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Best Disney Deal I Ever Passed Up - "Skeleton Dance" Animation Drawings

Discussion in 'Disney / Pixar' started by sidestreetsam, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Folks!

    I kick myself every time I think of this one. I attended the 1980 Golden State Comics Convention in San Diego. It was a small affair held in Eagle Hall off University Avenue in University Heights. Someone was offering a set of animation drawings from Walt Disney's "Skeleton Dance" (1929), the first Silly Symphonie release. The drawings were in sequence and drawn by the legendary Ub Iwerks. It was from the scene where the skeleton walks into the camera and the chatters its teeth on extreme closeup. The set of twenty drawings was priced at $200. I didn't have that kind of dough at this show. So I had to pass on this one. It's enough to make a grown man cry.

    Here's a YouTube link for your viewing pleasure;
  2. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

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    Wow. Just wow. How sure are you they were authentic?
  3. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Howdy, Dave! They were absolutely authentic! Here's how I could tell. The animation paper had the correct coloring due to age. Also, the two punches for the registration were at the top of the drawings as were all early Disney cartoon shorts. Disney did not adopt the bottom registration punches until the early thirties. Not too many people know this. Finally, Ub Iwerks animated the entire cartoon. There were no inbetween animators. Iwerks used a fascinating system utilizing different colored pencils, black for key drawings, red for first inbetween, blue pencil for the secondary inbetweens, etc... Amazing to look at actually. This was back in 1980 before the lid was blown off the animation collectible field. Deals like this were not uncommon. Now I'm going to go and have a little cry... (ha-ha)

    P.S. A bunch of people have been listed as doing uncredited animation on this short. Walt Disney, Les Clark, Wilfred Jackson, and even Roy O. Disney(?). But it just isn't so. Iwerks was a fantastically fast animator and may have recieved some help cleaning-up the drawings for inking.
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  4. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

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    DId you knotice the watermark on the paper? Should have been Statford Bond I believe....
  5. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    Howdy, Dave! Statford Bond? Hmmm... I thought it was Strathmore Bond. Seriously though, there is one really important thing I somehow forgot to mention! The craftsmanship and the technical skill of the artwork was simply magnificent! Whoever drew this was a master of his craft. You can't fake this stuff. You can always tell fakes. They don't smell right!

    Check out the YouTube video somewhere around 4:07 into it. This is the scene from the drawings. All the intricate shading around the skull was perfectly detailed in different shades of color on the drawings. Hand written instructions regarding the grey paint used for shadows was included on a few drawings.
  6. Allstarcs

    Allstarcs Newbie New Member

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    In my opinion Animation drawings are the single best value in the "animation" market. One can find examples from many of the classic features in the hand of the "key" animator. Not that the in-betweeners were to shabby either.

    Joe
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
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  7. sidestreetsam

    sidestreetsam Moderator Staff Member Forum Member New Member

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    ~ Hey, Joe!

    You are preaching to the choir here! I couldn't agree with you more. Not only are animation drawings cheaper than cels (by a large margin) they are invariably more expressive and energetic than the final painted cels. While animation cels are amazing in their own right, I feel even the best ones lose some of the dynamic energy expressed in the original drawings. Also, for someone like myself who is obsessively interested in the mechanics of the animation process I find all the little production notes and extra info on the drawings to be highly fascinating.

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