|Vladimir "Bill" Tytla|
I've already written in depth on my love for animator Vladimir "Bill" Tytla before in this tribute to his brilliant work on Dumbo, but since The Film Experience is doing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for its Hit Me With Your Best Shot feature today I thought it was worth singling out another one of his crowning achievements: Grumpy.
Dopey hogs all the affection, but my favorite dwarf has always been Grumpy because he is the only one who gets to play conflicting emotions. All the others stick to their one note. My favorite display of Tytla's gift for wordless acting comes when Grumpy desperately wants a goodbye kiss from Snow White but refuses to admit it or drop his gruff exterior. It's a complicated idea to get across without dialogue but Tytla makes it look easy showing Grumpy sneaking peaks in the mirror, playing up his crankiness and mock struggling as Snow White plants one on his head. The sequence tops off with this shot featuring a virtuoso bit of animation as Grumpy briefly forgets himself and melts after getting his kiss.