Don’t get excited. Before you get the wrong impression, our little Tinkerbell hasn’t suddenly gone commando. It simply looks like she’s not wearing any pants. Rest assured little Tink is properly attired. It just looks like… well, you know. I found this animation drawing in a stack of Disney art dating back to the fifties. This animation is not from the Walt Disney feature animated film, “Peter Pan.” No, we were animating television commercials for Peter Pan Peanut Butter.
I’ve written about Phillis Hurrell in times past. In case you don’t remember, Mrs. Hurrell ran Walt Disney’s commercial division back in the fifties. That’s right, boys and girls. That old gender bigot, Walt Disney actually had a woman in charge of one of his film divisions. Keep in mind this wasn’t the eighties or nineties. Walt had a woman in charge way back in the fifties. Chew on that, you Hollywood ninnies! This goes to show just how much people knew about the Old Maestro and the way he ran his studio. As expected, people often have a lot to say when they don’t know anything at all.
Anyway, there were a number of animators creating material for the commercial unit. Some of the names were, Jack Parr, Bob Carlson, Jerry Hathcock and Freddy Hellmich. I think I was working for Freddy on this commercial and I was having a tough time getting my drawings just right. Freddy was roughing his animation with a mechanical pencil that had magenta lead. I remember heading down to traffic to pick up a pencil so I could match Freddy’s rough sketches. I would rough Tinkerbell with the magenta mechanical pencil, then finish the final drawing with a regular B or HB pencil. I remember not being happy with this drawing so I put it aside and started over. That’s why I still have this sketch today. I put it on the shelf and that was many, many years ago.
Margaret Kerry even remembers this scene and if I recall correctly, she did some film reference for the animation. Tinkerbell is happily walking along clapping her hands. It’s fun scene with our little sprite being cute and charming as ever. It’s fun to find this sketch I did so many years ago and remember the Walt Disney Studio when being an animator required that you knew how to draw. Sadly, a requirement not so important in today’s animated world.