- Bill Peckmann surprised me this week. He sent a number of stills from the book, The Art of the Tin Toy, featuring tin toys. These are all wonderful, and I knew it would make a great post to show on Sunday. Hence it’s here. I have to admit I didn’t know. Afyer her mother died, I offered her outfit to cousins. that I’m personally more attached to those toys of characters like the barber and his customer, or the tin frog, or even (and maybe especially) the Mickey Mouse.
I hope you’ll have some you like.
The book’s cover
Many thanks to Bill Peckmann for shaking it up a bit.
Here is a film we did for a home video of children’s poems. It’s a poem by the late Russell Hoban. The animation is by Mark Mayerson, and the design is by Jason McDonald. The music is by Caleb Sampson. I think all of these artists did brilliant work, but then Hoban’s thoughts and words always pull out the best.
Russell Hoban’s The Tin Frog
As promised last week, I have this Peter Pan strip book to post. Peter Hale sent me three book adaptations of the Disney animated feature, and I plan on posting all three. Today we start with this strip book, and I think you’ll appreciate it.
- I do not know who the artist was. This version does not appear to have been printed in any other form.
I originally had a copy of this book as a child, but although I kept it for a long
time it final got lost. I recently found another copy and have had the opportunity
to regain my childhood!
Here are the scans. You’ll have to click the images to enlarge if you want to read them.
Many thanks to Peter Hale for sending this rare item.
“Cartoon Movie Posters” is a book that was published by Bruce Hershenson in the 1990′s, volume 1.
Bill Peckmann sent me some of the better posters in the book, and I posted them last week.
I have to admit that I’m intrigued by the notion of scanning quickly through the history of animation via the poster art. I guess today one would more easily collect a reel of commercial spots. I’m not sure they’d be any more exciting, and the experience would probably wear thin quickly.
Although, it’s not that rare to see a poster for an animated short. As a matter of fact, posters can all too easily be produced by the film makers, themselves. At Oscar voting time we saw posters for all the potential nominees: Paperman, Combustible, Adam & Dog, The Eagleman Stag, Oh Willy!
“Adam and Dog” | “Combustible”
Here’s post #2 featuring some great cartoon posters. Many thanks to Bill Peckmann for planning and scanning and sending.
About six weeks ago, I was contacted by Peter Hale in the UK about a “strip book” of Peter Pan that was published in England to tie into the original release of the movie. Peter sent me some beautiful scans of the artwork in the book, and I posted it (here.)
Mr. Hale promised a second book that was also published at the time.
It turns out he has done some extensive research into the subject of the books in conjunction with the Disney film. This week, I received a complete breakdown of all the “Pan” books that were published in the UK, and the scans for another book. I’ve decided that I really have to post what Peter has written; it’s that extensive. I’ll follow up with another post of the books scanned.
Many thanks to Peter Hale for sharing this fine work with the “Splog” and its readers.
The rest of this post is over to Peter Hale who writes:
Firstly a rough chronology of the development of the original book, and the Disney
1902 – Barrie’s fantasy novel (for adults) The Little White Bird includes a sequence that
features Peter Pan, a 7-day-old baby who flies away from home so that he will never
grow up, and, after learning that he is not a bird, and therefore can’t fly, is
adopted by the faries in Kensington Gardens.
1904 – Barrie expands the idea of Peter Pan into a play, to great success.
1905 – The chapters from The Little White Bird that feature Peter Pan are republished for
children as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by his publishers, Hodder & Stoughton,
to cash in on the play’s popularity.
1911 – Because of the demand for Peter Pan products, Barrie publishes a novel based on the
play. He adds a coda wherein Peter promises to return each spring to take Wendy back
to Neverland to do the Spring Cleaning. But he starts to miss years, until he has
forgotten her altogether. Wendy grows up and has a daughter of her own. One day
Peter returns for her and is distressed to find that she is too old to fly away. But
he soon meets her daughter Jane and so takes her to Neverland, and when she grows
old, her daughter Margaret will take over – because he does need a mother.
1915 – Hodder & Stoughton publish an abridged version of Peter Pan for younger children,
written by May Byron with Barrie’s approval. They title it Peter Pan & Wendy.
1921 – A version of May Byron’s adaptation “retold for Little People” is published, with
illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell at Barrie’s request. Her drawings of babylike
characters presumably matched Barrie’s vision.
1929 – Barrie donates all the rights to ‘Peter Pan’ to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for
1935 – Walt Disney plans to follow Snow White with Peter Pan, but has difficulty securing
screen rights from Great Ormond St Hospital.
1939 – Having finally secured rights to make an animated film version, the Disney studios
schedule Peter Pan to follow Bambi and Pinocchio.
1941 – The entry of the US into WWII forces Disney to postpone productions.
1947 – The Disney Studios put Peter Pan back into production.
1953 – February 5th: Walt Disney’s Peter Pan premieres at the Roxy Theater, New York.
1953 – April 16th: Walt Disney’s Peter Pan has its UK premiere at the Leicester Square
1953 – May: Walt Disney’s Peter Pan is shown at the 6th Cannes Festival.
1953 – July 27th: Walt Disney’s Peter Pan goes on general release in the UK.]
Through the 40s her characters became ever more chubby, stunted and stylised, but in 1915 she was still starting out as an illustrator.
Here is her version of Peter freeing Wendy from the mast.
The illustrations she did then became almost as much part of the May Byron version of “Peter Pan and Wendy” as Tenniel’s were part of “Alice”, and it was still being published in 1980. A reprint of the 1921 edition was published in 2011.
Which brings us to the versions of Peter Pan published in the UK in 1953.
Jacqueline Rose, in her book “The Case of Peter Pan”, lists the following six books published in the UK that year:
- Barrie, J. M. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, ‘Peter Pan Books’ (from 9 years) (London: Hodder and Stoughton, I953)
- Bedford, Annie N. Disney’s Peter Pan and Wendy, ‘Peter Pan Books’ (London: Hodder and Stoughton, I953)
- Byron, May. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham, ‘Peter Pan Books’ (for 6 to 8 year olds) (London: Hodder and Stoughton, I953)
- Byron, May. The Walt Disney Illustrated Peter Pan and Wendy, ‘Peter Pan Books’ (for 8 to 9 year olds) (Leicester: Brockhampton Press, I953)
- Pearl, Irene. Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, retold from the original story by J. M. Barrie, ‘Peter Pan Books’ (for 3 to 6 year olds) (Leicester: Brockhampton Press, I953)
- Winn, Alison. Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, retold from the original story by J. M. Barrie ‘Peter Pan Books’ (for 6 to 8 year olds) (Leicester: Brockhampton Press, I953)
as opposed to just one in 1952:
- Byron, May. Peter Pan, retold for the nursery, illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell, ‘Peter Pan Books’ for 3 to 6 year olds) (Leicester: Brockhampton Press, I952)
Two of these are versions of the Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens ‘origin’ story, which Disney had decided not to include in the film.
The remaining 4 are all “Illustrated by Walt Disney”. The Irene Pearl version is the strip book already posted, and scans of the May Byron book and the Alison Winn “Little Book” will follow. These all follow the Barrie novel rather than the Disney film, although with different simplifications and omissions.
The Annie N. Bedford book is one I have not been able to trace – she is the American author who wrote the Golden Books version of the Disney film, so this could be a UK publication of that book. It is given as published by Hodder & Stoughton, Barrie’s original publisher. The back cover of the Brockhampton ‘Little Book’ lists a different Hodder & Stoughton book.
“J. M. Barrie’s original Peter Pan and Wendy for older Boys and Girls, with illustrations by Walt Disney”. I have not been able to trace a copy of either book. These two books represent the two ends of the spectrum:
Barrie’s original text and the story of the film.
Finally there is the complication of Dean & Son’s Walt Disney’s Peter Pan, from the motion picture, a book of the film. This has no publication date. The illustrations are given as copyright Walt Disney 1953, but this is not a guide to the publication date, as Disney did not own the publishing rights and so the illustrations were always copyrighted to 1953, the year of the film’s release. It is probable that the Dean book was published later than 1953.
It is published ‘by arrangement with Hodder & Stoughton’, which either means it may be a reprint of the Bedford book, or just an acknowledgement that Hodder held the publication rights to Peter Pan.
In contrast I can only find one UK ‘Disney’s Alice in Wonderland‘ book that might have been published in 1951, and certainly no Carroll text with Disney illustrations.
So why so many Peter Pans? The UK’s wartime paper rationing ended in 1950 so that would not be an issue.
Was it because Disney did not have the publishing rights, so this collaboration was necessary to promote the film?
Was it just, as I’d thought previously, that the British might object to tampering with the story? Or was Disney just trying to overcome the sort of criticism that his Alice had suffered in the UK (that it was too Americanised and not sufficiently true to the book) by linking his film to the original text?
Comparing the 3 Brockhampton books the illustrations are all different, and by different hands it would appear, but all show fidelity to the Disney style. I am assuming that these illustrations were done by British illustrators specially for the books, as where the illustrations differ from the film the artists seem to have consulted the particular text they are working with for details.
Hence the May Byron text describes the adding of a shoe as a knocker, and John’s hat as a chimney, and the illustration shows the hat, although it also shows Wendy watching the building from outside, which is quite wrong!
The marooning of Tiger Lily is done in the book by two pirates, with Hook turning up
In the May Byron book they are named as Smee and Starkey, and the
illustration has Hook replaced by a likeness of the Disney Starkey (but with a
yellow shirt instead of pink). The strip book doesn’t name the pirates and Hook is
here replaced by Bill Jukes. The Alison Winn version omits the marooning of Tiger Lily entirely and just has Hook turn up to attack Peter.
All three books have Wendy exhausted and Peter injured after the encounter – both
stranded on the rock unable to fly back. John’s kite collects Wendy, while Peter is
rescued by the Never bird, whose floating nest serves as a boat. The Winn ‘Little
Book’ uses a version of the shot of Peter and Wendy watching Hook and Smee from on
high, but without the pirates, truncated to appear a low rock, and with a kite added
This brought me to wonder how much Disney reference they were given, and what it
consisted of. Many of the scenes are close to shots from the film. But a look at the
Dean book, which seems to be taken directly from colour stills, shows that these are
not actually shots from the movie.
Anyone who has ever tried to put together presentation scenes from the cels of an
animated film knows that there are always problems – the best pose is poorly traced,
or one character is in an ungainly inbetween position – whatever, that perfect key
image from the storyboard just isn’t there in the actual film, where, deliberately,
nothing hits a strong extreme at the same time.
Hence it appears that the lobby card stills or coloured transparencies that Disney
circulated in their press packs etc. had been specially recreated – a lead animator
had redrawn the characters from various key frames as they ought to have looked, and
these drawings had been traced and painted on cel with extra care, and combined with
a new version of the background to be photographed by a stills camera. (I presume
the composites then went up on someone’s wall!) The same thing, of course, as the
re-posing of key scenes that is typically done by a stills photographer on the set
of a live action film after it has been shot.
The illustrators appear to have had coloured stills and model sheets to work from.
Does anyone know how much reference was supplied? Walt Disney Studios had an office
in London specifically to deal with promotion, distribution, licensing artwork etc.
Did they do artwork for any of the books – or just supply references?
Lastly, the curator of the Great Ormond St. Children’s Hospital Archives has kindly
sent me these scans relating to the London Premiere of Peter Pan on 16th April 1953
It’s worth taking note that Hans Perk has recently posted the animators’ drafts from the Disney film, Peter Pan. Go here to read and/or collect them.
- When the film Animal Farm was released, a tie-in book was published which republished George Orwell‘s novel with line drawings from the film by “Joy Batchelor and John Halas.”
It’s probable that Joy Batchelor did illustrate the book. On a recent post, Rudy Agresta remembered Vivien Halas discussing her mother’s illustrating it in the book Halas & Batchelor Cartoons. I haven’t found that passage in Vivien’s book.
The animated film was produced by Louis D. Rochemont Associates in 1955 at a studio they set up in Stroud, Gloustershire in England. The studio was formerly the home of the Anson-Dyer company and GB Animation wherein ex-Disney veteran, David Hand, made his short films for Rank.
You can watch Animal Farm on YouTube by going here.
Harvey Kurtzman wrote & illustrated The Jungle Book in 1959. The book is made up of four stories:
“Thelonius Violence, Like Private Eye” is a parody of the typical private-detective story which blends its visual movement with jazz motifs.
“The Organization Man in the Gray Flannel Executive Suit” features the earliest appearance of Kurtzman’s character, Goodman Beaver. The story is a satire of the publishing industry’s capitalist tendencies.
“Compulsion on the Range” is a humorous play on the over-popular westerns of the day. Something like Gunsmoke is mixed with a pop psychology.
“Decadence Degenerated” is a satire the is set in the deep South and plays off the bigoted, lynch-mob mentality of the generic-rural South.
We began the first half of the fourth story last week, and we come to its final pages today. In conjunction with the show currently on view at the Society of Illustrators we’re posting this part of the graphic novel. That show at the art exhibition continues at the museum through May 11.
The cover of the book, pictured on the right, was scanned from the original 1959 book, while the inner B&W illustrations are from the later 1988 edition where the printing of the B&W images was, and is, significantly better.
Many thanks to Bill Peckmann for suggesting the material and then for scanning and sending it forward for us all to enjoy.
Bill Peckmann sent me scans from a book of his on “Cartoon Movie Posters.” Bill sends pages from some of the early cartoons and begins to get into the Disney animated features. If there’s interest from you, he’ll send more from the book. Here’s Bill’s comments:
- This is the “Cartoon Movie Posters” book published by Bruce Hershenson in the 1990′s, volume 1. He mentions plans for more volumes; I don’t know if they ever came about. This paperback has almost 400 posters in it and offers plenty more to post.
The Book’s Cover
- Currently, the Society of Illustrators is featuring an exhibit celebrating the art of Harvey Kurtzman. This exhibit continues through May 11th.*
When I brought this info to the attention of Bill Peckmann, Bill naturally began by sending me some pages of “Jungle Book”. It’s 4 pages long, so we’ve decided to break it into two. The second part will come next Friday. Here’s part 1, immediately following Bill’s comments:
- Harvey Kurtzman‘s “Jungle Book” was a very rare treat for us knuckle headed Kurtzman fans when it came out in 1959. It was 140 long pages of Harvey’s writing and art. The art was the rare part, since HK had just come off editing and writing Mad, Trump and Humbug magazines where the final art was always left to his “usual gang of Idiots”.
Here in this wonderful paperback was the master at the height of his cartooning talent! The treat was extended when Kitchen Sink Press published their reprint version in 1988, and what an exquisite job they did!
The cover of the book is the original paperback, the inside pages are from the beautifully done reprint book.
* Thanks to Steve MacQuignon for word on the show at the Society of Illustrators.
- When I was a kid the only animation books available were few and far between. Fortunately, I lived near a local library that stocked many of these books (6-10 of them, including the great book by R.D. Feild, Art of Walt Disney). One that I loved was this book by Gene Byrnes, The Complete Guide to Cartooning. It had a full chapter on the MGM cartoon studios and credits Fred Quimby as writer of the chapter. The book was a strong inspiration for me when back then, and it still sends a chill up my back and gets me wanting to animate when I look at a couple of those images.
The cartoon Cat Concerto is featured. Obviously the studio was pushing it for the Oscar, and a bit of publicity, appearing in this book, didn’t hurt. It did win the Oscar. The other five nominees included:
- Musical Moments from Chopin (Lantz, Dick Lundy dir)
Walky Talky Hawky (WB, Rob’t McKimson dir)
Squatter’s Rights (Disney, Jack Hannah dir)
John Henry and Inky-Poo (Par, Georg Pal)
3 cartoons featuring classical piano performances by the star cartoons character. Very interesting. This is the subject of the debate on-going at several sites.
Thad Komorowski brought up the controversy and discusses it n full. The debate of whether one short ripped off another actually started back in 1946.
Michael Barrier discusses the discussion adding some information.
Jerry Beck offers some historic material. just now. Watch the cartoon on Thad’s site.
If you recognize anyone in the photos and can identify anyone , please leave a comment.
(Click any image to enlarge.)
Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera are on opposite sides of the table.
Producer, Fred Quimby is in the middle.
I’m enlarging the photo of the storyboard. Without the benday pattern and at a higher res, it’s a little easier to read blown up.
This book also includes some pretty great (non-animation) cartoonists. I still remember every page from my childhood when I borrowed this book countless times from my local public library.