HOW DISC HAS PERFORMED A REVOLUTION IN CINEMA AND COMMUNICATED EMPLOYEES BEFORE THE STRIKE
Walt Disney considered himself a genius and a visionary. Studio staff considered him a tyrant. And, no matter how hard Disney tried to present his studio as a happy family, it was clear that the family had problems: on the one hand, he really wanted the staff to call him Walt at home, on the other, when it turned out that many of them can’t get used to the treatment by name, he simply began to threaten dismissal for the word “boss”. At first, all this seemed somewhat charming eccentricity, but while working on the first full-length film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, totalitarian manners developed into banal exploitation.
The idea of making a full-length cartoon in the mid-1930s seemed wild even to the studio’s directorate: everyone was sure that the audience could not stand the hour and a half of animation. Walt thought differently and forced everyone to get involved in an enterprise that took three years and a record $ 1.5 million. There was no question of a family atmosphere: Disney forced to redraw the characters a hundred times so that sometimes a close-up of Snow White artists left the whole day. The matter was complicated by the fact that by this time Disney itself did not make sketches, and showed characters literally on the fingers. It is not surprising that in the painted form they for the most part did not suit him: the handsome prince was too comical, the queen too unpleasant, and the gnomes reminded him at all of a “bunch of niggas.” The constant redrawing forced the technical department employees – phasers and contourists, who transferred the drawings to film – to work for whole days, which is why many of them lost their eyesight. Needless to say, the salaries of these employees were approximately 100 times lower than those of Disney – only $ 12 per week. However, that he would give bonuses to everyone involved in Snow White if the cartoon was successful.
“Snow White” did not disappoint: it turned out to be the highest grossing sound film of the time. Disney was declared the creator of a new movie genre, but he didn’t keep his promises and instead of paying bonuses for overtime, he spent money from Snow White to build a new giant studio, where he no longer tried to instill a family spirit and set up production in the best traditions of totalitarian dystopias. Employees were divided by gender and specialization, women were forbidden to communicate with men, and animators with phasers and contourists were threatened with dismissal. In addition, employees were prohibited from joining unions, including the newly formed Animation Guild. It is not surprising that the case ended in a strike: in 1941 they demanded to recognize the guild and comply with its provisions. In the five weeks of the strike, which threatened the creation of Dumbo, Disney went out to the staff once and said that they “better put things in order at home and stop grumbling.” It is not known how it would have ended if the studio management had not persuaded Disney to go on vacation to South America and in his absence had not signed an agreement with the union.
HOW DISNEY WASN’T WANT TO SHARE A GLORY AND MADE OF COMMUNISTS ANIMATORS
Walt Disney was not an outstanding draftsman. Almost all of his famous characters were created by the animators hired by him. Even Mickey Mouse, the greatest mouse in history, the beloved hero of Benito Mussolini and Franklin Roosevelt, was not actually created by him, but by Ab Iverks – the main animator of his studio. And that was the problem. “Steamboat Willy”, Mickey Mouse’s debut and the first sound cartoon in history, was so popular that viewers refused to watch movies, in addition to which he went, and asked him to rotate the second and third times. All the fame went to Disney, and he did not even try to convince anyone. Disney really voiced Mickey Mouse, but he could not draw it. It came to the ridiculous: once, in 1930, at a party, a child asked Disney to draw Mickey Mouse for him, and he secretly handed over the task to Iverks, who was at the same party, in order to simply sign it. It is believed that for Iverks, for many years indulging in Disney’s vanity, this was the last straw: he suggested that Disney draw his own mouse and left the studio. The incident made an unpleasant impression on Disney, and after the departure of Iverks, he introduced a new rule: only the name of the company is mentioned before the film starts, that is, only the name of Disney, and only then the names of several artists. Many names were not mentioned at all.
New animators who came to the studio were warned: the author of all the cartoons is one and his name is Disney. Many employees resigned themselves, but with the beginning of the era of full-length cartoons, company policy began to seem more and more dishonest to them. The culmination of discontent was the mass dismissal: in the early 40s, David Hilberman, Art Babbitt, John Hubley and several other animators who came up with Snow White, Pinocchio and Bambi left the studio, saying that it was not Disney that created the cartoons, but hundreds of its employees. The case smelled of scandal and exposure, and then Disney was ahead of the curve.