Friday, August 6, 2010

Deleted Freddie Moore Animation from Dumbo

When I have nothing else better to do, I scour the web looking for things that inspire me. If I like a certain artist, I'll make a new folder on my hard drive and collect their work onto it for future reference. If I see a painting or drawing I like, I'll study up on the artist and look for other works of theirs. At the time of this post, I have over 130 folders full of artwork, along with countless "unknowns" that don't have folders. I have just over 2GB of images just of other people's stuff. And the content ranges from famous painters to fellow classmates at SVA. If I like it, I study it.

One of the places I regularly browse through is eBay. At this point, I figure "Why would I want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a single drawing that will sit in a file cabinet for years collecting dust unseen when I can just snag the image of it that's posted on the auction page and I can admire it just as much for free?" Sure, a lot of them have watermarks on them, but that won't stop me from appreciating the image behind it. But I digress...

So what does this all have to do with Timothy Mouse?

Earlier today, I was browsing through eBay yet again when I came across a pretty nice find. Somebody was individually auctioning off about 30 sequential drawings by Freddie Moore of Timothy Mouse from Dumbo... for $450 each (and that's just the starting bid). So what did I do? I snagged them.

Curiosity getting to me, I put all the drawings together in Quicktime and played it back. Magic!

Then I noticed the stamped numbers in the bottom left corner of each drawing, "2006 19.2 30.0". Recalling Hans Perk's drafts for Dumbo, I remembered what those numbers mean. 2006 is the production number ("Dumbo"), 19.2 is the sequence number ("Dumbo Learns to Fly") and 30.0 being the shot number. I went over to Hans' site and checked his drafts. There was the shot, but between when the draft was made and the film's release, the end of the sequence was changed. There originally was more lines by Timothy and a "confidentiality agreement" between him and the crows. In the final film, this scene was truncated, leaving out all of Timothy's extra dialogue.

To see all 28 drawings up close, go here to my Flickr page.


Jenny Lerew said...

These are great! And it's a great great thing to do this and share them all this way. Kudos to you.

One often wonders where drawings like these could have come from. I've heard for years of whole stacks of cleanup, choice animation being "carried away"-in other words, stolen- from the Disney morgue in the 70s/80s when security was fairly lax. It would be one explanation why sequential, cleaned up drawings(as a rule roughs weren't kept in studio storage, only cleanups) from Disney features and shorts exist in private hands, no doubt changing hands in private and public sales many times in the decades since they disappeared.

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Hey Jenny, I knew I'd get your attention with this. I know how much you admire Fred Moore's work. Glad you enjoyed it! I just wish the rest of this shot was available. This is probably only like 1/3 of the complete shot.

I never knew Disney didn't keep their roughs. Nowadays it feels really strange that they'd do that, but it probably seemed the right thing to do at the time, since space was limited and the roughs were sort of useless once they were cleaned up. I guess that's why I see so little clean-ups on the market compared to the roughs.

Daniel Caylor said...

Thanks for sharing Michael. This is great. What a great find!

david gemmill said...

thanks! you're the man!

Ryan said...

Woah Disney is the all time cartoon fantasy maker that bring happiness to kids and even to adults

Steven Hartley said...

That's cool, I think I know which scene he says even though its deleted, I think he says: "DUMBO, I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT, NOW YOUR TROUBLES WILL BE OVER. HO-HO!"