Saturday, March 17, 2018

King Louie & Flunkey

Ken Anderson came up with sketches that defined the relationship with King Louie and the little langur monkey in The Jungle Book.
Louie is annoyed by Flunkey who imitates his own jazzy vocalization. The Anderson sketch shows a simple "shut up" approach. In the final footage, animated by Frank Thomas, there is more of a chase involved as Louie tries to silence the monkey. Frank did animate the Ken Anderson version, but for all I know that footage is lost.

Monday, March 12, 2018

More of Milt's Penny

I created these "model sheets" of Penny scenes animated by Milt Kahl...a long time ago.
Way back when production began on Oliver & Company I started doing experimental animation of the character of Jenny. What better inspiration than a girl character of the same age animated by Milt?
So much to learn from these drawings. When to draw the jaw line all the way to the ear and when not.
How subtle facial features like eyes, nose, lips work in perspective. Hands, clothing, and simplified anatomy in general. There is a lot to love here.

I didn't end up animating on Oliver and Company, (except for a handful of scenes with the dogs, Roger Rabbit was calling), but these sketches still present to me a standard of excellence when it comes to animating a young girl like Sarah in my film Mushka.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

More Wilhelm M. Busch

 Can't get enough of the extraordinary work by German Illustrator Wilhelm M. Busch.
The compositions, the intense search for portraying human anatomy in its most fascinating way...
so much to admire. Most definitely one of my favorite artists from the last century.
I so wished I could have met him when I was still living in Germany.
Art that makes you think about your own approach to seeing the world.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Prince and Dragon

I posted about this dramatic sequence from Sleeping Beauty before. Here is some more material showing aspects of the production process.
Actor Ed Kemmer (1921 - 2004) acted out action scenes for animator Ken Hultgren, who drew most of the Prince footage, as he fights the growing thorns and the Dragon.

A number of scenes were animated with a variety of dragon designs, before the final appearance became finalized. Eric Cleworth animated most of the Dragon, but I am convinced that Marc Davis added some graphic strength to this character. Drawing # 21 looks very much like Marc's work.

These are earlier posts on the same subject:

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Words of Wisdom

...from Don Graham, Disney's prime art teacher during the Golden Age of animation. All of the animators valued his classes enormously. This is a magazine article from December of 1940.

Thursday, February 22, 2018


A beautiful rough animation drawing by Ollie Johnston. It looks to me that this scene was based on live action footage. Many scenes with the stepsisters in Cinderella were handled in a cartoony way, something Ollie regretted later on. He thought he might have gone too far occasionally portraying them as broad animation personalities. And...I probably agree.
There is a drastic difference between the realism of the Stepmother and Cinderella versus the broad animation of the Stepsisters.
But the two sisters represent much needed comic relief within the story, and they do perform as such beautifully.
Cinderella remains one of Disney's best storytelling. I do love this movie.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Edgar in a Panic

This is the second half of a scene, in which Edgar, the butler realizes that he might be in trouble. After kidnapping the cats he had left behind his hat and umbrella at the scene of the crime.
Milt Kahl surely had some fun animating this close up dialogue scene. His extreme use of squash and stretch adds unique comedy to this character. And that wonderful feeling of loose, moving flesh on his face. Of course he knew when he could go this far, his animation of Madame Bonfamille by contrast is an exercise in subtlety and grace.
The dialogue leading up to this moment: "They (the police) wouldn't find a clou to implicate me. Not one single clou. Well, I'll eat my hat if they...MY HAT, MY UMBRELLA!"