Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Posing Break Down: Disney's Tarzan-Jane's Rant

In 1999 I went to morning showing of Disney's newly released Tarzan with my friend Jules Jammal.  As students of animation at the time we both fell in love with this film and each time I watch it, I think of Jules who passed, sadly, away in 2014 and how impressed, inspired and excited we were walking out of the theater.

The animation and attention to detail in this film is stellar and Jane Porter instantly became one my all-time favorite animated characters.  The scene where Jane arrives back in her camp after being saved by Tarzan and seeing the gorillas for the first time is one that has stuck with me since that day I sat in the theater watching it for the first time. There was something tantalizing and elusive about seeing Jane struggle to tell her father about her adventure "swinging through the vines..." and after a long wait for it to come out on DVD, I discovered it was the longest un-cut shot in the film, clocking at just under 50 seconds! Even the DVD lists this scene as "Jane's Rant" in the scene selection:
Ken Duncan and his team did an amazing job animating Jane in this moment but the animation seen in Professor Archimedes Q. Porter (supervised by Dave Burgess) -who is on screen the longest of all the characters in this shot- and Clayton (supervised by Randy Haycock) are brilliant. This shot remains the one I turn attention to and has been the element of many hours of personal study. 

It began as great scenes do, with thumbnail sketches as seen below from Ken Duncan as borrowed from The Tarzan Chronicles,
Here are many of the keys and breakdowns from this shot. Find the keys most closely associated with the thumbnails above. You can watch it here (it's the whole movie but set to this moment-it seems slowed down just a bit in the link provided but hopefully you'll get the idea).
The script for the above images as taken from here.

Porter: Are you all right? We've been everywhere looking for you.
Jane: Oh, oh my goodness. Daddy, I was out walking. I was--little baby--little baby monkey, and I drew a picture. Suddenly the monkey starts crying, and I turned around and there's a whole fleet of them! There's an army of monkeys, a huge tree full of them, screaming at me! Terrified I was, terrified. Suddenly I was swinging in a vine, up in the air, swinging, flying, I was in the air. And we were all surrounded. And Daddy, they took my boot.
Porter: They took--those were the ones I bought you.
Jane: And I was saved, I was saved by a flying wild man in a loincloth.
Porter: Loincloth? Good Lord.
Clayton: What is she talking about?
Porter: I haven't the foggiest idea. Takes after her mother, you know.


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