Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cruella in Curlers

What an incredible visual development piece from 101 Dalmatians.
Cruella de Vil is reading the papers about the dognapping. This experimental cel set up shows her in a round bed with a snake motif. Red, mauve and black are the only colors used here.
I love the "real" lace curtain! The Disney artists were trying anything to achieve a new revolutionary look for this film.
Marc Davis animated every single scene of Cruella. The one I am showing here is from that bedroom sequence. The ringing of the phone has just interrupted her gleeful mood, but she fakes a smile when answering: "Hello." After realizing who is calling, her expression changes again.
"Jasper!" she pauses in anger, then "Jasper, you idiot!"
Everything is top notch here, her body composition, wonderful grotesque expressions -those cheekbones are priceless- and of course subtle, controlled animation.
Modern animation as good as it gets.

An actual frame from a scene preceding the one above.
The risks Disney artists were taking with this new style were enormous. This is not playing safe and giving audiences what they want. This movie surprised everybody by showing something nobody had seen before. 
Risks are fun, and there is no reason today's feature animation can't take bold risks again.