“Disney is one of the very few studios that could have gotten behind a movie that was going to be done frame by frame,” he says. “No other studio could even imagine getting involved in it.”
“Those shots were generally done on an optical printer, which was basically a projector and a camera,” Ellenshaw explains. “The camera just re-photographs different images onto the same strip of film and you have what’s called a composite. You have the finished thing, you have the animated penguins with Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews against a painted background. But you would get matte lines, you’d get fringing around the people, and you’d have to balance the film. The photo chemical process is pretty clunky. A piece of film is pretty small, so you’re trying to build a watch with a sledge hammer!”
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