nothing so radically new – at least in theory – in the introduction of the third component. Indeed, the Technicolor technicians had at least visualized a three-color future even as far back as 1924. The mystery is not why three components came, it is why they came so late.
The difference between the three- and two-component results is truly extraordinary. There are now rich, deep blues and it is no longer necessary to avoid or to regret the existence of blue skies, blue water, and blue costumes. The old process presented blurred outlines which were even harder on the eyes than its imperfect colors. No color process will ever duplicate the sharp outline of black and white, any more than a three-color magazine illustration will ever have the perfect registration of a black and white page. Color producers today may again mishandle their medium. But at least they will have good colors, well focused, to abuse.
With his three-color process in his hand, Dr. Kalmus set out to find a buyer for it. But the burned children were still dreading the fire and wanted no color no matter how many components it might have. Finally Dr. Kalmus went to Walt Disney (on whom FORTUNE Will write in an early issue). Mr. Disney thought that color might make some sense in his Silly Symphonies, which were light, fantastic, colorful creations. Also, although he had never used the two-color process at any time, he was very favorably impressed with the three-color at first sight. So he went to United Artists, his distributor, and said he was going to do the Symphonies in color. United Artists said that Mr. Disney was maybe a little crazy and it would not advance him any money on colored cartoons, although it had no objections to distributing one if Mr. Disney could produce it. First colored Symphony, released late in 1932, was Flowers and Trees. In the spring of 1934 Mr. Disney signed a contract to produce both the Symphonies and Mickey Mouse in Technicolor and is therefore operating on an all-color basis. Dr. Kalmus well expresses Mr. Disney's service to Technicolor by saying that if he could now turn up a feature-making Disney, all the troubles of Technicolor would be things of the past.
In return for Disney's taking his chances with Technicolor, Dr. Kalmus gave him the exclusive cartooning rights to the process. Once the success of color cartoons had been proved, the other producers again came around to Dr. Kalmus to get film-for their cartoons. Dr. Kalmus said he was sorry but he did not have any film for them. This made the producers angry and left Dr. Kalmus in a difficult position. For if he would not let Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, for instance, use Technicolor in cartoons, Mr. Mayer would naturally have no goodwill for Technicolor in anything else. And, after all, Dr. Kalmus was thinking of features, not cartoons, as the ultimate Technicolor good. So finally, with Mr. Disney's consent, it was agreed that the other cartoonists
THREE LITTLE MATRICES FROM THE THREE LITTLE PIGS
On the left is the yellow-dyed matrix. All the blues in the scene of the pigs singing their Big Bad Wolf song are registered in relief here. In the center is the blue-green, cyan dyed-matrix. Thereon are recorded in relief all the red elements in the picture. On the right is the magenta-dyed matrix which is made from the green. Imagine a positive film with the colors of all three matrices superimposted on it and you will have an idea of what Technicolor projection film looks like. But you will have to study the appendix (How Technicolor Works) before its logic will make sense to you. Incidentally, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf might also be considered the theme song in the drama of Technicolor's recovery, for it was Walt Disney's successful gamble with Silly Symphonies in color that drove the wolf from Technicolor's door. Getting "another Disney" in the feature field is now Technicolor's big problem.
THIS WINTER EDDIE CANTOR WILL BUILD AN ICE-CREAM FACTORY
(Here they are getting the milk for the ice-cream.) Kid Millions, the Cantor picture now being produced by Samuel Goldwyn, will have its final sequence in Technicolor. Therein Eddie, now a millionaire, closes the schools, prohibits the eating of spinach more than once a week, and builds a gigantic ice-cream factory, to give free ice-cream to all the children in town. The color sets were designed by Willy Pogany, who says black and white pictures can appear altogether real only to color-blind observers. The sets illustrate the imaginative Mr. Pogany in one of his most fantastic moods.