Animation Artifacts &Disney &Layout & Design 26 Jan 2009 09:01 am

Fantasia Flowers

- Here’s a floral fantasy worth viewing.

What follows are three variations of Background art done early on for Fantasia.

(Click any image to enlarge.)

This is a pastel layout, possibly done by Al Zinnen, the Art Director of the sequence.
It looks almost identical to the final.

Here is a stunning final work of art. This background is by Sam Armstrong who headed the department on the sequence. It is, at least partially, pastel – still soft and glowing some 68 years later. I love how the addition on the lower right (see the B&W layout above) beautifully finishes the composition.

Here, you can see the back of the background – OK’d by SA, who did it.
F-MB 903 (Fantasia – Master Background 903)

Finally, see Disney with Stokowski in a publicity shot holding Armstrong’s background.
Apparently, the pegholes have been cut off since 1940.

This comment from Alexander Rannie was interesting enough that I thought I should add it to this post:

    Dear Michael,

    During a recent trip to the Disney Photo Library I ran across a publicity photo of Stokowski seated at the piano in Walt’s office with Walt standing just behind him. There was some music propped up on the music stand of the piano and my curiosity got the better of me.

    So, loupe in hand, I peered intently to see if I could determine what music from Fantasia had been set before the great maestro so that he could bring the classics to life on Walt’s piano.

    Well, imagine my surprise at seeing a production number that didn’t match that of Fantasia. And the music wasn’t for piano, but for Woodwind I. And one of the pages was upside-down to boot!

    And then there was that familiar melody, the notes of which I could just make out.

    Paula Sigman Lowery was seated across from me and, knowing she’s not only a historian but a musician, I said, “Do you recognize this theme: La, la, la-la-la-la, La?”

    “Isn’t that Pluto’s theme?”, she said.

    Of course it was.

    So the music that the great Stokowski is playing from is actually a Woodwind I part from Bone Trouble. And this music gets around: it’s the same music in the photo of Walt and Stoki that you posted with the Sam Armstrong background and can even be found lurking in a publicity photo of Norm Ferguson and Deems Taylor looking at material from “Dance of the Hours.”

    I love Hollywood.

    Best regards,

One Response to “Fantasia Flowers”

  1. on 26 Jan 2009 at 9:30 am 1.hans bacher said …

    michael, this is incredible! I am trying to recreate that stuff and you find one of the originals. w h e r e ? I wish I could see it closer… so far I have only seen one color sketch from that sequence, the one that I bought! expensive!
    thank you for posting this T R E A S U R E !!!!!

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