - I'm not a
top animator yet, and it will be ten years before I am, and by
then everything will be different." But the young artist here
tonight has more drawing at his fingertips than most of the
fellows across the street. He is the fellow who has the back-
ground to animate the figure, and he is the fellow that should
animate it. He is the fellow who knows something about drawing.
He can't pass it off to the other fellow and say, "If he can't
do it, how the hell can I do it." This is his big break. There
are many animators in the plant who can not handle the figure,
and who probably never will be able to because they can't draw
well enough. Those men will be crackerjack short men in the
future, while the young fellow that has the drawing should be
able to step into the feature work. It is wide open. The only
thing that is holding him down is lack of initiative. The ani-
mators are not holding him back because the fellows that cannot
handle the figure don't want to work with it. They have more
pleasure working with the Duck or the Goof. But every man should
be pointing towards that work in which he can excel. Every one
here tonight has had a good art education. If he is going to sit
and do Ducks the rest of his life, that's his fault.

ANTHONY: Yes, but they're going to give us the deer now.

If an animator is given animalsto draw because he can't animate
figures, where's his squawk? He ahasn't got a comeback. All Walt
says is, "Can you draw the figure?" The men here are not prepar-
ed to do figure work, and the reason is that they haven't taken
it seriously. Many a man here tonight doesn't realize that he
has something in his hands that is worth money. Yet every man
here tonight has three or four years of study in back of him.
When an animal picture is proposed, that just means that somebody
doesn't trust the draftsmanship and ability of the animators
to handle the figure.

ANTHONY: It means that Walt knows what he wants.

It does; and it means he is afraid of the other. On the
other hand, by going into an animal picture, the Studio is throw-
ing away about two or three thousand dollars worth of
training, because although the animators are not yet able to
handle the human characters, for two years they have been pounding
away and putting in time learning how to draw drapery and hands
and feet and features and all the rest of it. So a period of two
years of training is going into one thing which is going to be
sacrificed and thrown away because of lack of trust of what the
animator can do on human action.