Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmastime Mega

In the early sixties there was a new (but not overly loved) Disney character by the name of Ludwig Von Drake ...

Drake showed up in the Fall of 1961 to introduce color to Walt's revamped anthology show, then moving from ABC to NBC.

Drake continued showing up for some years thereafter, and I, a kid at the time, always found him irritating. (Maybe it was Paul Frees' fake German accent, maybe it was Von Drake's frenetic personality. But whatever the underlying issue, I found the fowl forced and unfunny.)

L.V.D. had a short-lived comic book (four issues), and he's appeared sporadically in various animated products throughout the years. Mega Collector -- who own the drawing up top -- doesn't know who did the thumbnail board, but speculates it was done early in Von Drake's professional life, probably '61 or '62. (By Ward Kimball? Ward once told me he animated Von Drake at a breakneck pace, drawing him small on the hole-punched paper so he wouldn't waste a lot of pecnil mileage on him.)

But I can understand why Mr. Kimball would work on L.V.D. has quickly as possible. The bird is something of a pain in the backside.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Huh. I thought the bits with Von Drake and his little bug pal Herman were hilarious.

Christopher M. Sobieniak said...

Yeah LVD does have his fans though I wasn't particularly interested in this character either.

Phil Johnson said...

I've always like LVD. I think he reminds me of a few teachers I had. Smart, but kinda nutty people. :)

Anonymous said...

He grew on me. I was always happy to see him, as it meant animation instead of a nature hour.

Anonymous said...

I love him and always did.

You can download the LVD album from iTunes. I did so recently and was once again amazed at Paul Frees' vocal acrobatics.

And LVD isn't German. He's Austrian.

Steve Hulett said...

So was Mr. Shicklegruber. Although he caused havoc via a larger country to the north.

Floyd Norman said...

I was one of the guys assisting Kimball on Ludvig Von Drake. Fred Kopietz followed up Ward on a lot of stuff as well.

Kimball was an "animation machine" knocking out footage at an unreal rate of speed. He hardly put anything on the paper - yet it was all there. The guy was a truly amazing animator. One of Disney's finest.

Brian Mitchell said...

From what I understand, Ward could knock out half a minute (or more) of rough animation in a day...and it would be pretty amazing.

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