Saturday, August 13, 2022

Bambi at 80


Disney's Bambi premiered 80 years ago. Originally not a boxoffice success, it now ranks among the most beautiful films of all time. The film's opening multiplane scene through the forest with its haunting musical choir arrangement leaves me speechless each time I watch it. And the character animation is -I said this before- poetry in motion. 

Earlier this week the BBC aired a great interview with Bambi's voice actor Donnie Dunagen. Now at age 87, he still remembers vividly his association with the character and the film. It is well worth listening to:

A newspaper scrapbook page from Dunagen's own collection.

In 2011 I had the chance to spend time with Donnie Dunagen, when he was promoting the film's release on Bluray.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

More Milt Jungle Book

These drawings didn't make it into the Jungle Book exhibition.  We had so much great material, we could not include all of it. Most of these Milt Kahl "outtakes" are sketches made for other animators.

Colonel Hathi for John Lounsbery, King Louie and Baloo for Frank Thomas and the Girl for Ollie Johnston. 

As Milt proclaimed in an interview:"I was the Disney style!"

Here is a link to a post full of Milt Kahl Jungle Book drawings, from over 10 years ago:

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Lucky Emil

Milt Kahl sent this magnificent drawing of Bagheera to one lucky person called Emil. Probably in 1965. In studying the sketch I think this might be an outtake from an actual scene. Remember when Bagheera gives Baloo a hard time, who just announced that he is going to take care of Mowgli and teach him all he knows? This pose is from that section of the film. Milt added the branch and a personal note, folded the drawing, and off to lucky Emil...

Monday, August 1, 2022

Advance Copy

I just received an advance copy of the catalogue/book about the Jungle Book exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum. 192 pages. It couldn't have turned out better. I am very thrilled with the printing quality and page layouts.

What can I say...I highly recommend it!!

Friday, July 29, 2022


I see all kinds of merchandise with characters I was involved with. This one stuck out to me. I am not sure if it is licensed by Disney...but it sure made me laugh!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Awesome Kaa

A while ago I posted about an Ollie Johnston scene featuring the snake Sir Hiss. I find the depiction of a snake acting like a human utterly hilarious. At least when it is done in such a clever way:

Frank Thomas did the same with Kaa from The Jungle Book. Mind you, the animator can't get all the credit for the comedy in scenes like these. A story artist will have given the scene some thought long before the animator gets his hands on it. The story sketches already provide the main idea for a personality gag. But the animator of course is responsible for the scene's final comedic acting, timing, staging and draughtsmanship. 

At the Jungle Book exhibition we show a few key drawings of Kaa during a conversation with Shere Khan. Suddenly he realizes he said something he shouldn't have. In a case like this a human would raise the shoulders and cover the mouth with one hand. Well... a snake doesn't have any of those human extremities. But Frank turns this moment into a completely believable -and entertaining- piece of character animation.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Busch Horses

A beautiful sketchbook page by German illustration genius Wilhelm M. Busch. I would date these drawings to the 1970s, early 1980s. There are a handful of artists whose work I admire to a point where I love everything, and I mean everything they ever created. Busch is one of them. Every new sketch or illustration I discover is a gift, and an adventure to study. Here's to artistic idols that continue to inspire way beyond their lifetime!