- I’m trying to coordinate with Hans Perk’s posting of the drafts to Sleeping Beauty by offering as much material as I can locate on the film. It’s leading to some odd discoveries. (Just today,Hans offers the drafts to the cake baking sequence.)
Here’s one of those galleys given me many years ago by John Canemaker. It was a way of showing off material available. Perhaps some of it has been published in some book or other. I don’t think it all has gone out, though.
This is the development of the three fairies, Fauna, Flora and Merryweather. You’ll see they took some wacky turns on the way to the end. I believe these were drawn by Tom Oreb, Bill Peet, Ward kimball, Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
This is the full photo which comes in at 24×40 inches.
(Click any image to enlarge.)
I believe this is by Kimball.
Probably Bill Peet’s storyboard characters.
No idea who did this.
This looks a bit like Frank Thomas’ line, though the characters don’t look like his.
An Ollie Johnston self-portrait?
Now they’re coming together.
Frank Thomas animation.
More Thomas animation.
Some beautiful poses.
I have a couple of animation drawings from this film from the “Skumps” sequence. I’ll post those when Hans hits that part of the film with his drafts. This movie is a great one.
- Hans Perk has chosen to post the drafts to Sleeping Beauty in response to the upcoming Academy screening (in LA) of the feature film which is in response to the reissue of the video with new special additions. I thought this a good excuse to bring back these older posts:
- I’ve enjoyed sharing some of the animation drawings I own via this site, and I hope to keep doing it. The drawings, to me, are so valuable in that they reveal the personality of the animators, even more than the finished films.
I have a bunch of copies of drawings by Frank Thomas from Sleeping Beauty. It’s the sequence in which the three fairies, within the hidden cabin in the forest, use magic to create a dress for Aurora.
Below, on the right, are some of the roughs from this scene. On the left are the final cleanups.
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- These are frame grabs from the very same scene in the cottage featuring the Frank Thomas drawings posted above.
Frank Thomas often complained about Eyvind Earle’s color design. He disliked the fact that Merryweather had a black bodice. He was especially peeved over this sequence, and I heard him talk about it at least three times. He felt this anchored her too much to the ground and weighed her down. I’m not sure I agree with him; I think the character moves beautifully and retains the weightlessness he sought.
There rwas quite a bit of friction between Eyvind Earle, who seemed to be Disney’s star on that film, and the animators who felt ignored.
- Let’s talk a little about Eyvind Earle. This is the artist who rose to fame when he was selected by Walt Disney to set the style for the long-in-production feature, Sleeping Beauty. The animators disliked his art direction and openly protested it. Walt remained true in his stance and supported Earle to the end; though it could be said that Walt was more involved in Disneyland’s construction and gave too little attention to the in-fighting at the animation studio.
I remember Frank Thomas, specifically, stating that he had done everything possible to supercede Earle’s style after he, Thomas, had animated the Merryweather scene as she creates Aurora’s dress and cake in honor of her birthday. He felt that the black bodice that Earle had designed took all the lightness out of his character’s delicate dance.
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L to R: Al Dempster, Dick Anthony, Ralph Hulett and Eyvind Earle
Thomas publicly attacked Earle at the Lincoln Center celebration of Disney animation back in 1973. I’d already read something similar, and heard it privately. None of the others on stage at Lincoln Center - Woolie Reitherman, Ken Anderson or Ollie Johnston - countered in support of Earle.
Sleeping Beauty was such a drastic change in look from the other Disney features, that I think it took deep hold in the minds of a lot of Baby Boomers growing up around this feature. Earle became a strong target of interest, and I think his reputation has grown annually.
I have to admit it was odd seeing the backgrounds of Pocohontas trying to emulate Earle’s Sleeping Beautystyle, but in some ways it seemed fitting. The studio had been ripping off the films of the past for so long that it was only approopriate that they’d focus on someone who was such a dynamic force.
For a short period after he was released by Disney, in the post-Sleeping Beauty layoffs, he worked with John Sutherland Productions where he designed the short, Rhapsody of Steel. Then he formed his own studio, Eyvind Earle Productions, Inc. He did an animated trailer for the film, West Side Story, under the supervision of Saul Bass. He did an animated title for the Kraft Suspense Theater, and he did a Christmas Special forTennessee Ernie Ford.
Ultimately, Earle made a success of his own art after leaving animation. He’s been represented by a number of very large galleries and has sold a lot of popular art in a style all his own. Here are a couple of examples found on line:
I’m not always a big fan of the color schemes in his graphics, though he always makes them work, but I have to give credit to Earle for his originality and the dynamic approach in his art.
1951 Started with the Walt Disney Studios as background painter on: FOR WHOM THE __ BULLS TOIL, MELODY, and the Academy Award winner for “Best Short of the Year”__TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK and BOOM which also received a Cannes Film Festival Award. __Production Designer, Color Stylist and Background Painter for the DIsney animated__classic SLEEPING BEAUTY, as well as, PIGS IS PIGS, GRAND CANYONSCOPE, __PAUL BUNYAN, LADY AND THE TRAMP, LONDON BRIDGE, and WORKING FOR PEANUTS.__He designed 5 murals for Disneyland.
1958 Joined John Sutherland Motion Picture Company in Los Angeles.
1960-1966 Created 24 sheet poster for Hamm’s Beer. __Started motion picture animation company, Eyvind Earle Productions, Inc. __Created animated commercials for Chevrolet Motors, Chrysler Corporation, Marlboro __igarettes, Motorola Television and the Kellogg Cereal Company.__Created animated trailer for WEST SIDE STORY for United Artists.
1961 Created animated television special THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS starring__Tennessee Ernie Ford and the Roger Wagner Choral.
1962 Created animated television special THE EASTER SPECIAL.__Created title for the KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATER. __Created the logo trademark trailer for Universal Pictures.__Produced and created the theatrical short DEATH AND SUNRISE
cover art for the 1957 storybook
The exquisite cover art for the 1957 storybook published by Golden Press.
Tempura paint on illustration board 101/2" x 14"
The original artwork was sold in 1995 through Howard Lowery Animation Art auctions, Burbank CA
"Walt Disney's Big Book", Whitman Publishing Company, 1958