Animation &Animation Artifacts &Models &Richard Williams 21 Aug 2007 07:22 am

Raggedy Models

– As I posted last Friday, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Raggedy Ann & Andy: the Musical, I’m going to post a bunch of artwork from this film. I’m not even sure much of this material is of interest to anyone but those who worked on the movie, but since I worked on it, I’m interested.

Here are a bunch of model sheets of the secondary characters. The film opens in a playroom, and lots of toys inhabit these first few minutes. They all suffer from the same problem – too much. There are too many lines, there were too many colors, there was too much flailing-about animation. It would have been better to keep it a bit quieter, but that was never the Dick Williams way.

Here they are, right off Xeroxed copies:

Most of these model sheets were pulled from completed animation. In the case of this
group shot, Dick Williams did these drawings in reworking Fred Helmich’s animation in
the “No Girl’s Toy” musical number.

I really have to encourage you to click these images to enlarge. Gramps is the
perfect example of the brilliant detail that Dick Williams put into his animation.

Both these Gramps model sheets represent separate scenes. Most of the key drawings
from the scenes were placed on these models.

Here’s the walk cycle of Gramps done by Spencer Peel and approved by Dick Williams.

Hal Ambro did the animation on the Babette character, at least in the opening of the film where it was good. Dick Williams did the clean-up and inbetweens, himself.

Dick’s clean-up did a stunningly brilliant job of locking in this character. I’m not quite sure we had anyone else on staff who could have done this character as well. Dick Williams is
an enormous talent, but it was too bad he was limited to inbetweening.

Maxi Fix-it was a nothing of a character, yet he involved endless energy in animation and clean-up. No wonder the film’s budget quadrupled during production, and it wasn’t enough.

Susie Pincushion was just another character who had 22 colors on her.

The drawings that were used for this preliminary model sheet were by designer, Corny Cole. What a talent! The character looks as though it could have fallen out of the oriiginal books by Johnny Gruelle. The life in each and every one of these drawings was solid gold. Too bad it ended up such a lifeless and annoying character when it finally hit the screen.

The clean up guide for the knight shows you what’s been lost.

Queasy was the parrot that sat on the Pirate’s shoulder. Arnold Stang did his voice.

The animation of the pirate ship was split between Corny Cole and Doug Crane. I have
a couple of scenes done by Corny with his Bic pen animation. Someday I’ll post some of these drawings, but it’ll be a big chore to do it. Each drawing is so large that it’ll take three scans for each one and will require photoshop reconsrtuction. Lotsa work.
But they’re beautiful drawings, so it’ll probably be worth it if I can find the time.

13 Responses to “Raggedy Models”

  1. on 21 Aug 2007 at 11:03 am 1.Janet said …

    Thanks for the model sheets! How well I remember the egg boxes full of little plastic containers of cel paint, one or two dozen colors or more for each character, that I had to get for the painting I did on this movie! It was my second job in animation.

    Years later, I saw the cel that was stolen from Nina Beattie’s desk one night during the production, framed on the wall of Fred Berner’s son’s room in NYC. Fred was second Assistant Director on the film, and thought that the cel that took Nina more than 2 days to paint would look great on his baby son’s nursery wall! It was of the glass globe holding the ship model of the Captain’s pirate ship (not the Looney Boat)on the water with the Captain himself and Pirate and Parrot in it. Who can guess how many colors were on it?!

    I would like to volunteer to get the ink and paint dept. together for the NY reunion. Do you have contact info for Ida Greenberg?

  2. on 21 Aug 2007 at 12:30 pm 2.Ken Priebe said …

    Thanks for posting these Michael! Beautiful work!

  3. on 21 Aug 2007 at 6:49 pm 3.Brian Meyer said …

    wonderful model sheets. Thank you. Richard Williams drawings are just beautiful.

  4. on 21 Aug 2007 at 7:01 pm 4.David Nethery said …

    I had Dick’s model sheet entitled “THE Grandpa Model Sheet” (June ’76)
    and a set of his drawings of Andy from No Girl’s Toy (photocopied from the Canemaker book, pg. 105) pinned up above my animation table at Disney’s for inspiration. Dick’s clean-up line is a beautiful thing.

    I do love that Corny Cole version of the Looney Knight. I haven’t seen that sheet before. Corny is amazing. I got to sit in on a few of his drawing classes given over at the former Depatie-Freleng building (by then it was Marvel Productions) when Muppet Babies was in production . ( I was working at Bluth’s not at Marvel, but it was an after-hours thing that Corny did for anyone who wanted to come and learn) . I was so intimidated that I didn’t quite know what to do … I like to think something good rubbed off on me from those sessions , but I’m sure I’d appreciate it a lot more now.

  5. on 21 Aug 2007 at 8:37 pm 5.Amid said …

    Beautiful pieces Mike. Thanks for sharing. Just a random note, but I think Spencer Peel who you mention above is in this UPA staff photo here. He’s the guy in the glasses and black suit standing next to Bobe Cannon…or do I have him confused with somebody else?

  6. on 21 Aug 2007 at 10:10 pm 6.John said …

    Michael, you can probably find a computer/printing shop in your neighborhood with an oversized scanner for copying large documents like blueprints. They could scan and digitize Cole’s drawings (though of course the price for doing it in one pass and not having to paste to together with Photoshop would be having to pay for the work).

  7. on 22 Aug 2007 at 4:00 am 7.Brian said …

    Thanks for posting the images. I remember seeing the film on home video when I was young. Such beautiful drawings.

  8. on 22 Aug 2007 at 4:58 am 8.Matt Jones said …

    This is interesting to those who DIDN’T work on the project too! I’ve been a fan of Dick Williams’ work since seeing THIEF in college & discovered RAGGEDY later on when I came across Canemaker’s book. Last year I a friend who worked on THIEF let me scan a whole sequence of storyboards he possessed drawn by Cole-in bic pen-I sent the scans to Garret Gilchrist for his ‘re’cobbled’ THIEF project.
    Please post more RAGGEDY material if you can-

  9. on 23 Aug 2007 at 7:23 am 9.Bruce said …

    It isn’t too often that you would find art work on such a forgotten film, especially this one. I agree that the initial design for the Looney Knight Character is brilliant, & it looks like it could be a fun character to animate, but so much was lost in the clean up. Just like you, I couldn’t stand him for a second when I saw this film last summer.

    The parrot design is my favorite out of the bunch, and I didn’t know Richard’s talent was limited to in-betweens. A brilliant fellow, as brilliant as they come, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Would it be possible to tell us some more stories about working with Richard?

  10. on 23 Aug 2007 at 8:35 am 10.Michael said …

    Hi Bruce. The parrot was a good character, perhaps a forerunner of the one in Aladdin or perhaps progeny of the parrot in Iwerks’ Sinbad.

    Dick’s art work would have been more useful if he had animated scenes and left inbetweening – no matter how poor – to be done by others. However, there can be no doubt that any scene he touched was brilliant. Some of my favorite animation in that film is in the opening credits, and Dick did all that animation in what seemed to be minutes. If he had done some of the looney knight there might have been a character there.

  11. on 30 Aug 2007 at 5:15 pm 11.C. Stulz said …

    Thosemodel sheets are fantastic!
    Any word on when we might get this lost gem on DVD?

  12. on 16 Jan 2008 at 5:09 pm 12.Raymond Osborne said …

    My name is Raymond Osborne and I went to school with Corny and Peter in the mid 40s and we were buddies.I was taken from Santa Monica suddenly and never had a chance to say goodbye.I dont know how to write Corny and I dont know if he would even remember me,so I am posting this letter in the hopes that he will read it.

  13. on 17 Aug 2008 at 2:02 pm 13.Andy Bauer said …

    Thank you for this post! I LOVED this movie when I was a kid. I recently stumbled across some clips on youTube. And after I watched them I felt so nostalgic. I’m an artist myself, probably this movie has a little something to do with that. =)

    I was searching online and that’s how I found your excellent blog.

    So, I created some fan art of my favorite character, The Camel that I would like to share. And thanks for this great post!

    Fan Art by Andy Buaer – The Camel

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