Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Disney's Gettin' Lazy" 3: Whatever Happened to Bambi's Mother?

To many, the death of Bambi's Mother is the single saddest moment in all of film history. But don't worry folks, Bambi's Mom is alive & well! In fact, she came back to play a role in many movies since then. Personally, I think she holds the record of most appearances in a Disney film.

video

The big questions from me are 1) Who animated the original scene of Bambi's Mother eating grass, looking up & running away (Frank Thomas? Ollie Hohnston? Eric Larson? Who?...) & 2) Did the animator in question get credit for it when it was reused in the later films? Can anybody answer this for me?

Special thanks to Hans Perk & Michael Sporn!

*UPDATE* - Hans Perk pulled out his animator drafts for Bambi & wrote about his findings in the comments:

"Hi Michael, I had a look at the draft for Prod. 2002 (Bambi), Seq.09.2-"Death of the Mother." Directed by James Algar, layout by Dave Hilberman, animated by (drum roll...) Art Elliott. He animated Sc.8 (21-00ft on a 6½F setup), Sc.9 (9-00ft on 5F setup) where mother whispers "Bambi!" and Sc.10 (5-07ft on 5F setup) where mother says "Quick! The thicket!" (followed by some scenes by Bill Justice).

I did not check the other drafts yet, but normally reuse like this is not credited, as--again--the drafts were not prepared for crediting animators but for tracking the responsible person on any current production. Thus, most likely the person RE-animating the scene will be credited..."

Thanks again for the info, Hans!

8 comments:

Lionel said...

Nice post!
Bambi's mother had to wait until 1963 to make a comeback, but then, had a regular career (1967, 1977 with her son, and 1991). Now, she hasn't been seen eating any grass in an animated feature for 17 years. Way too long, I miss her. Time to bring her out of retirement: maybe "The Princess and the Frog" or a DTV sequel could provide the much-needed spot

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Thanks Lionel! I'm still waiting for the VH1 special myself.

Hans Perk said...

Hi Michael, I had a look at the draft for Prod. 2002 (Bambi), Seq.09.2-"Death of the Mother." Directed by James Algar, layout by Dave Hilberman, animated by (drum roll...) Art Elliott. He animated Sc.8 (21-00ft on a 6½F setup), Sc.9 (9-00ft on 5F setup) where mother whispers "Bambi!" and Sc.10 (5-07ft on 5F setup) where mother says "Quick! The thicket!" (followed by some scenes by Bill Justice).

I did not check the other drafts yet, but normally reuse like this is not credited, as--again--the drafts were not prepared for crediting animators but for tracking the responsible person on any current production. Thus, most likely the person RE-animating the scene will be credited...

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Wow, thanks Hans! I've been pondering that question for a LONG time!

Art Elliott, huh? Never heard of him! I better check up on his stuff, too. I'm intrigued.

Hans Perk said...

On Prod.No. 2179 The Jungle Book, Seq. 008 (Search for Mowgli with the Elephants) Sc. 13, Dick Lucas is credited for the 2-01 ft re-use of the scene, thus proving my point...

nic kramer said...

Hey, you forgot one more cameo. The two deers also made a cameo in the hilarious Donald Duck short, "No Hunting"(1955).

Weirdo said...

I'd watch that VH1 special. Great post.

Anonymous said...

It seems like in the 1960s Disney was very lazy with their animation. Maybe it was easier to copy older stuff? I wonder if they were trying to save some money back then or something.

I remember watching Robin hood, and the scene of Maid Marien dancing with the smaller animal-people looking just like the dancing scene in Snow white.