Woolie Reitherman - Disney Family Album Part 2Apr 29, 2023
Willie's instinct for leadership made him Disney's choice to direct The Jungle Book, a film that blended action and personality as well as animation. We had always used an orangutan in The Jungle Book because that's actually what Rudyard Kipling had in his Jungle Book story, but of course we took a lot of liberties with it. Willie took Kipling's orangutan and combined it with Loy Prima's voice to create a unique and crazy character. -do-do then something else that moved caught her sensitive eye Louie would always take his band down on a streamer and walk through the audience and between the aisles even and he would honk in front of her and he and the musicians that they were always following him was a great finish to his act and we maintained that for Mowgli's voice man-cub Willie didn't have to look any further than his own backyard his son Bruce has perfect pitch for the
partthere's another guy, another little kid who had been involved in doing the voice for Jungle Book who came back one afternoon with a voice that was three octaves lower and suddenly they needed someone in a real hurry and I was in the right place at the right time it was natural and that it's what we wanted and he was still in that awkward stage lets just say he really did a little kid i chose personality your strong characterization strong voices that fit the character the strongest personality in the jungle book belongs to baloo the bear because hey , boy you need help an old blues will teach you to fight like a bear now come on I'll show you we've been through a lot of guys and some were obviously trying to be funny and missing that and finally Walt came back he had been in Palm Springs at a
party where Phil Harris had been there he says why don't you try Phil Harris geez some of the entertainers said Phil Harris in a Rudyard Kipling movie Cheatham and Noddy Waltzes yeah once we took Phil there and we told him not to be a bear but to be Phil Harris, he put him in front of the bike and just ripped him apart under Willie's direction, the animators were able to put pretty much any personality on a bear's body from the balloon bouncing to gentle Winnie the Pooh Oh Oh nice to see you it's friendlier to know you're going that way and I'll go this way that was a whole different kind of just that was a whim that was almost a teddy bear that it came to life and had nothing to do with trying to emulate or get actual movement from the bear eventually Willie co-produced Fox and the Hound in which a grizzly bear brings the film to its dramatic climax well in Fox and the Hound there was also a bear and they treated him like a real bear there really was no personality in the course of the bear he never spoke which would have ruined anything else but he was treated like a live real bear and i think the picture would have been kind of ok not a little would have been pretty flat without that kind of climax from 1933 to 1981 the best action sequences and Disney movies were animated directed or produced by shaggy Gryba me in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow we did a headless horseman chase and it had all the potential for vibrating guts that you could wish for and again I just used the start with a drawing and go ahead and see what happens.
I am basically action oriented and I like to go to the extreme of things. I like danger. It's exciting and I think it's something everyone should experience from time to time to wake up. I think I always enjoyed the climax of a fight because it stirred up my emotions. when I was doing it and I'm sure if it stirred my emotions it would stir an audience's emotions to a very high point. and although the faster he moves the slower it takes for all that weight to go around but also the way you get the size is because you have a little cricket that's right next to his eye and then you have this huge extension which gets bigger hey I gotta get in there, this Lady fight scene and reveals another of Willie's methods of keeping audiences on the edge of the sheets.
I think it's very effective in action sequences if you can stop for a minute because again it's too, too much to absorb, sure you know somebody's taking a beating, but yeah, it's when you stop for a minute and there's that confrontation, they are so vicious that when it starts again, then it gives the audience a little bit of silence Joe and in sleeping beauty will direct the scene of the fight between the prince and the dragon something is going on all the time of a life nature or death in this sequence the prince jumps over the drawbridge because it is destroyed by the evil queen he rides a short distance and when he gets to the castle the thorn appears and there is the next big thing that has to break through he just does that and she explode. him with dragon fire.
I know when I first showed it, some of the guys criticized will have how the Prince got up there and all that stuff, but Walt liked it because he kept driving, driving, driving the whole time, I think one of the things. that was interesting to me throughout that sequence. I tried to make everyone think that the prince was going to be killed. We didn't know, in theory, we didn't know. In other words, you were driving to kill that Prince the whole time. but that's what i mean is he progresses and builds and builds and builds and excitement until manet if you can't you have nowhere else to go then stop stop right there and he'll kill you
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