Friday, 19 October 2018

Iwerks' Horseman

There’s an interesting animation effect in The Headless Horseman, a 1934 ComiColor short by Ub Iwerks.

There’s a dissolve to Ichabod Crane sitting at his desk, reading the book about the title character. As the background pans slowly to the left, the animator turns Crane and his desk. You can’t get the full effect through these screen grabs but you can see where the body starts and where it ends up.

The chalkboard is out of focus, adding some depth. The same effect is used elsewhere in the cartoon, though public domain prints are so washed out, you can barely see the nighttime scenes. Iwerks pulled this off using a jury-rigged multiplane camera.

Perhaps these ComiColor shorts will get restored some day, but no amount of restoration can fix the lacklustre story and stiff animation in this cartoon. Carl Stalling gets a credit for the musical score, which is quite good.


  1. That depth almost gives it a 3D effect.

  2. Good news, Don. Thunderbean is currenly working (along with the rest of Flip) on a two volume ComiColor set. Don't know when it will be out, though.