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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (1938) - Blue Line & Cel

For whatever reason, I have a TON of stuff from "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (1938). "Mother Goose..." was nominated for an Academy Award (Short Subjects - Cartoons), but the Oscar went to "Ferdinand the Bull." Let me start with this Blue Line of Katherine Hepburn and a cel from the cartoon. The Blue Line sheet is almost 3-feet wide and was able to get the matching Background Director Card list "Stokes" as the animator (probably Robert Stokes).

"Mother Goose Goes Hollywood" (1938) - Stokes Blue Line and Cel

I'm not sure who "Earl" is (Checked by:).

[Note: sorry about the hue on these.]


A few years ago, I ran across this item on Robert Stokes that I thought was interesting:

Even a casual viewer will notice, when pointed out, that the Queen in front of the mirror halfway through the film looks slightly different. She is more angular, less "cartoony" but maybe a little less satisfying as well and bears a distinct resemblance to the live action model for the Queen. Even in the crown detail, he departs from his colleague in what surely was a more accurate rendering of the one actually used by the model. Indeed, for among the few remaining memories of Stokes was Marc Davis's comment to me: "He was a very realistic artist." Therefore, if one takes the time to notice, Snow White in the sequence with the old hag does look different - less of a cartoon character but somehow lacking in warmth and tenderness. She is beautifully drawn yet somewhat cold and detached. She certainly is light-years away from Ham Luske's early version of the same character and her resemblance to Marge Belcher is, in spots, even more markedly noticeable than Grim Natwick's. Yet something is missing and one senses that for all the virtuoso draftsmanship, there is at the core less of a true personality in his princess. His is, for this reason, I think the least interesting of the four faces. I have been able to find hardly any information about Robert Stokes, save that he worked at Iwerks Studios prior to coming to Disney. He was obviously a superb draftsman and perhaps a bit intellectual to judge from his work. He seemed to be a literalist, although not without a sense of humor (who could survive at Disney in those days without one!?) as he would show a year later with his devastating Katharine Hepburn caricature in "Mother Goose Goes Hollywood." He remains nevertheless a great animator and Walt might have done far worse if he had not been around to complete the four faces of Snow White.
[Source: Animation Artist]

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Mother Goose Goes Hollywood” (1938). Katherine Hepburn in a motor boat looking ahead. A blue line with timing marks and a hand written instruction sheet that goes with it. Animator: (Robert) Stokes. Dated on "Background Instruction Sheet" 4-18-38. A Donald Duck film directed by Jack King. [Image: 34.5"W x 11.5"H; Frame: 42”W x 18.5"H] SeqID-0026 7/27/2005

From “Mother Goose Goes Hollywood” (1938). Disney production cel of Katherine Hepburn as originally sold by Courvoisier Galleries of San Francisco. Delivered matted & framed. SeqID-1205

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