Bloopers and Cutting-Room Floor

Animated films are developed through an iterative process of screenwriting and storyboarding.  Scenes may be storyboarded – and may even go as far as pencil tests of the animation -and later deleted as the story evolves.  ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ is famous for its deleted scenes.  Ward Kimball labored for months on the ‘Soup-Eating’ scene, only to have Walt Disney delete it.  There was also a ‘Bed-Building’ scene that was extensively storyboarded.  Disney was on a mission to create something the world had never before seen, and the film could not afford scenes that did not advance the plot appropriately.  Cost was the least of Walt’s concerns, although it was Roy Disney who did the real magic in getting the financing for the Disney Studio to finish the film.  Story development is a very deliberate and expensive process, so it is very rare for a scene to go all the way through inking and painting before it is deleted.

In ‘Who framed Roger Rabbit‘, a scene was deleted after animation and processing through Trace and Paint.  Pete Western worked for months on the ‘Pig-Head’ sequence.  Eddie Valiant is kidnapped by the weasels and taken to Toontown, where he is toonarooed – painted with a Pig-Head.  He is tossed out of the Toontown tunnel entrance and makes his way back to his office/apartment to shower off the toon head with turpentine.  It is an extremely interesting scene, with amazing effects, but Bob Zemeckis felt that the scene leading up to it slowed down the story too much and ultimately decided that the scene had to be cut.


Pete’s misfortune was to be involved in another aspect of the film that was deleted.  The ‘Rules’ of the film were that toons had to interact with real props in the human world and humans had to interact with toon props in Toontown.  Western was given the task of animating a very cartoony toon gun… like something used by Warner Bros.’ Marvin the Martian, who first appeared in a 1948 WB short.  Ultimately, when Bob Hoskins was at ILM to film the Toontown bluescreen sequences he needed something to hold in his hand.  Bill Frake, from the Glendale unit, was there and was asked to draw a toon gun.  The sketch was hustled to the ILM shop and within a couple of hours a cartoony handgun had been fabricated and ended up staying in the film.


Another scene went all the way through animation… and although it wasn’t deleted, it had to be completely re-drawn.  Brent Odell spent an arduous couple of weeks animating a chili bottle falling off a kitchen shelf as part of the opening Maroon cartoon, ” Somethin’s Cooking‘.”  The camera was ‘drifting’, and zooming in and out… and the bottle was tipping and falling… so Odell had to be extremely precise because it was a solid structure, and a ‘flutter’ would be perceived by the audience.  Steven Spielberg was visiting The Forum at the time and leaned of Odell’s should to see what he was doing.  He said, “I hate to tell you this, but we spell chili with only one ‘L’ in the States.  Odell had used the British spelling of chilli, with two ‘L’s


The following link shows ” Somethin’s Cookin‘ ” in its entirety.