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Ward Kimball


Color in 'Bambi'; animation as a non-naturalistic art form
Jules Engel Film-maker
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Primarily, primarily, my biggest involvement with Bambi was colors. Because everything that I saw on Bambi was painted like a natural, whatever. Natural, you know? And when I first brought in a pink or red or blue deers running, because they heard a shotgun go off. That was beautiful, it gave Bambi another dimension, another presence. And I brought those colors in. Funny thing here is that no-one touched those colors because they always went to the natural. What the hell? When you're doing an animated film, you're already not natural, you're on other terrain. And a director, the person whose art is actually on Bambi, liked that. So when he saw my pink and red deers running for life, for their life, he thought that was good. It was good because there was a large sense of danger there. And the danger was heavy and big and you have the guns going off, you heard the guns going off. You should emphasize, you should push, you should be more inventive. So when the deers turned into these colors, that was a beautiful moment in the film. But again, it's, where are you going to stop? Or where are you going to above yesterday or above what was normal? There's nothing normal about animated film, you know? It's all invention but it's good invention. But that goes for all of the arts, to a degree.

The late Hungarian-American film-maker Jules Engel is best known for his contribution to the field of animation. His work includes the dance sequences in Walt Disney's 'Fantasia' and the creation of 'Mr Magoo'. His films and lithographs are housed in museums all over the world and have won many awards.

Listeners: Tamara Tracz Bill Moritz

Tamara Tracz is a writer and filmmaker based in London.

William Moritz received his doctorate from USC and pursues parallel careers as filmmaker and writer. His forty-four experimental and animation films have been screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam and Tokyo, among others. He published widely on Oskar Fischinger, James Whitney, Bruce Conner, the Fleischers and 200 pages of animation history for an AbsolutVodka website. He wrote chapters for the "Oxford History of Cinema", appeared in several television documentaries, curated art exhibits and received a lifetime achievement trophy from the Netherlands Royal Academy for his work with visual music. He has served on film festival juries and received an American Film Institute filmmaking grant. His poetry and plays are also performed and published. He is a leading expert of Oskar Fischinger and recently published a biography of him. He teaches at The California Institute of the Arts.

Tags: Bambi, Walt Disney

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: April 2003

Date story went live: 24 January 2008