Saturday, May 18, 2019

Steps in the Making of the Jungle Book

Disney created educational panels like these off and on to help promote a new upcoming animated feature. They were hung in the main hallway of the animation building, ground floor, or at the movie theatre where the film premiered.
I recall seeing Steps in the Making panels for Sleeping Beauty, The Aristocats and The Rescuers.

For The Jungle Book the character of King Louie guides you through the animation process. 
Sketches by Ken Anderson, storyboards, and animation drawings by John Lounsbery and Frank Thomas help explain how Louie makes it from early development to final cels on to the screen.

All pretty basic stuff, but still lots of fun to follow nevertheless.
Milt Kahl is featured in the photos, and yes, I do own his animation desk.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Jungle Encounter

An absolutely charming and unique T. S. Sullivant illustration. And as usual full of surprising poses, expressions and textured like work. A visual treat!

Friday, May 3, 2019

More Black Cauldron Designs

Heritage Auctions is again offering never before seen animation art, including a few more of my early character designs for Taran and Princess Eilonwy from The Black Cauldron
I remember having a conversation with Glen Kean about the idea for designs that reflect a mix of the drawing styles of Milt Kahl and Fred Moore.
These sketches are an attempt to achieve this. Seems like 100 years ago when I drew them.
Black felt pen and Magic Markers.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World

I am thrilled to announce that a new important exhibition is coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
I had the honor and pleasure to guest curate MICKEY MOUSE: FROM WALT TO THE WORLD.
This is a huge exhibit covering Mickey's animation career in film and on TV. Other areas we explored are Mickey merchandise, Mickey comics, Mickey overseas and Mickey's voice actors (that will include the boss of course).
His inspiration on fine art, Mickey's key animators and "How to Draw Mickey".
This is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more.

For infos about the exhibition go here:

There will be a gorgeous catalogue/book featuring the essence of the exhibit.

It was none other than Diane Disney Miller who asked me a few years ago to get involved in this undertaking. What an honor, what a thrill.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Another Frank Thomas Masterpiece

Frank Thomas' animation of Bambi and Thumper on the ice is legendary.
This story sequence was almost cut from the film, Walt Disney questioned its importance within the overall plot of the film.
Marc Davis had sketched the storyboards, and Frank got all excited over the possibilities for personality animation . In order to convince Walt that this might be a highly entertaining part of the movie, Frank posed out the whole sequence for Walt to see. The rest is history.
What a great contrast between the characters. Thumper is so comfortable on the ice, he is a champ skater with his low center of gravity. Bambi is the opposite. His long legs prevent him from balancing his body. 
It's animation business galore.

I noticed that Frank drew Bambi with solid, sometimes bulky legs. Milt Kahl was already in the business of stylizing a deer's anatomy with much thinner legs. (A trend that would continue with Prince Philip's horse Samson as well as Pongo.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Our Planet

Go to NETFLIX and watch Our Planet. Incredible animal footage to study. From the folks who brought you Planet Earth.
As gorgeous as this documentary series is, it does inform you about frightening statistics in terms of disappearing wildlife on earth. There is some hope for creatures like this Siberian tiger, for other species it looks dismal.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Magician Mickey Roughs

The year is 1937. Walt Disney Productions releases SEVEN Mickey Mouse short films. Magician Mickey opened in February, Snow White would be released in December.

In this short Mickey puts up a magic show while constantly being interrupted by Donald Duck.
Consequently Donald becomes a part and a victim of Mickey's magic acts.

Heritage Auctions offered this amazing collection of rough animation drawings a while ago.
I really don't know who drew these, but animation credits from this film include Johnny Cannon, Ed Love, Les Clark, Bill Roberts, Isadore Klein and Riley Thomson.
Fred Moore most certainly was still busy animating dwarfs.

This kind of artwork is extremely rare as rough animation drawings were considered not suitable for archiving. I love all of these expressive, vaudeville type poses. Great clarity and staging.

Talking amount Mickey Mouse: I had the pleasure of guest curating the next big exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum. 

More on this in my next post.