Ub Iwerks was just an 18 year old working at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio when he met another young artist named Walt Disney. They became friends and formed their own company together, “Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists,” where they produced newspaper comics. Later on, Walt learned of a new artform called animation, and convinced Iwerks to join a new studio he had formed, called the “Laugh-O-gram” studio. It was there that they made their first animated cartoons together, which were modern versions of classic fairytales. For many years, they continued to work together in different studios until they hit it big with Mickey Mouse. Later on though, Iwerks felt like Disney wasn’t giving him the credit that he deserved, so he left Walt and formed his own studio, “The Ub Iwerks Studio,” and created characters such as Flip the Frog and Willie Whopper to be his stars. Eventually, his studio went bankrupt and he ended up going back to Disney, and was given less credit than he had gotten before.
His animation style was very fluid, with very clear pantomiming that clearly showed the thoughts and emotions of the character. For example, a character’s chest would blow up like a balloon and deflate when taking a breath. Little details were also put into it, such as eyes scannng back and forth before completing an action. Much of this pantomiming was inspired by current silent film stars, such as Felix the Cat and Charlie Chaplin. He was also well known for being very fast with his animating. It is rumored that he could draw hundreds of frames in just a day. This often allowed the cartoons to be put out in a matter of just a few weeks.
In my flipbook, I was trying to adapt the very exaggerated acting of the character to show thoughts and emotions. I added details such as sweat drops and the eyes glancing back and forth before the character realizes something. Another thing I added was the blushing that they would show by blinking a character’s face back and forth between black and white. They had to do this to show the emotion of embarrassment clearly, as they had no color and could only ink the drawings in black and white. I think my adaptation is pretty successful, and it shows the elements and details that I wanted to incorporate.
Williams, Pat, and Jim Denney. How to Be like Walt. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 2004. Print.