Hanna-Barbera never did this.
April 10, 2007 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Cloned Disney cels: page 1 [Russian, bad English], page 2 [Russian, bad English]
posted by thirteenkiller (25 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Can anyone who knows animation explain how the cells from different movies with characters in the same position saves time and effort? Everything needs to be redrawn anyway, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:44 PM on April 10, 2007


For example in the propaganda short SEVEN WISE DWARVES

I buy it.
posted by phaedon at 12:44 PM on April 10, 2007


phaedon writes "For example in the propaganda short SEVEN WISE DWARVES"

Cool; I hadn't heard about this previously. The Seven Dwarves apparently helped hawk Canadian war bonds.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:46 PM on April 10, 2007


there's some other cool stuff on that site, but between google translating frames and russian navigation... i can't seem to get a good link to it.
posted by phaedon at 12:49 PM on April 10, 2007


Everything needs to be redrawn anyway, right?

True, but don't you think it would be easier and faster to trace an already-created series of drawings and modify them to suit your needs than to do the whole thing from scratch?

That was a neat essay, thirteenkiller. I'd love to see more examples of cloned Disney cells; I'm sure there are plenty of them.

(Was I the only one who got a "Clockwork Orange" vibe from the Google translation of the second half?"
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:55 PM on April 10, 2007


Seeing them side by side, I remember when I was a kid I was baffled by the apparent supposition that Snow White was supposed to be pretty. Marian, on the other hand? Oo-da-lolly.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:56 PM on April 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand the point of this - if their goal was to fence a version of these animated films in The Motherland why would they be concerned with modifying anything in the source material whatsoever? Some video context of a redubbed sequence would help make sense of this, otherwise it's fairly worthless aside from the screencaps which illustrate specific scenes.
posted by prostyle at 12:57 PM on April 10, 2007


Check out this animation process description. There are several points where recycling would save cost.
posted by onhazier at 1:00 PM on April 10, 2007


And prostyle, you're missing the point (did you read the article?). This isn't about Disney animation copied into Russian cartoons; this is about Disney animation recycled by Disney animators into other Disney cartoons.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:04 PM on April 10, 2007


prostyle writes "if their goal was to fence a version of these animated films in The Motherland"

I'm pretty sure Disney's goal in creating "Winnie the Poo", "Jungle Book", and "Robin Hood" wasn't to fence them in Russia.
posted by Bugbread at 1:28 PM on April 10, 2007


Animators are expensive, and I don't see what difference it makes if a scene or two from one movie and a scene or two from another movie have the same coreography. There were a couple examples where on the same screen the same exact figures were used over and over on the same scene, which in my opinion makes the whole thing look to be worse quality. I may be missing the point, and you aren't all complaining about it. If that's the case, then I agree that this is a fascinating post about the process of those films.
posted by KingoftheWhales at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2007


KingoftheWhales writes "I may be missing the point, and you aren't all complaining about it. If that's the case, then I agree that this is a fascinating post about the process of those films."

I'm not complaining. I also found it to just be an interesting post about the production of the films.
posted by Bugbread at 3:51 PM on April 10, 2007


I'm pretty sure Disney's goal in creating "Winnie the Poo"

Hee.
posted by EarBucket at 3:53 PM on April 10, 2007


Ok, "creating the animated version of Winnie the Poo", "creating the animated version of Jungle Book", and "creating the animated version of Robin Hood". I thought it was generally understood that Disney rarely makes the originals and didn't need to be explicitly stated.
posted by Bugbread at 4:12 PM on April 10, 2007


Oh, wait, that's not what you were "heh"ing. I just realized it's spelled "Pooh", isn't it. Oops. Colour me embarrassed.
posted by Bugbread at 4:13 PM on April 10, 2007


Neat post. I wonder if some of this repetition is not out of convenience but out of homage. Some of these examples are clearly the former, while the Beauty and the Beast/Sleeping Beauty dance scene might be the later.
posted by brundlefly at 4:21 PM on April 10, 2007


It's cool. Very nifty post, by the way--I'd noticed a lot of these as a kid. The Mowgli/Arthur thing, Baloo and Little John, but the Maid Marian/Snow White dance went right over my head. Very neat.
posted by EarBucket at 4:25 PM on April 10, 2007


mr_roboto writes "Can anyone who knows animation explain how the cells from different movies with characters in the same position saves time and effort?"

Animaiton cels were traditionally layers of clear acetate with the animation drawn on. The background layer for example wouldn't change at all, but foreground layers will be swapped between shots. Taking an old cel that hasn't been colored in, Xeroxing it onto fresh acetate and painting in different colors = a different scene, with only one rather than several cels needing to be repainted.
posted by caution live frogs at 4:50 PM on April 10, 2007


(This is explained on the FPP site - just not explained very well.)
posted by caution live frogs at 4:51 PM on April 10, 2007


whats worth noting is that the cloned shots tend to be the kinds of very physical movement shots (walking, running, dancing) involving human movement (which needs to be done accurately), the kinds of shots that are the hardest to animate. it makes sense that these would be the shots they were eager to save time (and therefore money) on.

also, I believe that a number of these shots (especially ones of snow white, and several sword in the stone movement shots) are rotoscoped anyway, so some of these were originally traced and tuned anyway!

for people who aren't getting why this saves time - remember that animation is not just 'drawing pictures', it's 'drawing pictures that when played in sequence at high speed will convey senses of movement and attitudes recogniseable and instantly identifiable to human beings who have been learning how to interpret these kinds of movements from an incredibly early age and seek to be entertained in unique and exciting ways'. it goes without saying that for every unique frame drawn there has usually been twice the amount of time spent planning what would be right to put on it, then remember that there are usually between 12 and 24 unique drawings per second, and that your average movie has about 5400 seconds in it.
posted by 6am at 5:24 PM on April 10, 2007


I don't know if this was alluded to in the original Russian, but the reason for most of these "clones" is that they were all based on the same original rotoscoped character studies.

The already choreographed, filmed, traced motion of characters was then used as templates.

Since it was very expensive to do those initial rotoscopes, using them over and over with different characters overlaid onto the motion probably saved a bunch of money, especially for the cheaper productions.
posted by tomierna at 5:30 PM on April 10, 2007


Man. I shouldn't have waited to hit post - 6am beat me to the punch.
posted by tomierna at 5:31 PM on April 10, 2007


tomierna, i think the mowgli stick sequence is obviously rotoscoped, so your argument holds there. but do you have proof of the others? and was rotoscoping nearly as expensive as having one of the nine old men do your animation for you?

(that, by the way, is why the cloning saves time -- literally, there are VERY few people who can animate on a high level like this! cloning means you can get lower-level people to plug & chug. but still, it is NOT a matter of tracing. It is still very skilled drawing.)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:45 PM on April 10, 2007


Gorgor, I have no proof other than what I've read on the intarwebs - the Wikipedia article I linked above and others say that Disney used rotoscoping with Snow White and Cinderella, so those high(er)-budget productions seem to be the sources for some of the "cloning of actions" (re-use of roto plates) in some of the other (lower budget) clips listed on the Russian site.

I think you're misinterpreting what I wrote a bit, though. I'm definitely not belittling the nine old men or their talents (or the talents of any of the Disney animators of the time). I'm also not saying that the animation of the different characters over the roto-motion paths wasn't difficult, time-consuming or cheap.

What I'm saying is that by re-using the realistic motion paths derived from the same core rotoscope sessions (which were expensive because they required a full live-action shoot with actors, and then had to be traced frame-by-frame) saved money because the only two other options were either shoot and trace new roto or lower the quality of the scene's animation. The former would have been more money, and the latter unacceptable.

Lastly, re-use of rotoscoping is but one of the shortcuts shown in the original article. That's why I put clones in quotes in my post - cloning with or without reversals, or with different background plates (like in some of the Pooh stuff), or with time offsets (like in the 101 Dalmations example) are but a few of the other time savers Disney animators employed to save time and money, but they all seemed lumped together under the "cloning" description in the original article.
posted by tomierna at 8:53 PM on April 10, 2007


I wondered whether they maybe just re-used the old rotoscope footage, but if you look carefully - some details have been reproduced almost exactly (such as the precise shape of Mowglis stick-with-leaves-on vs Christopher Robin's, and the shape of Snow Whites skirt when dancing vs Maid Marians), I suspect they just traced off of the cels or original drawings.
posted by 6am at 5:09 AM on April 11, 2007


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