- Hans Perk, on his site A Film LA, has been posting the complete set of Drafts for Pinocchio, and after my post of the Jiminy Cricket run last week, I feel compelled to give more from this great Disney film.
I have this walk – Pinocchio with strings, as operated by Gepetto from above. It’s one of the most complex problems I can imagine, and I think you have to be something of a genius animator to pull it off. Needless to say, Frank Thomas did. He mastered all the challenges of the weight of the object to allow you to completely disbelieve you were watching drawings move, yet you were able to get into the mind of the puppeteer.
It’s a brilliant piece of acting. A lifeless creature given life through Gepetto’s manipulation. The scene, of course, contrasts with the “Got No Strings” number where Pinocchio dances among puppets that are manipulated by the professional puppeteer, Stromboli, as opposed to the non-professional, Gepetto. It’s so complex yet done so well that it looks simple.
The drafts list this film as Prod. F3, but the drawings are labelled as F5. I’m not sure what else F5 could stand for since it’s certainly not the seq or sc number. Confusion on my part.
Here they are. Enlarge all images by clicking them.
Note that the drawings read from Right to Left:
I love Pinocchio’s hand grazing the ground as he’s moved forward. The thrust of his body is all in the head, butt and upper back, as are most marionettes. The strings are an extension of the puppeteer’s hands.
As the back leg goes up and around, the smiling face comes back around to us. Pinocchio’s butt is up there with that foot. A great puppeteer wouldn’t have Pinocchio bent over in this walk, as we see later in Stromboli’s characters.
Finally, Pinocchio comes back to the starting point as if this were a normal walk cycle. What a gem of a piece. There were brilliant animators going at it at that studio. Technically, this can be done by some of today’s 2D animators, but I wonder if the meat of the scene would be as good.