Thursday, May 23, 2019

Marc Davis Bambi Research



A few sheets with beautiful development drawings for Bambi by Marc Davis were recently offered at S/R Labs auctions.
They remind me of what Frank Thomas once said, that without Marc's thorough deer studies quality character animation would not have been possible.
Marc found just the right balance between realistic anatomy and human expressiveness.
He developed appealing designs that could be animated.
Animated by only a few artists who were willing to take on this challenge of studying the heck out of deer anatomy, then adding subtle caricature and acting.






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:

https://www.waltdisney.org/press-room/mickey-mouse-walt-world




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.