What are Walt Disney's newest animated characters made of?
Buttons, nuts, and pieces of string, and a thousand-and-one other things. These form the characters in
"Noah's Ark" – Walt Disney's First Non-Cartoon Animated Film
AFICIONADOS of the animated film will find something new, provocative and hilarious in Walt Disney's forthcoming featurette, “Noah's Ark,” which marks his first departure from animation of inert drawings. Instead of pen and ink illustrations on cels, Disney's animators have fashioned a bevy of new and intriguing characters from odds and ends familiar to everyone – things like buttons, rubber erasers, pipe cleaners, bits of yarn, bottle corks, clothespins, nuts, etc. Noah and Mrs. Noah, and their three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth, plus a myriad of animals and birds which join the cruise of the good ship Noah's Ark, come to life through skillful manipulation by Disney animators of their buttons-to-butternuts anatomical components.
Always on the search for the new and the novel in motion picture entertainment, Walt Disney has produced an entirely different concept in animated films with this sparkling featurette in color. When he first considered “Noah's Ark,” he felt the subject lent itself ta a new approach to the animation technique. He called in one of bis veteran animator-directors, Bill Justice, and turned the project over to him. Instead of the usual animated drawings, it was decided the characters themselves should undergo a major change. Justice first thought of designing figures composed of coins of different sizes. As he pondered the project, toying the meanwhile with such odds and ends on his desktop as paper clips, erasers, pencils. etc. inspiration came to him. “Why not three-dimensional characters made of things such as these!”
Several prototype characters were put together and presented to Disney for approval. He immediately liked them and gave Justice the “go-ahead” to proceed with the production.