Monday, January 17, 2022

Donald's Pinata

Three gorgeous rough animation drawings on 12 field paper by the great Fred Moore. In the 1944 film The Three Caballeros Donald Duck is about to find out about the tradition of how to handle a Mexican Pinata. Panchito the rooster blindfolds Donald after handing him a baseball bat. 

While Ward Kimball animated the movie's iconic theme song, Fred Moore animated spectacular scenes featuring Donald, Jose Carioca and Panchito.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022


About five months ago a Lady from Russia (I believe) posted these photos. She had seen this design sketch of the three Witches for The Black Cauldron on this blog, and she used the image as a motif for embroidering a collar. This blows me away. I feel flattered and flabbergasted. 

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Edgar stops the Carriage

This scene appears after the opening credits for The Aristocats. The kitten Toulouse has climbed on to the butler's head and is playing with the hat's plume. 

Milt Kahl shows his mastery for how hands articulate an action clearly and beautifully. The first drawing is held for a little while with an eye blink on top. I love how Edgar's right hand reaches for and grabs the kitten. After that the same hand straightens out the hat before moving down to grab the horse's reins. Impeccable staging here. Edgar's head stays in profile pretty much throughout the scene as not to attract attention away from the hand action. And that action is the main thing in this scene for the viewer to follow.

Any animator who knows the mechanics of hands and how to apply those within the acting will always be ahead of the game. 

Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas

I didn't get around to drawing up a new holiday illustration, so instead here are a few doodles for a scene from Mushka that is set in the winter.  Actually the film includes a few sequences in the snow, but this one will look different in terms of rendering and camera moves. 

I hope all of you are having a nice holiday season. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021

An Old Tossed Idea

At Disney during Walt's time, there were numerous projects in development over the years, but then cancelled for one reason or another. One of them is Reynard the Fox. Developed in the 1930s at the studio over a few years, it was eventually shelved one day. The main character was too much of a thug and a rebel. Qualities Disney did not want to see in a title character. 

Many years later, after Walt's death, the studio decided to produce the tales of Robin Hood, but with animal characters. Robin was going to be a fox, so for internal research, the artists referred back to what had been drawn for Reynard the Fox

Milt Kahl ended up animating Robin, and I know that he referenced this vintage story sketch for one of the character's opening scenes. This is no coincidence. Look at the two poses! The old inspires the new. Lightning is going to strike me, but I have to admit that I prefer the lively story sketch over Milt's version.

This sketch is currently offered by Heritage Auctions. 

Heritage's latest online auction also includes this beautiful cel from one of my favorite Robin Hood acting scenes. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

"Don't worry about me!"


...Mowgli proclaims to Bagheera, who for the moment is fed up with the boy's reluctance to be taken back to the man village.

This is a very simple scene animated by Milt Kahl. There is subtle movement within one pose. The body attitude is defiance, Mowgli's clenched fists show his rebellious temper. What a shame that The Jungle Book film presentation on Disney + is a 16 x 9 format. It completely cuts off Mowgli's lower body. The movie's proper format is 4 x3. 

These copies of Milt's rough animation drawings were given to me by Dave Michener, who did assistant work on the film.