Monday, December 17, 2012

Kimball Christmas Cards

If you aren't visiting Amid Amidi's site 365 Days of Ward Kimball, you're missing out on some beautiful art. Currently, there's lots of Christmas related artwork.

During his talk on Kimball at the Ottawa International Animation Festival last September, Amidi made it a point to say that Kimball's style was evolving towards more modern graphics in the 1940s. The above cards (1945 on top and 1946 on the bottom) are great examples of the turn Kimball's style was taking. Both are, of course, well drawn. But while the 1945 card is conventional in its use of perspective and structure, the '46 card breaks away from realistic perspective and revels in flattening out shapes.  While UPA would animate this stylistic approach a couple of years later, Kimball was prepared to do so but wouldn't get the chance until Melody, Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom and the TV episodes he directed for the Disneyland series in the 1950s.


Amid said...

Like you said, Mark, the cards are valuable documents that chart Kimball's developing graphic style. At the time that Kimball drew the 1946 card, he was animating "Pecos Bill" and there was a certain amount of concern around the studio that he was trying to do "Brotherhood of Man"-style animation. He clearly wasn't, but he had been vocal about his appreciation of the short, which unnerved people like director Clyde Geronimi.

Floyd Norman said...

Gerry wasn't the only old school Disney guy unnerved by the changes in animation's evolving graphic style. Eventually, the fifties brought new guys such as Eyvind Earle, Dick Ung, Homer Jonas and Vic Haboush who would worry the old guard even more.

However, we kept pushing these changes, and you can see it even in the little "Wind Wagon Smith" short we made in the early sixties. Exciting times.