Friday, June 17, 2011

Nero & Brutus

I want to show you a few images that demonstrate the development of Nero and Brutus from "The Rescuers".
Milt Kahl was responsible for their character design, and I think they look great.
To get started Milt drew realistic studies of alligators , probably from photographs.
The written note on the first sheet makes me laugh. Apparently Milt didn't know the answer to that question, I wonder if he ever found out.
The next step would be to add personality, as you can see in the beautiful
marker sketches. Wonderful heavy and bulgy animatable forms and shapes.

As usual Milt did a lot of exploring in forms of thumbnails and layout sketches.

The following two animation drawings show, that Milt treated them as a
real menace. Very scary expression on the second one.
Here's what's interesting : Frank Thomas animated the two characters playing the organ, as they try to get to the mice who are hiding in the pipes.
Milt very much disagreed with the way this sequence was handled. He thought
Nero and Brutus act too clowny, and that they loose their menace.
You can see the sequence here :

Frank Thomas had a similar issue with Milt's Medusa, he thought that SHE looses
HER  menace when she freaks out in front of the mice.
Interesting arguement. 

If you ask me, I think ALL characters come off well.
The organ sequence is funny, but it also has scary parts with  the two crocs acting as villains.
And Medusa doesn't loose her edge either, I think it's interesting when a villainess
shows a weakness.

So I think I am sort of disagreeing with both animators...lightning is about to hit me!
What do YOU think ?