There is a scene in Walt Disney's SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937), masterfully animated by Bill Tytla, that remains a tour de force of animation technique in exploring cartoon personalities: Snow White informs the dwarfs that they must wash before supper or they'll "not get a bite to eat." Reluctantly they make their way to an outdoor water pump and tub – all except the recalcitrant Grumpy, who jeers at their attempts at cleanliness from the sidelines. After singing a courageous washing song ("Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum"), the six dwarfs attack Grumpy and throw him into the tub for a rousing reprise.

In "full animation" technique, as opposed to "limited," Saturday morning-type animation, it is quite a feat to not only move a cartoon "actor" convincingly through his paces, but to make him move and react according to the dictates of his unique cartoon personality. In Tytla's sequence, we have a veritable mob scene with seven characters, who are of a similar shape but have seven completely different personalities, and thus seven different motivations and reactions. Tytla's successful solution of this problem of cartoon identity can be regarded as a small miracle and is a tribute to his powerful gifts of concentration and his ability to "become" the characters he drew.

Animator George Bakes, Tytla's friend and assistant in New York from the late 1950s until Tytla's death in 1968, commented recently on "Bill's connection with the thing he was able to do, that it wasn't really a drawing – it was Bill that was coming out! He was such an intense and sensitive soul that once he had that connection with paper, with a little perspiration he was home free.

Plus he was very bright, could analyze and think, which you have to be able to do to animate, at least the way he did to coordinate all these things. Donald Graham, the gifted instructor in charge of the Disney Studio art classes that began in 1932, frequently used film examples of Tytla's animation in his action-analysis classes. "[Tytla] does not animate forms, Graham observed in 1937 to a group of novice animators, "but symbols of forces ... this is a revolutionary conception ... instead of seeing a character as a round body, beautifully modelled in drawing, he sees the animating forces inherent in it. It is a confirmation of all the instructors have been trying to do here in the drawing classes. Tytla's work has been a revelation!"

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