Animation Artifacts &Disney &Story & Storyboards 27 Nov 2007 08:48 am

Bill Peet’s Dumbo Board

- Thanks to a loan from John Canemaker, I can continue posting some of the brilliant storyboard work of Bill Peet. The guy was a masterful artist. Every panel gives so much inspiration and information to the animators, directors and artists who’ll follow up on his work.

This is the sequence from Dumbo wherein baby Dumbo plays around the feet of his mother. Brilliantly animated by Bill Tytla, this sequence is one of the greatest ever animated. No rotoscoping, no MoCap. Just brilliant artists collaborating with perfect timing, perfect structure, perfect everything. Tytla said he watched his young son at home to learn how to animate Dumbo. Bill Peet told Mike Barrier that he was a big fan of circuses, so he was delighted to be working on this piece. Both used their excitement and enthusiasm to bring something brilliant to the screen, and it stands as a masterpiece of the medium.

Of this sequence and Tytla’s animation, Mike Barrier says in Hollywood Cartoons: What might otherwise be mere cuteness acquires poignance because it is always shaded by a parent’s knowledge of pain and risk. If Dumbo “acted” more, he would almost certainly be a less successful character—”cuter,” probably, in the cookie-cutter manner of so many other animated characters, but far more superficial.

I had to take the one very long photstat and reconfigure it in photoshop so that you could enlarge these frames to see them well. I tried to keep the feel of these drawings pinned to that board in tact.

(Click any image to enlarge.)

Bill Peet at his desk on Dumbo.
_______________________________________________Tomorrow, Bill Tytla‘s Dumbo.

10 Responses to “Bill Peet’s Dumbo Board”

  1. on 27 Nov 2007 at 1:06 pm 1.Mary Schnerk Lincoln said …

    I love your site! Dumbo is one of my favorite animated movies. It was one of my dad’s (Jack Schnerk) favorites also. If I remember correctly, he also worked on the scene of Dumbo taking a bath, and receiving the magic feather. I wish I had written more of his stories down about his early years in animation.

  2. on 27 Nov 2007 at 2:22 pm 2.Alan said …

    Thanks so much for posting this!

  3. on 01 Dec 2007 at 11:21 pm 3.Will Finn said …

    Bill Peet once extensively claimed credit for the animation of this sequence in addition to the story work, telling HOGAN’S ALLEY magazine that Tytla was utterly flummoxed by articulating the action of baby Dumbo in the tub, particularly circling around underwater. According to Peet, Tytla finally begged him to go over his rough drawings, which he did. Apparently he lived to regret it, and begrudged Tytla for the credit he got on the work.

    I suspect this is true. Having seen a good number of Bill Peet’s drawings “in person” I can say they are nothing short of phenomenal and his range was even wider than what his frequently seen work hints at. I suspect what we are watching in this scene is an actual on-screen, collaboration between these two great artists.

    Thanks for posting this generous slice of his boards.

  4. on 04 Dec 2007 at 6:22 pm 4.Avi Solomon said …

    Thanks a lot for posting this- Peet’s work is simply superb!
    My 2 year old son is simply nuts over Dumbo and I was able to take him flying with Dumbo in Fantasyland last week!
    Canemaker’s Dumbo audio commentary is illuminating.

  5. on 05 Dec 2007 at 12:38 am 5.Michael said …

    I agree with you. I think John Canemaker’s commentary on that dvd is far and away the best commentary on any dvd program. It’s so controlled yet relaxed, intimate yet informative. It’s worth as much as the rest of the dvd.

  6. on 08 Jan 2008 at 4:13 pm 6.rofRoopeSet said …

    this much it is
    necessary , for people

  7. on 24 Jun 2008 at 4:49 am 7.yannick said …

    Magnifique… merci pour ces superbes images !!a quand les prochaines :) see u soon, yannick.

  8. on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:12 am 8.zahra dirakvand said …

    thanking you so much for puting these wonderful sketches from disney legends in this site .could you please put some more disney legebds’ paintings or classic postcards from disney studio like john hench and many others .once again i appreciate for bringing joy & happiness throughout the world with these memorable masterpieces.

  9. on 15 Jul 2009 at 5:58 am 9.sunhuntin said …

    i grew up on bill peets books. some 25 years since he last picked up a copy, dad can recite big bad bruce word for word. i cant remember when i first made the connection between the bill peet in the credits of 101 dalmations and the bill peet of my beloved books, but i was astounded. thank you so much for posting up these boards and the photo of bill… ive always wondered what he looked like.

  10. on 08 Jan 2010 at 8:49 pm 10.thybrinnara said …

    (I know this sounds corny) Like for e.g how scene kids get there photos like that. I need programs that make that kind of effect.

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