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Preliminary sketch for one frame of Fantasia from John Canemaker’s collection
(© Disney)

Esopus 5 (Fall 2005)

Let A Thousand Drawings Bloom

By John Canemaker

The animator and historian draws from his personal collection to offer a sequence of preliminary sketches for one frame of the “Nutcracker” sequence from 1940 Disney classic Fantasia. The drawings are printed on a recently developed translucent paper which allows readers to experience the superimposition of the layers just as the studio’s sketch artists did.

Animator, scholar, and author John Canemaker’s films include Street Freaks (1975), Bottom’s Dream (1983), Bridgehampton (1998), and The Moon and the Son (2005), which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art and was featured in the 2005 Telluride Film Festival. Canemaker, who lives and works in New York, is the director of the animation program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as the author of 10 books and more than 100 articles on the history of animation.