Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hidden in the Crowd

A while ago I re watched a sequence from "Rescuers", it was the section where Bernard and Bianca are at the airport on their way to find Orville.
The human crowd scenes are not particularly well drawn or animated here, but all of a sudden I noticed a young couple moving up the escalator. It was just one held drawing, yet those two were drawn exceptionally well.
I knew this was a Milt Kahl drawing, but what was it doing here amongst all the other human characters, who were handled by a lesser animator?

This is what I think probably happened:
Milt saw the scene in a sweatbox screening and "objected" to the original drawing of the couple. So he re drew them....beautifully!
It is a solid illustration, done with a lot of care. Both seem lost in their own thoughts, probably thinking about the flight ahead. I just love the way her right hand holds on to his arm, it's sooo nicely staged.
Her whole figure looks simple and elegant, with the weight on her right leg. And look at how heavy her hand bag feels. 
His pose is equally balanced, the body weight is on his left leg. There is a nice feeling of thick fabric for his jacket and thin fabric for his pants.
I could go on....

Yep, I do love Milt Kahl drawings, and I know you do, too.


  1. wow this is crazy. This drawing is over 30 years old and the design on the dude is very contemporary in my opinion. It looks like it was drawn yesterday by a pixar designer. very cool. thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Really appreciate sharing the gold from masters, the tid bit stories are the "Big" things. Question for you Andreas, how do you keep yourself sharp in Animation? Do you constantly go out and draw people, and be observant? Thanks, have a great week.

  3. That scene has 2 animators actually; Ollie Johnston and Andy Gaskill.

  4. Aside from this airport sequence, there was another sequence that bothered me even more. Even as a 17 year old kid when The Rescuers premiered, I knew right off that I didn't like that opening sequence at the U.N. building. The human characters were as blandly drawn as what I was used to seeing in TV animation at the time by the likes of Hanna Barbera and Filmation Studios. I suppose the decision had been made to keep the drawing of the international delegates more illustrative than caricatured, so as to make their mouse counterparts all the more entertaining and appealing, yet I still wonder if there was also some political correctness at play in that decision.

  5. Amazing!!!! I love the texture on his sport coat but it doesn't show up in the color as well. Thanks for posting.

  6. Thank you for having this blog and being the amazing inspiration that you are.

  7. Beautiful. Especially the female, describing so much about how she's feeling with so little. A lot of design elements remind me of Aurora as well.

  8. They also look very similar in design to Bernard and Bianca (but in human form, that is)! Coincidence?

  9. please, go on and on... give us a master class!! love your blog. grettings from Rio.

  10. Perhaps they were working out the film like they do with how publishers do children's books. They like to use a known artist with unknown authors or vise versa. It creates a simple selling point. "oh you may not know so and so but the illustrator is superb."

    I bet they do it all the time to introduce new writters, animaters, or even know music . Well that's jus my two cents. Regardless the illustration does give you a feeling as to where this couples story is at. You never fail

  11. Great drawing! How did you know it was Milt who did it? Was it just the style the drawing was done in, or did it just seem too well drawn not to be a Milt Kahl drawing? I take it you got confirmation from Disney Archives. I love me some Milt Kahl drawings and was just curious to know how you discovered it was him.

  12. Herman,
    I guess I am just interested in stuff, like studying anatomy and behavior of animals and humans.
    My latest "guilty pleasure" is watching "The People's Court" with judge Marilyn Milian.
    You see people lie, being defensive, and occasionally tell the truth. It's kind of fascinating to study that kind of human nature.
    And I am always on the lookout for artists who inspire me.

    I think that's a coincidence.

    I just know a Milt Kahl drawing when I see one, and I am not the only one.

  13. It's always crazy to think about how much goes into a "simple" drawing. I suppose that the animation there isn't as well done just because it's a good scene to get your trainees working on. However, once you know it's there the drawing of the couple stands out.

    The way her hand is on his arm, I can really feel that - just the little bit of tension in the fingers - everything. That's crazy!

  14. Hey Andreas!
    You're blog is so fascinating, I'm an Australian animation student, and I learn 10 times more from reading your posts than I do from my lectures. I never knew why some of my poses and humans looked so bland and static, but you've really inspired me to go sit at the zoo or the beach and study and just draw!
    Keep up the good work, I'm always hanging out for your posts :)
    Ps. Do you have a book on animation? If not, please write one, you have a wealth of knowledge :)

  15. I've heard that Milt wasn't very happy with a lot of what was going on on that film. Statint that there was no place for him in Disney anymore. He left with a masterpiece. That Medusa was phenomenal. ollies cat and Penny were marvelous too.

    Andreas is there any work of Milt that you know of that he made outside of Disney? Maybe some other stuff he did in his free time? In animation ofcourse.

  16. Hey Andreas,
    Since you're a Milt maniac here's a link to my post on him: He didn't make number one but still did pretty good. Thanks a lot for putting his drawings up here because they were very helpful to me in putting this post together. Hope you like it and look forward to seeing you at CTN.
    Best wishes,

  17. Hello Mr. Andreas,

    You really expressed and described everything very well about the illustration and the original drawing, thanks for praise the good work, sharing and instruct us!



  18. How lovely! I've got myself a new desktop background... This is officially my favorite post. I feel inspired to animate and take nothing for granted.

    Best of luck to you!

    Tabia Lees