Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Animator Bill Tytla was proving himself worthy of attention and awe years before his work on Grumpy, Stromboli and Chernabog.


Tytla was one of the select group of animators to study drawing and sculpture in Europe, and his expanded vision often broke the barriers of what was considered commercial animation of the time. His style, flashy, dimensional, mobile and knowledgeable, made him a valuable force at Paul Terry's New York studio in the early 1930s, and deeply influenced the studio's approach to character design until Gene Deitch's modernization process in 1955.
The skills with expression and believable anatomy he exhibited in his work on the Giant in the Mickey Mouse THE BRAVE LITTLE TAILOR were anticipated by several, more rough-hewn monsters in Terry films. Immediately below are frames from BEANSTALK JACK (1933).

This and following frames are from THE KING'S DAUGHTER (1934).

Now, BEANSTALK JACK, 1933. Fairy Tale rehash in which Jack encounters a gang of pseudo-jazz skeletons (animated by Eddie Donnelly). The pre-sound stylings of Frank Moser & Jerry Shields highly contrast with Bill Tytla's advanced, otherworldly Giant. (Click pic.)
Notoriously Yours, MK

1 comment:

Milton Knight said...

(From FB):

Richard Huemer: "The Michelangelo of animation", I've heard him called. I didn't know he'd worked on Grumpy, a character usually associated with Art Babbitt. At the 2007 Legend awards, I happened to sit next to Babbitt's widow. She pointed up at the dour likeness of Grumpy on the adjoining building's facade and quipped, "That's Art looking down at us."

Paul F. Etcheverry: Thanks - love those early 1930's Terrytoons.