Thursday, August 16, 2007

Influence: Pink Elephants on Parade

Before Bozzeto, "The Wall", or Plympton was a fantastically elastic and dark segment from "Dumbo"(1941) it's called Pink Elephants on Parade, I posted a solid resolution movie here. This is the scene when Dumbo gets drunk (don't see that in disney films anymore) and hallucinates about Pink Elephants. The first time I saw this clip I was in college, and it tripped me out. It's quite scary really, the black eyes of the elephants, the conformist marching, and the demented music. The sync with the score in flawless, those animators utilized musical rhythm to perfection. There's a piece of animation I did for the music video "Moving Along" which is a direct bite from this Dumbo scene (see image). You can watch a high resolution movie of "Moving Along" here. Again, I hate viewing movies on the computer, but at least this looks decent (unlike youtube, a sorry excuse for a venue, i mean, why does it have to look like such crap? it doesn't take that much to post quality resolution).

84 comments:

David Nethery said...

Great reference. Totally agree with you about the Dumbo piece . This sort of thing to me is the essence of what makes hand-drawn great and sets it apart from the CG stuff . I like your stuff a lot , with the sketchier pencil line , kind of like the 60's Disney stuff which is some of my favorite in terms of the art styling .

The lousy resolution on YouTube (and frequent loss of sound sync) frustrates me , too, so your posting of Quicktime movies is much appreciated.

noelle said...

a friend of mine argued with me that "seeing pink elephants" meant you were on LSD, and i told her, no, it means your drunk ... just watch DUMBO.

great post, things like this make me happy. it brings me back to when i was 7 or 8 and saw this for the first time. do you feel old now, pat?

Emmett said...

Such a wonderful sequence. I love trippy sequences, they have so much atmosphere. Disney took so many risks here: drunken characters, hallucination, elephants walking on the edge of the screen (my favorite), a human form made out of elephant heads, etc.
I would love to know how they colored the part where the two elephants are dancing. The red and green colors (mixtures actually) are organized so beautifully.

Check out what John Kricfalusi has been saying on his blog lately.
Let's get risky with these movies!

Anonymous said...

"Check out what John Kricfalusi has been saying on his blog lately. Let's get risky with these movies!"


Good advice and it would be interesting if John K would actually take a risk by making an animated short (not web ads or music videos illustrating other people's ideas) instead of frittering away a lot of his time blogging about what he considers crap. Show us all how it's supposed to be done. Where's the Beef ? !

Patrick Smith said...

yeah, emmett, that part with the walking elephant that is made up of smaller ones is just insane!

and btw, as far as i'm concerned, the creator of ren and stimpy doesn't have to prove himself to anyone. no matter what you think of him or what he says, the man is brilliant.

lewisk said...

thanks for the great quicktime of "moving along" patrick! it's a wonderful piece of work. you should do more music videos.

Anonymous said...

Dumbo came out in 1941 not 1949.

Patrick Smith said...

cool. thanks anonymous for the solid correction (albeit a bit stern). Dumbo was re-released in 1949, 1959, 1972, and 1976.

cemenTIMental said...

I'd forgotten how lengthy and weird the pink elephants sequence it, amazing!

Have you seen Cat Soup? I think you might find the water elephant scene in that interesting. Can't find a clip of that bit but looks like the whole thing's on youtube..

Robert said...

It's weird how alcohol must have been regarded as some totally far-out hallucinogenic substance back in the day. The notion that one might "see things" after drinking a shot or two seems to be a recurring device in old movies even though it has none of the plausibility we would normally require in a workable comedy situation.

The "hiccuping drunk" is another one. I've never seen a drunk hiccup. But it's all over the place in those old movies.

David Nethery said...

Oh, and I just wanted to point out that the Pink Elephant animation referenced from Dumbo is by Howard Swift . (see "The Illusion of Life" pg. 522 - 524)

David Nethery said...

To clarify: I meant that the part of Pink Elephants on Parade where the two elephants merge into one , then stretch and break apart is animated by Howard Swift .

The Pink Elephants sequence had other animators besides Howard Swift . I don't want to give the impression that Howard Swift single-handedly animated the entire sequence.

Skizz said...

When I was real little, that Pink Elephants on Parade sequence freaked me out. By the time I was a teenager though, I thought it was the coolest! If you want more like it, check out the Hephalumps & Woozles (sp?) sequence from one of the Winnie The Pooh films.

Chris R. said...

Good to see you copping to your influences. I'm looking forward to the one on Guard Dog and Puppet.

Patrick Smith said...

Interesting Chris R., especially being that "PUPPET" was completed before "Guard Dog".

I have to say Chris, you're beginning to annoy me with your passive aggressive criticism and uninformed comparisons. If you have a constructive point to make, out with it, Life is too short for meandering.

G1toons said...

love the drink short, very creative and inspiring, you have some real fresh stuff

Mike Owens said...

Man, I forgot how great that sequence is. Thanks for posting it. I need to revisit a lot of these old movies to reignite the inspiration they gave me before I started working professionally.

Great blog by the way. I show your fims to my animation students and they always respond with interest and enthusiasm. Your really inspires all of us.

Good luck with the new film.

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