Animation Artifacts &Articles on Animation &Disney 29 Jul 2009 07:47 am

Pluto models

- When I posted the Goofy model notes I thought that I’d finished posting all that I had. Well I’ve just come up with this series of excellent lecture notes on drawing Pluto and his character. Ted Sears leads us to Norm Ferguson, who was the promary speaker for this lecture given to the Disney animation group back in 1936. They gave up drawing these characters so beautifully way back in the Thirties.

These finish off the character analysis lecture notes I have. You can find those for Mickey, Donald and Goofy elsewhere on this blog.
An edited form of these notes were published in Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston‘s The Illusion of Life.

Here are the Pluto notes:

1 2
(Click any image to enlarge.)

3 4

5 6





These drawings just never made it to the How to Draw Pluto
book that they sold at Disneyland in the Fifties.
Too much raw life and funny pictures.




All that’s left is for me to post the How to Draw Mickey and How to Draw Donald books from the Art Center at Disneyland. Next week.

4 Responses to “Pluto models”

  1. on 29 Jul 2009 at 10:55 am 1.Dilworth said …

    Mike, what an essential read for all creators of TV series or other in understanding how to write a character description. Taken even further, the designs offer bible material for overseas production. Great instincts on posting this material. Art schools would do well to profit from this material. Well done.

  2. on 29 Jul 2009 at 3:57 pm 2.Michael said …

    I hadn’t thought about the usefullness of these pages for bible prep, but you’re of course right on the money about it.

  3. on 29 Jul 2009 at 5:07 pm 3.Dilworth said …

    You cannot imagine how often I hear executives speak about the poor quality of “bibles”. And during my consulting for creators/producers the primary revision is always describing who their characters are. And more vital to development of personality on paper are the sketches of the character living! A secret known to most artists living on the line is the magical insights that come from the sketches. They reveal personality! We’re psychologists in part after all.

  4. on 30 Jul 2009 at 6:36 am 4.Mark Mayerson said …

    It’s important to remember that this material was created after Pluto appeared on screen. It’s an attempt to clarify and distill what the Disney artists learned through experience so that experience could be passed on to others.

    Series bibles are mostly written before material reaches the screen. Worse, they are carved in stone. Typically, several episodes are in production before the first is even completed and evaluated.

    The problem is not the bibles themselves but the way in which they are created. If characters are allowed to change and grow — if everyone has a chance to experiment to discover what really works and who a character really is — then bibles would work, too.

    It’s not the quality of the writing or thinking in bibles, it’s the lack of actual experience with a character that makes them so weak.

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