Animation &Animation Artifacts &Disney 10 Jun 2009 07:34 am

Tytla’s Stromboli 2

This note arrived from Borge Ring after my first post Bill Tytla’s scene featuring Stromboli’s mood swing:

    The Arch devotees of Milt Kahl have tearfull misgivings about Wladimir Tytla’s magnificent language of distortions. ‘”Yes, he IS good. But he has made SO many ugly drawings”

    Musicologists will know that Beethoven abhorred the music of Johan Sebastian Bach.


My first post spoke a bit about the distortion Tytla would use to his advantage to get an emotional gesture across. It’s part of the “animating forces instead of forms” method that Tytla used. This is found in Stromboli’s face in the first post. In this one look for this arm in drawing #50. It barely registers but gives strength to the arm move before it as his blouse follows through in extreme.

There’s also some beautiful and simple drawing throughout this piece. Stromboli is, basically, a cartoon character that caricatures reality beautifully. A predecessor to Cruella de Vil. In drawings 76 to 80 there’s a simple turn of the hand that is nicely done by some assistant. A little thing among so much bravura animation.

Many people don’t like the exaggerated motion of Stromboli. However, I think it’s perfectly right for the character. He’s Italian – prone to big movements. He’s a performer who, like many actors in real life, goes for the big gesture. In short his character is all there – garlic breath and all. It’s not cliched and it’s well felt and thought out. Think of the Devil in “Night on Bald Mountain” that would follow, then the simply wonderful and understated Dumbo who would follow that. Tytla was a versatile master.

Here’s part 2 of the scene:

(Click any image to enlarge.)



















The full scene with all drawings.
Click left side of the black bar to play.
Right side to watch single frame.

8 Responses to “Tytla’s Stromboli 2”

  1. on 10 Jun 2009 at 10:45 am 1.Gene Hole said …

    you know, I scrolled to the end and watched the clip first, and the very first thing i noticed was that subtle little hand turn on 76-80. I too figure, great job by the assisant, but that kind of collaborative process only makes animation like this all the more spectacular.
    also the contrast between such small movements and the big broad stuff i think is what helps balance it out and make it believeable, gives it a real “illusion of life.” Not EVERYTHING in animation needs to be a grotesque extreme. Striking that mix of big and little moments and the contrasts that provides seems to be a key part of getting it right.
    great post!

  2. on 10 Jun 2009 at 11:24 am 2.Michael said …

    Great comment. Take a look at this drawing on Bob Cowan‘s great site. It’s one of Stromboli with Tytla asking the assistant to finish the drawing. The assitant’s work is impossible to separate from the master’s. Great line work, beautiful drawing.

  3. on 10 Jun 2009 at 12:03 pm 3.Tom Sito said …

    I remember back on RaggedyAnn when George Bakes, who was one of Bill’s assistants, took a few of us to a tired old greasy spoon coffee shop on 48th(?). He said it was once Bill Tytla’s favorite eateries. That was enough for Richard Williams, who immediately dropped to his knees and kowtowed the front door,chanting “Tytlaaaaaaaaaa” much to the surprise of the patrons inside.

  4. on 10 Jun 2009 at 12:38 pm 4.Rusty Mills said …

    Once again. Thank you for this. Oh to have been an assistant to such a master. How could you not help but improve?

  5. on 10 Jun 2009 at 1:38 pm 5.John Celestri said …

    Being the Tytlaphile that I am, I would love to see the exposure sheet timings for this scene—or any other evidence of how he planned his acting/movements.

  6. on 10 Jun 2009 at 2:34 pm 6.Eric Noble said …

    Wonderful, and awe-inspiring. Bill Tytla was truly a master of the medium. His drawings do take on a life of their own, even as single drawings.

    I wonder if part of the reason his work on a character like Stromboli is because of his own similarities to the character. I’ve heard Bill Tytla could be quite mercurial, with a temper to match Stromboli’s.

  7. on 11 Jun 2009 at 10:58 am 7.Ray Kosarin said …

    This is astonishing and radical work. Tytla is a master (and I, at least, forget him too easily and most unjustly: blame it on the Disney strike and history’s being written by the winners). His command is so complete that his distortions and liberties, startling as they are in one drawing, are vividly and ineffably more correct than not to do them. His grotesque tensions and resolutions are masterful in a sixth-sense way that defies easy rulebook summing up. His being able to see so clearly, drawing to drawing, where power and expression live–and keep so tight a rein on believeability–is staggering. We’ve barely arrived at animation’s so-called ‘Golden Age’, and Tytla’s already knocking them out of the park.

  8. on 11 Jun 2009 at 5:44 pm 8.hasani said …

    simply amazing, these types of artworks are the ones that motivate me to enter this site, please dont stop.

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