Monday, October 20, 2008

More about Up in Arms from Jim Korkis

[I have seen the Disney animated footage for "Up In Arms" and finally found my notes so I could give more information. Scott MacQueen used to travel with a program of Disney film rarieties entitled "Disney's Unseen Treasures" that included things like several minutes of live action reference footage from "Pinocchio" and and "Dumbo" where you actually see an actor dressed up as Jiminy Cricket, "The Talking Dog" with a scratch track and rough footage for a Mickey Mouse cartoon abandoned in the Fifties of Pluto being kidnapped by a medicine man who uses ventriloquism to convince people tha Pluto talks and Mickey's efforts (including battling on top of a moving van) to rescue his pup, and much more including some that has thankfully appeared as DVD extras lately. However, it was Scott who found all this stuff when he was working at Disney including that segment of Walt doing Mickey's voice for "Mr. Mouse Takes a Trip" and put it together in a two hour program.

He also showed the fragment from "Up In Arms". Unfortunately, videotaping wasn't allowed but I did take extensive notes. The live action footage of Kaye doing hand to hand combat with the Japanese soldiers on the side of the mountain has cleaned up animation layered over the top where the little creatures (who look very much like caterpillars with several hands/legs and antenna...could they have been Japanese silk worms?) poke into the picture and literally eat up the screen including a rope hanging down the side of the mountain. When I say they eat up the entire image on the screen, that is exactly the case and we are left with the screen filled with the image of one of these little caterpillars finishing off a final bite and then talking extensively to the audience. Unfortunately, the sound track is lost as well as the fact that Scott couldn't locate the script so there is no way of knowing what the creature is saying although he ends with a huge laugh and you can see the inside of his mouth is painted red. No other color on the creature but it is obviously finished, cleaned up animation...not rough. "Up in Arms" was based on a popular stage play apparently entitled "Nervous Wreck" about a hypochrondriac who is drafted. By the way, Didier, in his presentation Scott showed the clip from "Destino" and mentioned he found documentation that after this aborted project, Walt still kept in touch with Dali and one of the projects he was talking about was having Dali do "Don Quioxte".

I don't know where Scott is today after he left Disney. I remember after the two hour presentation and after I picked up my jar from the ground seeing all these amazing never before seen things I had dinner with Scott and some fellow animation instructors at the Disney Institute SEASONS restaurant where Scott regaled us with even MORE untold stories that fortunately I captured most of them in my notes. I remember Scott being a pretty cool guy and just as excited as we were that he found this stuff.]

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