Bugs in Love Layout Drawing (Walt Di...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionBugs in Love Layout Drawing (Walt Disney, 1932). The insect inhabitants of Junkville have taken to heart the phrase "trash into treasure." They have repurposed what looks to be a garbage dump into a functioning amusement park, complete with swing set, a Ferris wheel, and a slide - just to name a few of the many rides. The story concerns an amorous young bug couple who are courting - and the attempt by a well-dressed crow to eat them both. Though a sound film in the proper sense of the word, the story is told mostly through pantomime. This film is notable in that it was the last Silly Symphony to be shot in black and white - quite remarkable when one remembers how recently color film technology had been developed. Though the short would debut in the fall, it was serialized in the Sunday Silly Symphonies comics in January of 1932. The main character was given the name "Bucky Bug", his girlfriend was "June Bug", and the menacing crow was named "Squire Cawker", in the style of a Victorian dandy. Though going on to star in a few more newspaper comics stories, this would be the ensemble's only depiction in a film. This drawing would have been used for "layout" - meaning, it served double (or even triple) duty as a sort of meeting point in-between storyboarding, background painting, and final animation planning. Essentially, layout drawings helped the different departments throughout the studio visualize and coordinate efforts to bring an image or an idea to the screen. In one respect, it was similar to a very elaborate storyboard, showing in great detail the planned movement/trajectory of the characters across the stage, or background. Camera moves and the duration of the shot were also denoted through charts along the margins. The layout also served as a guide both to the background artists (who would then copy and provide color to final drawing, usually in gouache and watercolor), as well as to the animators, who could see definitively how to move their characters about in "physical space." The scene depicted by this layout drawing can be seen at the 00:52 point in the film. It depicts an old-fashioned, hand-cranked phonograph; the bugs are riding around on the spinning turntable as if it were a merry-go-round! This short was directed by Burt Gillet and was released to theaters on October 10, 1932. Many Disney greats contributed animation, including Ham Luske, Les Clark, Norm Ferguson, and Freddie Moore. From the chart along the bottom margin of the layout drawing, we can see that animator Frank Tipper was assigned this scene. Layout drawings from any Silly Symphony so early in Disney's history are incredibly rare. The fact that this drawing is done on 2-peghole animation paper (as opposed to the much more commonly-seen 5), further attests to its age. Rendered on 12 field paper (12" x 9.5"), the drawing measures 9" x 7". It has been sketched in graphite and colored pencil, and faithfully depicts the scene as it appears in the final film - down to the smallest detail! In a shot that lasts a mere four seconds on the screen, some might well argue that an inordinate amount of work was spent on the shot - however, this sort of exacting attention to detail is what set the Disney filmmakers apart from all others. Small tear near center of top border of paper. Some slight creasing/handling throughout the piece, as well toning and some light smudging. Condition of drawing is Good.
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