Animation History
June 5, 2013 posted by Jerry Beck

Walter Lantz Background Photographs

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As long as I’m still on a Walter Lantz high from Steve Stanchfield’s latest DVD, I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at some of the photographic backgrounds used in Walter Lantz’s silent Dinky Doodle cartoons. As you know Lantz (and Fleischer, Disney, et al) figured out a cost effective way to combine live action and animation without optical printing. They shot live action, then printed each frame on a large background board. They animated over each photograph, then shot the character on cels over the photographic background.

Super-collector Martin Almeyra has a bunch of the original photographic backgrounds to share with us. Below are frames from Dinky Doodle and Red Riding Hood (1925). You can compare the original (at left – click to enlarge) with the final frame with animation added.

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Here are four more – not sure what film these are from – the one below right (with the rifle) is from The Hunt (1925) as is the close-up of Lantz above (top of post). Click thumbnails below to enlarge.

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Below is an embed of an edited French print of Lantz’s Dinky Doodle and Red Riding Hood… The full original with English subtitles and original opening titles (above) are on Thunderbean’s new DVD, Lantz Studio Treasures starring Oswald.

2 Comments

  • Jerry:
    Thank God for people like Martin,(and you,of course!) Otherwise treasures like these would be lost in the dustbins of history!

  • Nice post. Walter Lantz is generally overlooked for his contributions to animation save for Woody Woodpecker, despite working in the medium since 1924.

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