Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jungle Girl

As story artist Floyd Norman can testify, finding a proper ending for "The Jungle Book" proved very difficult for the crew.
They had created all these entertaining sequences full of rich characters, but how do you wrap it all up? How DOES Mowgli end up at the man village?
Finally, in a meeting Walt Disney himself suggested that a young girl would  lure Mowgli away from the jungle toward the village.
Guess what, the animators hated the idea. Milt Kahl blurred out: "Yeah, and we'll call it 'The Lure of the Tame' "!  
"Walt was NOT amused", Milt recalled years later in an interview "He just gave me a look."
Even Ollie Johnston thought, this would be a tacked on ending. Nevertheless he ended up with the assignment of animating the sequence. "The more I thought about it, the more I liked it" Ollie said. 
The challenge for this situation was to find the right balance between innocence and sexy for the two characters. They are both still very young, and this needed to be handled very carefully, or the sequence would be laughable.
Of course Ollie was the perfect choice to animate it, the end result feels genuine and sincere.

The first color sketches are by Ken Anderson and Vance Gerry, the second one seems to be inspired by painter Paul Gauguin.  






These are more specific character  sketches by Ken Anderson. You can compare them  directly to the following more nuanced versions by Milt Kahl.
I am completely in awe of those drawings, there is an absolute beauty and charm 
to them. Milt just had a way of creating the ultimate appeal for Disney characters.
Disney's Michaelangelo? You bet!










This blue animation rough by Ollie shows that he was able to utilize beautifully what Milt had prepared for him. 
The last sketch by Ken Anderson suggests a somewhat different tone for the final sequence in "The Jungle Book".


25 comments:

  1. the last one threw me off there. Funny

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    1. Maybe i can use this for a short film with Mowgli and the girl Shanti and Baloo and Bagheera would be in it so will Kaa and Shere Khan and Mowgli's little brother Ranjan.

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  2. It's awesome that she has such an impact for being on the screen for only one scene! Milt put enough delicacy in her to balance out the "alluring" aspect. And thanks for sharing all these stories! They're quite entertaining!

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  3. What a great example of Milt Kahl building off of Ken Anderson's sketches. I knew that Milt thought of himself as the "refiner" but I've never seen it so clearly!

    And that last image is hilarious!

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    1. I think the last image was very cute and romantic.

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  4. It is a good thing, that she is almost like Mowgli, only with longer hair and a girl's attitude. So we can understand his shock, and leaning when he sees a human after seeing only animals: just like when you see someone like you. And she is not only a human, but a GIRL!
    I think this ending turned out right eventually.

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    1. Laci i should agree with you about this. The ending was good. But the last photo of Mowgli kissing the girl was so cute.

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  5. I think that every boy that has ever watched this has been lured by the girl. Now that is a mission accomplished!

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  6. Those eyes are almost as mesmerising as Kaa's!

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  7. Looking at the rough drawings really brings it home, the way the artiest worked so different from each other but were able to bring a very coherent look over all. I love looking at animation at this point you can see the life in the line before it is cleaned up.

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  8. I have a quote on my wall by Isaac Stern: "Make it so simple you can't cheat."
    These Milt Kahl sketches are certainly an example of masterfully designed simplicity.

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  9. Cute darling girl, cute darling girl, cute darling girl, WHAM! The last image HAHA!
    But I really loved that last scene in the Jungle Book, especially Mowgli's dazed grin at her.
    She's such a beautifully drawn character, but Jungle Book 2 ruined it a bit for me because she became a main character. I preferred it when she remained so mysterious. :D

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    1. I always wondered why that didn't happen in real life. After all, nowhere in the film do they evidence that Mowgli speaks any human verbal or body language. XD

      Jungle Book 2 wasn't faulted in showing her more (not as much as it was faulted for annoying characters, bad acting, cheap animation, etc.); it was faulted in completely throwing away her personality. She's demure, soft, and impatient for maturity...you could easily use that in the story.
      My rule of thumb is that any female character you can describe with the phrase 'Spunk' in a film made after 1992 (animation is awful with this) is probably not a fully rounded and worth-watching personality. Does she have a motivation? Some inner acting worth? A character arc? Naah, spunk.

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  10. Nice sketches...Ken Anderson never exploited his talent for deep space as much as we'd like to see. The one at the top is breathtaking.

    Michelangelo? Naah. He was bold, volitious, lumpy, powerful, and sensitive in acting. That's Bill Tytla (or maybe Abe Levitow?).
    Milt Kahl is Raphael - the perfect compositions, the cool angles, the cheated sfumato, the astonishing looseness and three dimensional space.

    Now, all we need is to break the other cliche'd animation comparison is calling Emery Hawkins "Animation's Rembrandt." If anything, he's animation's Duschamp. Who the hell even came up with that analogy? XD

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    1. I was more referring to the degree of genius.
      And there were plenty of those around in the Golden Age of Animation.

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    2. Andreas the drawings of the girl in the Jungle Book were fantastic. But i was so surprised to see the drawing of Mowgli kissing the girl. I never saw that before and it's so cute and romantic.

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  11. I'm still not a big D fan, but thank you so much for showing these drawings, they're so educative and informative in regarding the process in which they were created.

    Also nochmal, danke!

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  12. BTW Andreas did Duncan Marjoribanks do any scenes of Triton? A few look a lot like his.

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    1. There are a couple of Duncan's scenes in the sequence where Triton gets mad at Sebastian, early on in the film.

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  13. The one thing that always sticks out for me when I watch Jungle Book is the voices. Mowgli's voice seems to change during certain scenes. Did they use more than one child for the voice - or did the child mature some? Also, the girl's voice to me sounds too adult when she is doing her little siren song. Was that a child actress or grownup?

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    1. Director Woolie Reitherman used the voice talents of two of his sons for Mowgli. Puberty is that age when voices change...and they did.
      The voice of the girl was Darleen Carr, who I believe was a young teenager when she sang the song for the film.

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    3. Hey Andreas I loved the last drawing of Mowgli kissing the girl. But why didn't they use it in the movie? I sure hope not the girl slapped Mowgli on the cheek.

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  14. I think the drawing of Mowgli kissing the girl Shanti is very romantic and cute. Maybe i can use this for a cartoon.

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