Animation &Animation Artifacts &Disney 25 May 2010 08:05 am

Baby Mine Breakdown

Hans Perk has been posting the drafts for Dumbo, and this has led Mark Mayerson to post the brilliant Mosaics he’s creating for the film.
Here’s a recap of a sequence I wrote about for the film, the Baby Mine sequence.


- Dumbo is certainly one of my favorite Disney features if not THE favorite. Naturally, the “Baby Mine” sequence is a highlight. The sequence is so tender and fine-tuned to appear straightforward and simple. This, of course, is the heart of excellence. It seems simple and doesn’t call attention to itself.

This is a storyboard composed of LO drawings from the opening of that sequence. They appear to be BG layouts with drawings of the characters cut out and pasted in place.

It’s not really a storyboard, and I’ve always wondered what purpose such boards served to the Disney machine back in the Golden Age.

Below is the board as it stands in the photograph.

_____________(Click any image to enlarge.)

Here is the same photographed board, split up so that I can post it in larger size. I’ve also interspersed frame grabs from the actual sequence for comparison.

Info from Hans Perk at A Film LA:

Directed by Bill Roberts and John/Jack Elliotte, assistant director Earl Bench, layout Al Zinnen.

Animation by Bill Tytla (Dumbo & Mrs. Jumbo’s trunk), Fred Moore (Timothy) and assorted animals by Bob Youngquist, Harvey Toombs, Ed Aardal and John Sewell.

12 Responses to “Baby Mine Breakdown”

  1. on 25 May 2010 at 9:55 am 1.Stephen Macquignon said …

    Even in layouts it can bring a tear to my eyes

  2. on 25 May 2010 at 9:55 am 2.richard o'connor said …

    This is probably my favorite sequence in a Disney film.

    Their animation can be so moving when they drop all that incessant smiling.

  3. on 25 May 2010 at 10:55 am 3.Daniel Caylor said …

    Amazing stuff. Thanks Michael :)

  4. on 25 May 2010 at 11:46 am 4.John Celestri said …

    To me, these feel like animation drawings. I have nothing to base this statement on, other than my gut reaction. They are all beautiful drawings.

  5. on 25 May 2010 at 2:09 pm 5.Peter Hale said …

    I agree, animation drawings. I think this is a dummy storyboard for promotional purposes – perhaps to illustrate a magazine article, or maybe for a later TV show. They’ve used the animator’s key drawings because the original storyboard sketches were too rough, or ragged, or just not available.

    One of the most extreme fake storyboards I’ve seen is in a 1949 newsreel about George Moreno’s British Animated Productions’s ‘Bubble & Squeek’. The supposed storyboard is made up of cels from the finished production.

  6. on 25 May 2010 at 3:16 pm 6.doug vitarelli said …

    best animated scene ever.

  7. on 26 May 2010 at 12:29 am 7.Eric Noble said …

    “Even in layouts it can bring a tear to my eyes.”

    I know the feeling. I still get choked up everytime I watch it. Thank you Mr. Sporn for sharing these with us. Dumbo is a testament to how powerful animation can be to express emotion. God bless all of the wonderfully talented artists who came together to make Dumbo possible.

  8. on 26 May 2010 at 11:38 am 8.John V. said …

    Can anyone make out what the writing says on that Timothy drawing?

  9. on 26 May 2010 at 11:55 am 9.Michael said …

    I think the Timothy drawing is asking the assistant to trace back the tail on another level and call it H-1.

  10. on 26 May 2010 at 10:29 pm 10.simon said …

    I heard in an interview with Bill Peet that Tytla was making a mess of this scene, and Peet took credit for animating it, said he reworked all Tytla’s drawings…

    Don’t know if that’s true or not, i think it may have been in Peet’s biography, but I do know that when I saw the boards of dumbo that he did, on here, it gave more credence to the idea. You ever hear anything to that effect? I’m pretty sure you an find the interview by doing a search, if it’s not in his book.

  11. on 27 May 2010 at 7:58 am 11.Peter Hale said …

    The Peet interview can be seen at Hogan’s Alley:

    It seems that Tytla was having trouble drawing the elephants (on his first scene of them) and asked Peet if he would go over his drawings for him.

    Whilst Peet probably did redraw all the drawings he was sent, which probably WAS the whole scene, it seems to me more likely that these were the extremes rather than every frame, as he claims.

    And I’m guessing that the drawings would still have been in the ‘rough’ stage at this point.

  12. on 28 May 2010 at 11:26 am 12.Steven Hartley said …

    Like I’ve said, I did think that Eric Larsen’s work could have had been done in the film, but it seems that he MIGHT have been supervising the animators on the animal work, because they do look like Eric’s work, its a suprise to see Bob Youngquist doing some animal work.

    Wonderful song, wonderful scenes!

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