I'll confess I entered D-Wing with a sense of trepidation. I headed down the hallway toward Stan Green's office where the key assistant animator would scrutinize my humble drawings. Of course, they were only in-betweens but these in-betweens would be in a Milt Kahl scene and that meant they had to be good. If they weren't I'd hear about it and poor Stan would certainly hear about it from the fearsome directing animator.

After “rolling” the scene and flipping a few sheets of the animation paper, Stan handed the scene off to his assistant, Tom Ferriter who made a few more notes and returned the scene to me. As I headed back down the hall toward the exit I noticed a small room to the left. Still a part of D-wing, it wasn't located on the main corridor and I wondered who might occupy this odd little space. Peeking in the door, I noticed the room was filled with young animation assistants like myself and most seem to be sketching in-betweens of Briar Rose. The artists appeared to be laboring over each drawing with incredible focus and intensity and I couldn't help but move about the small room and watch them work.

As you all know, animated feature films are comprised of drawings all created by hand. The work can be demanding and on occasion, somewhat tedious. Each drawing must be meticulously crafted because eventually it will appear on the screen many times its original size. Plus, it must pass the watchful eyes of the animator and his assistants. Trust me, it's no easy task. “How many drawings can you do a day?” I had to ask one of the artists. The young assistant looked up from his desk and replied, “One, if I'm lucky.” I was practically dumbstruck. “One drawing a day?” I replied. “This motion picture is going to require thousands of drawings so I guess we're going to be here for a while, aren't we?”

Now, you get some idea what it was like to work on Walt Disney's masterpiece “Sleeping Beauty.” A motion picture created by hand, and every drawing a work of art. The fact that artists were turning out one drawing a day for a film that required thousands of drawings should give you some idea of the task at hand. Look at the image I've posted of Briar Rose below and consider the Disney film in all its awesomeness. It was an amazing work of art and remains so to this day.


Briar Rose image.jpeg
AuthorFloyd Norman