Modelsheets from the beginning of the episode and short analysis
A while ago, I found these modelsheets on the internet. They cover the beginning of the "Molly Coddled" episode.
And they're quite interesting! Let's see them in the order of the episode.
First modelsheet : introduction to the episode
And the same introduction from the actual episode. Do you see differences? Indeed : not the same angle, Baloo and the Sea Duck are not visible, but on the contrary, the buoy and birds aren't on the modelsheet. Why the changes? Also, the modelsheet says "Camera Pan left and Truck out", while in the actual episode, the camera pans top.
Baloo sleeping in his hammock : this scene isn't shown in the actual episode. (well, not like this and not right now) The only hint that Baloo is sleeping in the episode is that we can hear his snoring...
This doesn't happen either, the actual episode skips immediately to...
Covington's boat. That scene is visible in the actual episode, even if looks a bit different. You'll notice the modelsheet goes immediately from "Scene 2 cont." to "Scene 11", so we can wonder if some sheets are missing?
In the actual episode, the boat comes from the right then turns around a buoy and continues to the right, this isn't visible in the modelsheet.
In the modelsheet, this is the next scene : Convington is seen piloting the boat, looking back and losing his toupee, then catching it back. In the actual episode, this happens but with some differences. The most noticeable is Convingtons' reactions : here he seems stressed and annoyed. In the episode, he seems very confident and doesn't seem to care much about his toupee, though he did say "Blast!". I'm putting that mistake on the animation production, the modelsheet seemed more appropriate to the character.
Also, this scene does not happen immediately in the episode : first we see the chase between the thugs and Covington, and them saying "This time, he won't be getting away!".
Actually this happens in the modelsheet too, but only after :
And only then Covington loses his toupee :
Some chasing follows both in the modelsheets and episode, though it would be difficult to compare them, so I will just post them. I'll just add that in the episode, they pass through under a bridge, and this isn't in the modelsheets.
Then Covington looks at his bag and says "Time to find you a hiding place, my darling", both in episode and modelsheet.
Again his expression is different in the episode, and he doesn't touch his bag either.
This was translated into a quick shot of the Sea Duck from a different angle, then one from above :
Then Covington grabs his bag and throws it to the Sea Duck.
Again, this is a bit different in the actual episode :
The bag passes next to Baloo sleeping in both versions. But it doesn't enter through a window, but from the rear of the Sea Duck.
And finally, Baloo getting soaked does happen only in the modelsheets! (shame, it would have been funny :) ), so that also means he doesn't wake up and doesn't see the boat. Maybe this is the reason it was removed, because he could have suspected a thing about how the statue got into the Sea Duck and who put it here.
As we can see, there are big differences between the modelsheets and the episode, to the point that it's even difficult to compare them properly. Why all these changes? The modelsheets seemed pretty fine to me (or even better, when it comes to the characters expressions). Was it the animation production team (Sun Woo Animation, from China I believe, not the best ones) who took the liberty of changing all these? Or were these modelsheets scrapped in favor of others?
It's a bit weird to see so many changes : TaleSpin is a series that was put into production pretty quickly, because Disney was in a rush to produce a new series for the future "Disney Afternoon" programming. So you wouldn't think so many changes could happen when they were already struggling to keep up with the pace! (I won't argue again on the fact that it probably and unexpectedly helped the series to be so creative and well done in the end)
To finish this analysis, I'd like to point something out : I'm very surprised at the quality of these modelsheets!!! They're highly detailed, the characters and even the backgrounds are rich and are, in fact, better looking than in the episode itself!
This is clearly a really professional work. I have seen animated films modelsheets that were much less detailed and in which the characters were barely recognizable, and here we're talking about an episode of a TV series so not the same budget! Very impressive.
Such a shame that the animation facilities who produced the episodes couldn't respect that level of quality, the base material clearly was.