Capturing Life in Animated Film
The studio had steadily been moving towards creating characters that would invite audiences to suspend their disbelief about the reality of its animations. In The Silly Symphonies , unrestricted by the need to work with established characters or traditional subject matter, Walt continued his exploration of uncharted territory. He used each symphony to experiment with different animation and sound techniques and to try out new forms of storytelling . While the Skeleton Dance exemplified Walt’s perfecting the technique of applying animation to music, and Flowers and Trees showed the way to using color to create atmosphere, it was through characterization and storytelling that the Silly Symphonies became a household word. In The Three Little Pigs , released in 1933, Walt and his animators “put real feeling and charm in our characterization.” Changing the traditional fairytale’s storyline so no little pigs were eaten, the studio took the three pigs and the wolf and gave them realistic appearances and a sense of life; out of their drawings they created actors who reached out, and engaged the audience emotionally by encouraging it to really feel the situation and root for the little pigs.