I want to dedicate this fic to @nerdyadventures , who also beta this fic. You were with me for almost the beginning of the story and there is no way this would be the story it is today without your support, I don’t have words to tell you how thankful I am for you and I’m sorry this story haunted you even in your dreams. For @ltrumbley , @bananannabeth@keekal and @artemisrae too, you guys helped me so much even if you didn’t realize it. Y por ultimo para @vithcytries eres una campeona y te agradezco tanto por cuidar mi espalda.
For the PJO/HOO Big Bang 2017.
‘I’m pathetic’ Annabeth thought while she clicked on the next picture, ‘very, very pathetic.’ It was a Saturday night, her roommates were out in some club having the time of their lives and what was she doing? Sitting on her bed stalking her crush on Instagram. To make things worse her crush was also her best friend for over ten years, her brain yelled at her to leave her phone but she clicked on another picture, it was of her and Percy on Montauk, his arm was around her waist and she was wearing his snapback, they both were grinning at each other and they looked so…couply. Her heart squeezed in pain. She looked at the date and tried not to groan, the picture had been posted 145 weeks ago. When did she go so deep into his page? Well, being fair, he didn’t post that often and most of the time it was random pictures and barely pictures of him unless he was with his friends (her heart did a whole routine when she realized he had more pictures with her than with anyone else)
Annabeth threw the phone on her bed. She should have gone out with Piper and Hazel but she wasn’t really feeling it, she wasn’t feeling like doing anything. Work had been brutal that week, her bosses had overworked her, leaving Annabeth laying on her bed wondering if it was worth it walking to the kitchen for a glass of wine or going back to stalk Percy’s pictures? She was sure he had a few of shirtless ones…The sound of the doorbell made her jump, she wasn’t expecting anyone and Piper and Hazel had their own keys. She did a quick check of her clothes, an oversized gray sweater, and some old constellation pj’s pants, she looked as presentable as she could be.
With one last groan, she left the room, putting her hair up in a bun. “Who is it?”
“The love of your life.” Annabeth recognized the voice, a smile forming on her lips.
“Is it you pizza? Have you finally come to elope with me?” A familiar laughter came from the door just as Annabeth was reaching to open it, revealing the man whose pictures she was obsessing over a few minutes ago.
“Unfortunately it’s Chinese not pizza,” Percy said with a smile that melted her, he looked good, too good for someone who just came out of work and was stuck on a long train ride to Brooklyn, it should be illegal to look effortlessly good. “But I hope you can still take me.”
Annabeth sighed dramatically. “I guess I can make an exception for tonight,” She took the bags from his hands and walked back inside, Percy following her. “And what do I have the honor of your lovely visit tonight?”
“I missed my best friend, isn’t that enough of a reason to come here unannounced?” He walked to the kitchen and started pulling plates from the cabinets. “Piper and Hazel aren’t home?”
Warner Brothers and Disney: Two Approaches to Two Similar Characters
I watched the Disney short ‘Trick or Treat’ (1952) for the first time recently and I noticed some striking similarities with a later Warner Brothers short ‘Broom-Stick Bunny’ (1956).
I’d argue Warner Brothers does a much better job at characterisation than Disney and what better way to prove it than to show how the two studios approach two similar characters.
Both have a character named Witch Hazel, both are voiced by the same actor (June Foray), both of the stories involve trick-or-treaters. Fom then on they start to differ. Let’s start off with the designs.
The WB Hitch Hazel is full of contrasts, subtle angles & curves. Even if she didn’t have green skin the design would still be very unique. She has a large overweight body, very short skinny legs, a big angular bulbous nose. Her hands are very skinny and bone-like (with knuckles, not always common in cartoons). The hat is unique, and so is her hair, it even has individual curls (a nice touch, adds to her character, shows that she’s a bit manic) and the Chuck Jones patented skin tooth.
In contrast the Disney Witch Hazel is a lot more generic. Being the Aryan lover Walt Disney is, the Witch is blonde & white. She has a wart, cleft chin, a couple of winkles on her lip and a bulbous nose (not as large or angular as WB). The big contrasts in her design is that she’s very short and her hat’s very tall. The hands are fairly unique & complex for Disney character design at that time but still nowhere near as unique as the WB Witch Hazel.
Now to be fair, you could argue that ‘Trick or Treat’ was made earlier than ‘Broom-Stick Bunny’ and the stylised, UPA-influenced designs weren’t as prominent in 1952 as they were in 1956 (the year ‘Broom-Stick Bunny’ was made) but even so ‘Toot, Whistle, Pluck and Boom’ (a stylised, UPA-influenced Disney short) only came out a year later in 1953 and Warner Brothers were already making more specific, angular designs in the late 40′s and early 50′s. Even the WB Witch Hazel character was introduced as early as 1954.
Now let’s look at how the two characters act, starting off with the WB Witch Hazel. I’d recommend watching the scene again from 2:43 to 3:12. Note how tailored the animation is to Foray’s voice than Disney’s.
Here she says, “LIKE IT?!? why it’s absolutely HIDEOUS!!!”. Witch Hazel leans back & stretches out when she shouts “LIKE IT?!?”, crouches down & curls up as she says “why it’s absolutely..”, then stretches out again to say “HIDEOUS!!!”. The animator has exaggerated Witch Hazel actions when she shouts, but moves her less when she speaks softly. This kind of animation makes you believe the character you’re watching on screen is saying those exact words.
There’s plenty of great scenes with Witch Hazel in ‘Broom-Stick Bunny’ (even though this is a Bugs Bunny short, she steals the show) but I really like this particular scene for showing her character. Notice her hand movements, the way she twiddles her fingers, the way she leans in to talk, blinks slowly, flutters her eyelashes, moves her legs and so on.
Compare this this to scenes with the Disney Witch Hazel.
This would be one of the ‘better’ acting scenes in the short and even this isn’t in the same league as Looney Tunes. All she does in the clip is put her hands on her hips (to show she’s cross), pull a generic angry face (only the eyebrows show she’s angry), and rubs her nose (for what purpose I can’t fathom).
A lot of the scenes with the Disney Witch Hazel involve her moving and jumping around a lot. Which doesn’t add up to describing the character’s personality apart from saying that she’s energetic and happy.
It doesn’t help that a lot of the camera shots are cut very short. Compare that to ‘Broom-Stick Bunny’ which has an uninterrupted animation scene for almost 30 seconds. Goes to show how much priority Warner Brothers put towards character compared to Disney.
Here she is introducing herself. There is a tiny bit of unique acting here, she does flutter her eyelashes (like WB Witch Hazel).
Here she says “kids,this piegeon’s a pushover”. All she does is point to him, and flick her hand. Note here how in all of these clips (and when you watch the whole short) how the Disney Witch Hazel hardly makes any facial expressions at all. Meanwhile the WB Witch Hazel has no shortage of different facial expressions.
To sum up then, Disney take a very general, stereotypical approach to characters whereas Warner Brothers made more specific, unique characters and even though they’re more exaggerated than Disney, they’re based off observations of real life people.
That’s why people remember not only the main characters like Bugs & Daffy, but a whole cast of other characters like Witch Hazel, Tweety, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, etc.
If you’re into animation and you’re studying animation characters, study Looney Tunes not Disney.