Monday, August 12, 2019

For Alan

Here again are some interesting pieces up for auction.
Apparently a young Disney fan named Alan celebrated his 10th birthday in 1979. How he was able to get so many Disney artists (some of them had already left the studio) to do character drawings for him is astounding. And there are many more pieces than I am showing here.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Dwarfs Revisited

An interesting piece is currently being offered at auction. Fred Moore drew these four dwarfs ( Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy and Bashful) probably sometime during the late 40s or early 50s.
You can see how Fred's drawing style had changed. 
From round, thoroughly dimensional designs for the original film to spunky, graphic depictions of their personalities. 
Of course I like both approaches, because Fred Moore, at any time, couldn't make a drawing without tremendous appeal. 
So much fun to discover this sketch!

Here's how Fred drew the dwarfs for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Wouldn't You Know?

I have often wondered if there are any Disney feature film characters that didn't get the final Milt Kahl polish, when it came to finalizing the designs.
I have never seen any Cruella De Vil sketches by Milt Kahl, or Luzifer, the cat, or Tony and Joe from Lady and the Tramp. But Milt did have something to do with the look of most Disney characters.
As he proclaimed in his episode from The Disney Family Album: "I WAS the Disney style!"

Well...he sort of was. In most cases his final designs were based on other artists' rough concepts.
Bill Peet, Joe Rinaldi, Ken Anderson and others.
So I shouldn't be surprised to find the above sketch of Cinderella from the dance sequence with the Prince. Currently for sale at Van Eaton Galleries.
That, for sure, is a Milt Kahl drawing. Eric Larson animated those scenes. There were based on live  action reference and needed to be drawn subtly and perfectly. I bet you Milt even did key drawings for the Prince in this scene. It might be Eric's animation, but the solid and appealing drawing style is all Milt.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Kimball Cars

An absolutely stunning exercise by Ward Kimball in animated motion range for a vintage cartoon car.
This was published in the magazine Asinine Alley,  also known as the Horseless Carriage Gazette.
I brought this piece to Pixar's attention, before they started the Cars franchise.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Pinocchio Layout

I am not really sure what to call this astounding piece of artwork from Pinocchio.
It looks like a layout for a camera move from the opening sequence. But it is in color.
Layouts were drawn usually in pencil before the background artist added the final mood in color.
I suppose this sketch was used for an early store reel, and since this is a very moody nighttime sequence, some color was added to help "sell" the camera over the village rooftops idea.

I re-watched the film's opening sections the other day. What a reminder for just how great this art form can be. Illustrations, paintings, drawings. In stark contrast to the hyper realistic approach of today's animated features.
It's like "art" has been sucked out of the medium.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

A King Louie Cel

Somebody asked me a while ago:
"What's up with Milt Kahl's drawing style? He only uses straight lines in his animation."

That of course isn't true. Milt used straight as well as curved lines when defining a character pose or an expression. He was just very definite when balancing the two. Either very straight or very curved.
It gives the drawing a graphic simplicity and readability. 
King Louie's arms are boiled down anatomy, straight lines. By contrast his belly is a round ball.
This design philosophy started on Sleeping Beauty. It's what Amid Amidi calls CARTOON MODERN.
Limited TV animation beginning in the early 1960s applied these drawing principles wholeheartedly.
The Flintstones, Yogi Bear etc. They established a basic graphic, held character pose, and added limited animation for dialogue or body parts.
When it comes to Disney full animation though, you would have to be a genius to make such a sophisticated, graphic statement with EACH of your key drawings. 
Milt Kahl could do it, and so could Marc Davis. Kimball to a point.

But all of this doesn't really matter that much, because what audiences respond to is PERSONALITY.
And Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, Lounsbery and many others had that going on in spades!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mickey Mouse

I am posting this lovely tweet by Steven to the Walt Disney Family Museum.

You can find more infos about the exhibition here: