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Old 09-30-2012, 01:29 AM   #121
franandaj

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Animating The Disney Parks

Continued with Herb Ryman



Now just to preface this a little bit, the panel folks must have made the assumption that we all knew who Herb Ryman was, either that or I was so furiously writing notes that I missed this part of the presentation and didn't get pictures or notes. But Herb Ryman was the guy that Walt hired to draw the original map of Disneyland. Before coming to Disney, Ryman was an established artist and had exhibited in Los Angeles and New York.



One of Herb Ryman’s pupil’s was John De Cuir Sr. He was an Hollywood Art Director and Production Designer known for his elaborate set designs that were illustrated with his own watercolor paintings.



The two of them evidently collaborated on a few productions otherwise they would not have mentioned him.

Eddie Sotto did most of the talking during this part of the session. When he first met all these legendary imagineers Eddie was working “elsewhere” but declined to state where. Eddie admitted that Herb really didn’t like his work, but he was willing to work with him to make it better. When Eddie finally got hired at Disney, his first gig was to do Main Street in DLP. Everyone told him that Herb would never work with him, but to everyone’s surprise, he helped Eddie out with some concepts. I guess by the time that Eddie was hired Herb had either somewhat or formally retired.

“Herb was a place master,” remembered Sotto.



Back in 1985 both Ryman and Marc Davis went to work for Landmark Entertainment on a Six Flags theme park project called "Phineas T. Flagg's Power Plant", located at Baltimore, Maryland. It was called Phineas T. Flagg's Power Plant as the theme park location was a historic power plant, near the the waterfront. Marc Davis - who retired from Walt Disney Imagineering in 1978 - and Herb Ryman worked on the project design. The main character, Phineas T. Flagg, was a fictitious magician and Herb Ryman did his design, the one you can see below.

Herb Ryman worked also on other Landmark Entertainment concepts. He did this bird's eye view painting below for what was - believe it or not - a "Monopoly" theme park project.



Here are some pictures of Eddie and Herb during the collaboration process working on DLP.



Now they talked about how Herb really put in his research. He did the design for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. He went to the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany for research, but he knew where to draw the line on infringement vs artistic license. The castle at Disneyland has the “flavor” of Neuschawnstein, but it is not a replica.





For DLP, they decided that it needed a “Hello Dolly” kind of approach. That’s where John De Cuir comes in, it was his designs that inspired Eddie Sotto in his design of DLP.

To quote something that Eddie Sotto held off on saying until the end, but I’ll spill it now, Herb Ryman said, “Be specifically vague”.

One of the other things that he evidently made clear was that you could spend just as much money to make something stupid as something gorgeous.



Evidently this Dreamland in Japan opened trying to mimick Disney, they just didn’t’ get it.



He believed in modeling his lands/attractions after real life places. His visits to New Orleans during the development of New Orleans Square brought a realism to the area.



This is some of the inspiration for New Orleans Square.



When creating Liberty Square, the Concord Bridge was the model he used. Research was the key to any project.





David Copperfield was one of the movies that Herb Ryman worked on for MGM in 1935. He worked mainly as a sketch artist to help create the scenes and stages. Here is an illustration of one of the scenes taken from the book.



And this is Ryman’s version of the same scene



And here is the scene in the movie



Here they are side by side. Be sure to notice the two nuns which are almost smack dab in the middle of the picture sketched by Ryman. This became a running joke through the rest of the presentation about his fascination with pairs of nuns.



Then they pull out these other sketches involving nuns. Nuns in a jeep, on some kind of secret spy mission and who knows about the last one, to the Jup In River?????



But then even this one which is some kind of sketch of Frontierland, and there are still nuns in the foreground of the larger image and you’ll also notice them in this NOS sketch at the foot of the stairs. Creepy.



[Continued in Next Post]
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:30 AM   #122
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[Continued from Previous Post]

Another key principle for Herb Ryman was Observation. He would say, “it’s not what you see in the space, but what you see people DOING in that space.”



The caption on this slide says, “life forms action” and he has written on the ship scene, “heave the rope”. It is not so much that there is rain and storm, but the people are heaving the rope and THAT is what is telling the story in this picture. In fact in each of these pictures that is what the elephant, donkeys and humans are all doing.



He saw this in the great master painters. Look at each of these great paintings. These are not posed stagnant portraits, each one is caught in the act of doing something, whether it is stretching, the gal with the umbrella is texting , not really but each one is DOING something as oposed to posing.



Notice this, the train is on an elevated track (could have been inspiration for Main Street), but what is going on here. If you look at the close up on the right, there is mayhem on the street floor. At first glance it is a peaceful scene, until you really figure out what the people in it are DOING. Mayhem!



I think these were some of his sketches where he advocated, “be specifically vague”. The sketches imply fun, people are smiling, but you really can’t tell what is going on, but it gives you a feeling that you want to be there.





These next few photos are about his drawing of that original Disneyland sketch that Walt used to pitch the park to investors. They’ve blown up several key sections. We all know that Walt loved trains, and he insisted that there would be a train a Disneyland



This was Main Street USA, we all know about how Walt wanted a quaint American street that was clean where families could shop and enjoy American products and traditions.



I believe that this view of Fantasyland and the castle may have been from the rear. This early drawing looks far more like Neuschwanstein than the later drawings which were shown earlier in the presentation.



This must have been some kind of attraction in Frontierland. I’m not quite sure what these people were doing, and I don’t think our hosts could figure it out either. (let me just say that by this time it was well after 5PM and we had been in this room since shortly after 9AM with a 1 hour break for lunch because the morning presentation went over by about 30 minutes, so I’m missing parts of my notes).



This must have been the tomorrowland side of Main Street, I don’t remember anything else about this.



I’m thinking this is a cut out of the Jungle Cruise with all the animals and trees and stuff.



I believe this was going to be the Rainbow Caverns mountain.



He said to be specifically vague, and here is an example.



Here is one of his sketches for the Cinderella Castle.



The sketch with some models



And the color sketch with the models



A closer look



And that concluded the part of that presentation of Herb Ryman.



But wait there’s more! John Hensch coming up! If you think I forgot a lot of Herb Ryman, my brain was fried by the time we got to John Hensch!
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #123
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That's one full day! I hope the seats were comfortable.

Did they ever say how long it takes to get all the material together for one of these shows?
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:17 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
That's one full day! I hope the seats were comfortable.

Did they ever say how long it takes to get all the material together for one of these shows?
You know that's a good question! And no, there are no seats that can be comfortable when you're sitting that long. I mentioned at the beginning of the day that they got cheers from the crown when they pointed out that the actually "planned" bathroom breaks and short breaks inbetween the sessions. If I didn't need the bathroom, I will still standing in place, spanking my butt, just to get the blood flowing back there again!
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:20 PM   #125
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So our final part of the session of the day was about John Hensch. Unfortunately by that time I must have been so tired that my notes don’t actually have anything about John Hensch. Tom Morris did the talking for this part of the session and he started off by talking about Animation and some book of animation that he had to have as a kid, but it was too expensive so he waited until it went on sale to get the book.



Now I have this collage of John Hensch, and perhaps they talked about his involvement in the Silly Symphonies and Show White.



In my notes it talks about how the Silly Symphonies were vibrant with colors, for those who don’t know, Walt created these mini features as “etudes” or “studies” in the use of his newly designed multi plane camera. As a contrast to the Silly Symphonies Snow White used rather subdued colors.



Perhaps these are other characters that he animated



They talked about the color scheme of Disneyland, and on a scale of 1 to 10, DL is more like an 8. The colors are somewhat vibrant, but not over the top to a 10. Here are some shots of John and various projects that he worked on.



These are some pictures of Mickey that presumably he drew.



And that concluded the Saturday presentations! Whew! By this time it was almost 6PM. We had a meet and greet option (for the Diamond level guests) in a special room off the convention center, but the room was crowded, we were tired, and we only had about an hour and a half until the hall opened for Dick Van Dyke’s performance. So we opted to head back to the room for dinner and a break.

Fran laid down and it turns out she wasn’t hungry at all so I had my dinner. When I came back at lunch time, I had prepped our dinners. Luckily the ovens at the VGC are the same model as I have at home, they can be programmed to start on delay bake. I had some stuffed peppers that I had prepared at home in the freezer so all I had to do was add the sauce at lunchtime, and place them in the oven. I had them set to be ready at 6PM, so that was another reason we cut out on the meet and greet. Dinner was ready. Here was my dinner.

Stuffed Peppers



And Summer Salad



Dinner wasn’t rushed, but it sure wasn’t leisurely and soon we were on our way back to the DLH Ballroom for another jaw dropping performance!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #126
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It's amazing how you look at the drawings, and see what is actually going on. When removing something from the pictures you can see what people are doing. I love the drawings of Snow White. The one castle almost looks like a scary face. But this is interesting. It takes allot of effort to sit that long. I would of gone back to the room and ate, and relaxed.
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:28 AM   #127
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There's so much good stuff and life lessons in the presentation that you noted down.

I love how they didn't just imagine the space...but rather what you would be doing in the space. I guess that's why Disney always seems to be such a marvellous space to be in...it isn't about the destination; but the journey from one ride to another and all those wonderful details to take it.

I don't know if I could sit in the room for all that time without falling asleep. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:11 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by usnuzuloose View Post
It's amazing how you look at the drawings, and see what is actually going on. When removing something from the pictures you can see what people are doing. I love the drawings of Snow White. The one castle almost looks like a scary face. But this is interesting. It takes allot of effort to sit that long. I would of gone back to the room and ate, and relaxed.
I'm guessing that a lot of people did check out, but no on in my area did, we were all transfixed!

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Originally Posted by PrincessInOz View Post
There's so much good stuff and life lessons in the presentation that you noted down.

I love how they didn't just imagine the space...but rather what you would be doing in the space. I guess that's why Disney always seems to be such a marvellous space to be in...it isn't about the destination; but the journey from one ride to another and all those wonderful details to take it.

I don't know if I could sit in the room for all that time without falling asleep. Thanks for sharing!
When the put it in that perspective it makes total sense and why people love to just sit and watch and wait for what is coming next because it isn't all about doing it is sometimes about waiting to see what happens!
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:12 AM   #129
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OK, what it happening is that I need to go to bed!
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Old 10-01-2012, 05:04 AM   #130
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Thank you for all of the details and photos! I have been interested in the history and behind-the-scenes of Disney animation since I was a kid, and I would have loved to go to this!!
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:06 AM   #131
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ok the Part about Baltimore caught my attention and I had to look it up..

So there is a power plant live section in Baltimore, but it is really off the waterfront.

But i found that it was only open for two years and The Power Plant building was redeveloped in the later 1990's. It now houses the first ESPNZone (now closed), a Hard Rock Cafe, and an immense Barnes and Noble bookstore(like 3 or 4 stories tall).



Thanks for the update again, you bring it all to life.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #132
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I'm amazed you remembered as much as you did. They really pack a lot in, AND there's still more after dinner. You needed a vacation after this event!
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:54 PM   #133
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Thank you for all of the details and photos! I have been interested in the history and behind-the-scenes of Disney animation since I was a kid, and I would have loved to go to this!!
If you like this sort of stuff, joining D23 is a great option. I've been to two Expos and three events like this one and they were all fantastic!

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ok the Part about Baltimore caught my attention and I had to look it up..

So there is a power plant live section in Baltimore, but it is really off the waterfront.

But i found that it was only open for two years and The Power Plant building was redeveloped in the later 1990's. It now houses the first ESPNZone (now closed), a Hard Rock Cafe, and an immense Barnes and Noble bookstore(like 3 or 4 stories tall).

Thanks for the update again, you bring it all to life.
Very interesting with the follow up on that park. I'm glad you're enjoying it!

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I'm amazed you remembered as much as you did. They really pack a lot in, AND there's still more after dinner. You needed a vacation after this event!
The good part about the part after dinner is that I didn't have to take notes, I just sat back and enjoyed!
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Old 10-05-2012, 04:56 PM   #134
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We made it back to the Ballroom and took our regular seats. Not sure if I showed this to you before, but this is how close we were to the stage. See Fran there in the red shirt?



The nice thing about this part of the show was it was just a concert. No need to take notes! Although if Fran hadn’t had a brilliant idea, I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about this concert other than it was great. They had taped the set list to the stage and she told me to go take a picture of it. Had I not done that, two months later I would have never remembered any of the songs that they did!

Dick Van Dyke and his quartet came out on stage and broke into song opening up with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. Now I think that they sang this at the Expo, but I’m not sure it was the same arrangement.



Dick Van Dyke has so much fun with this group. The next song they sang was “Put on a Happy Face / Rosie”.



Bryan Chadima does most of the arrangements for the group. Their next couple songs were from the movie Mary Poppins, “Jolly Holiday”, and “Tuppence”.



Eric Bradley and Mike Mendyke make up the remaining members of the group.





They continued on with “You’ve Got A Friend in Me”



Now one that I do remember was “Bare Necessities / Old Senility”. It was very hilarious, Dick Van Dyke sang about his “Old Senility” to the tune of “Bare Necessities”



The sweet part of the program came when they sang “Baby of Mine”, and then “Sermonette / Accentuate the Positive”. They followed this with “Hushabye Mountain” and “I’ve Got You Too.” They took some time to sit back and chat, talking about what rehearsals were like and some things that had happened since we last met with them.



They continue with “Go To Sleep Little Baby” and then the program took a trip down memory lane. They sang the “All in the Family Theme”, the “Cheers Theme”, “Kent Cigarettes”, the “Dick Van Dyke show Theme”, and then the “Jeffersons”. It was a fun little blast from the past.



They wrapped up the entire program with a Medley from Mary Poppins. It was a great evening with lots of fun and enjoyment for all.

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Last edited by franandaj; 10-05-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:52 PM   #135
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That's a fantastic update, Alison.

Your seats were amazing! And your pictures are great.

Sadly, as amazing as your pictures were and your descriptive words, this is one time that I really, really wish upon that star that I were there to HEAR them sing.


Thanks for sharing.
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