p. 44 p. 45

The nine old men of the Disney dynasty are now a part of animation history. They were the honor guard of an era that gave to animation dignity, status and a devoted public. They were a part of the golden years when animated cartoons were shown only in theaters. Those were the good old days.

In those days story men were autocrats. Their brains were like probing laser beams, capable of perceiving a witty idea buried in the center of a ten ton cubic block of anthracite coal. They could take an ordinary idea, lift it up by the heels and shake all of the loose change out of its pockets. Story men were relentless. The Warner Bros, group alone invented two hundred and forty-seven different ways to blow up a villain with a stick of dynamite. That took genius.

When a story was completed, it was story-boarded, broken into scenes and turned over to the animators. They would breathe life into the characters, put magic into the witty ideas with drawings that plunged an audience into uproarious peals of unrestrained laughter. These were the days of comedy shorts, the days of Mickey Mouse, of Felix the Cat,, of Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, Flip the Frog and Donald Duck. An army of super-animators grew up in Hollywood. They learned the innuendoes of timing and spacing drawings, the art of exposing and of psyching an audience. Each studio developed its own style of animating, a style to match its characters. Bugs Bunny was not a Mickey Mouse. Can you imagine Betty Boop singing ‘Some Day my Prince will come’?

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