Friday, September 28, 2012

Lewis Carroll Society Fall Meeting Saturday, September 29th, 2012

After cross-country travel, visits to in-laws, and now a week-long business trip, nothing like a relaxing 10-hour round trip drive to NYC for the LCSNA Fall Meeting. I'll be there, hopefully with lots of Alice goodies to sell, and you can come too as the meeting is open to the public! Join us on the 3rd floor of the Bobst Library at NYU beginning at 11:30am tomorrow, Saturday, September 29th. Lots of great speakers, you can read the full schedule of events here. See you there!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - The Bottle Talks to Alice

Here we see the Bottle creating a table out of his bubbles, which transforms into the glass table that Alice has so much trouble with later in the scene.  This pencil drawing is signed in the lower left corner (barely visible in this photograph) and is labeled '30'.  You can also see the watermark on the paper in the upper right corner, Management Bond is clearly visible in reverse in the shaded area.
Here we see the Bottle firmly atop his new glass table as Alice approaches warily.  Signed in the lower right corner, this is labeled '31'.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Disney Animation Research Library

We interrupt our regularly scheduled David Hall series to bring you this special announcement.  Last week we traveled to LA to move Computer Girl into UCLA to begin her PhD program.  While we were there, I finagled a meeting with the Disney ARL on an upcoming project (shh, its still a secret), and we had an amazing time.  That place is incredible.  The giant wall of Mary Blair Alice concept paintings, the giant room full of animation maquettes, and of course all the amazing friendly helpful people.  Thanks to Lella Smith, Mary Walsh, Doug Engalla, and everyone else we met for making us feel welcome.  And I made their facebook page!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Introducing the Bottle!

Perhaps the coolest character NOT in the final film is this anthropomorphic bottle, whose role was eventually taken by the doorknob.  This drawing is signed in the lower left corner, labeled '28' in the lower right.
Apparently the bottle is quite the jolly active fellow, and spills bubbles out of his hat when he takes it off.  Again signed in the lower right corner, labeled '29' in the lower right.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Chasing the White Rabbit Down the Crystal Hall

After landing, Alice chases the White Rabbit down the crystal hallway, towards some very large looking doors. This drawing is reproduced in the David Hall book.
Suddenly Alice finds herself at the end of the hallway, but all is not as it seems!

Friday, September 14, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Coming In For A Landing

Alice has now intercepted some sort of ribbon-like path through the rabbit hole, with the landing zone in sight.  This watercolor is labeled '24'.
This next image is a closeup of the previous, where you can see more of Alice on her ribbon-road.  Labeled '24A'.
The final image is a closeup of the landing zone, where you can see the White Rabbit running down the hallway in some sort of crystal structure.  This image is labeled '24B'.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Alice and the Crystal Mirror

Alice continues her fall, with the bubbles now transforming into crystals.  I think if I were falling, I'd prefer the bubbles.
Alice sees her reflection on her way down.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Bats and Bubbles

Continuing our bat segment from yesterday, Alice is now completely surrounded by bats!  This drawing is reproduced in the David Hall book.
This watercolor shows Alice and her bat entourage now entering the realm of bubbles as she continues her fall down the rabbit hole.  Signed in the lower left corner, this is labeled '21'.
A close up of the previous image, where you get a better view of Alice and the bats, labeled '21A'
Still closer closeup, now you can see Alice's expression in this still labeled '21B'.  I feel like Stan Freberg should be narrating this sequence...'turn off the bubble machine'.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Alice and the Marmalade

This is such a strange drawing, I have no idea what it is supposed to be depicting without the captions that would have been pasted to the storyboard.  But it looks like Alice is scooping out marmalade from a smiling jar on her way down the rabbit hole.  I particularly like the treatment of her hair in this drawing.
This next drawing shows the aftermath of her reckless scooping as she is now surrounded by giant drops of marmalade, and surprising, some bats!

Monday, September 10, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Alice Enters the Rabbit Hole

Alice, ever the curious one, peers into the rabbit hole down which the White Rabbit has disappeared.  Anthropomorphic Dinah is clearly NOT wanting Alice to do this as she is holding her back!  The drawing is reproduced in the David Hall book.
Alas, Alice indeed follows her curiosity and falls down the hole.  This drawing shows David Hall's dramatic take on Alice, her face is the picture of shock and even terror!
Alice continues to tumble down the hole.  Note the characteristic skinny legs that David Hall nearly always drew for Alice.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - The White Rabbit Makes His Appearance

Oh my fur and whiskers, I'm late!  The White Rabbit races onto the scene clutching his spectacles to his face and looking at his watch with a very worried expression on his face in this pencil drawing.
This watercolor shows the White Rabbit preparing to enter the rabbit hole to make his escape.  Labeled '11' in the lower left corner.
The next still is a close up of the previous one, labeled '11A'
All the images here were reproduced in the David Hall book.  Here is the watercolor.  I don't know which orientation is correct, my assumption is that the stills are the correct orientation.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Alice Plays With Dinah

Our story continues with Alice playing with her cat Dinah, with the daisy chain on her head.  This is pencil drawing, and I'm happy to say it reside in my collection as illustrated in this post!  The caption for this reads "and sets the silly crown on its head."  Although this still doesn't show it, this is signed, but outside the image area.
Dinah is clearly not happy with the daisy chain, and struggles to get rid of it.
And in a bizarre twist, begins walking around on two legs!  Anthropomorphic Dinah was (thankfully) not included in the final film.
A partial signature is visible in the lower left corner, and there is a notation in the lower right corner '8-10-12'.  This drawing was reprinted in the David Hall book.

Friday, September 7, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Alice on the River Bank

We continue our establishing shot, now we can see Alice at the river bank with Dinah, trailing her hand in the water.  This still is labeled '3' and is signed David Hall in the lower right corner.  This still and the one from yesterday are clearly watercolors, I would love to see them in their full color renditions.
Fortunately the above watercolor was reprinted in the David Hall book, although slightly cropped.
The next still is a closeup of Alice gazing at her reflection in the water, holding a flower in her left hand.  This still is from a pencil drawing.  You'll see in later drawings the watermark of the paper in some of the shaded areas of the drawings.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

David Hall Story Art Stills - Establishing Shot of the Countryside

It is time for a new series, one that I hope you'll enjoy.  A series of over 100 stills of story art by David Hall that was used to create a story reel (Leica reel) for the 1939 attempt at Alice in Wonderland by the Walt Disney Studio.  As most of you know, this version was shelved, and David Hall left the studio shortly thereafter, but the art lives on.  Unfortunately I do not have the full set, but it should be fun anyway.

Today's stills feature the opening establishing shot of the English countryside, the first still is labeled '2'.  You can see David Hall's signature in the lower left corner.
The second still is a close up of the central portion of the first image, presumably to draw your attention to the river bank.  It is labeled '2A'.  You can see two swans swimming in the river.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Box Office's Promotion Magazine - September 22nd, 1951

I recently picked up this vintage magazine put out by Boxoffice, and it turned out to be a fascinating magazine from cover to cover.
I had never heard of this before, it appears to be some sort of supplement to the standard Boxoffice issues that came out regularly.  But this magazine is 100% dedicated to the concept of promoting films, in every way, shape or form.
For instance, take this teeny little blurb on the Alice in Wonderland Sunday comic.  Seems barely worth mentioning since it is only a total of 34 words.
This is cool, I previously posted this page when I did my series on the original set of NSS posters for the 1951 release.  At the time I did not know where the page came from, but I do now!
As I said, this magazine is all about how to promote movies, and it give you lots of tools to do so.
For instance, this page provides a list of upcoming releases and when those films have previously been mentioned in something called the National Pre-Selling Guide. 
Or this item, which lists in the Pre-Selling Guide, which films are having records released and what the titles will be.
Nice little blurb about the Alice RCA Victor records.
And finally, a condensed page of reviews of current films, where they were reviewed, and how well received.
Think of it as a pre-cursor to Rotten Tomatoes.
Alice did pretty well!  What this magazine lacks in pictures, it more than makes up for with sheer quantity of information.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Original Store Display Sign - Wonderland of Toys

I've been underbidder more often than not on eBay lately (which is probably a good thing), but there are times when you just wish you had gone the extra mile, and this was no exception.  Once again, something I've never seen before, an original store display sign.
This could be unique, a one-off for a local store, I don't really know.  All I know is that it is really cool and I wish I had won, but such was not to be.  As George Carlin says, "you can't have everything, where would you put it?"

The text on the sign reads:  "Another Valu-Rack Department Serviced by Standard Merchandise Co., Los Angeles"  I cannot find any references to this company on the web in the limited searching that I have done, but I presume that they were a local wholesaler of general merchandise to area stores, like the local five and dime.  Large department stores or national chains would have had their own distribution.

It went to a good home, just not mine :-)