Saturday, July 7, 2012

King Lion




He is referred to as King Leonidas at the Disney Parks and Consumer Products, but in the movie Bedknobs & Broomsticks he is simply King Lion. (Not to be confused with the animated film I worked on).
These are a couple of model sheets Milt Kahl created for the character. In those days he did his design work with a felt pen, then added either grey tones or some color using Magic Markers.
These are beautiful drawings, though I would have liked to see a new design for a Disney lion, instead the reuse of Shere Khan's facial features.
But I love the way he moves, so much weight in his walk, like the scene when he comes on screen for the first time.


This scene can be seen toward the end of the Soccer Game. The Soccer ball is loosing air and flies out of control. It "gooses" the King, and this is his reaction.
The first two images are copies of actual animation keys, followed by original rough drawings which Milt discarded. He changed the landing slightly for the final version. But this is great raw stuff, from Milt's brain right on to paper, his first pass.







18 comments:

  1. I haven't seen Bedknobs & Broomsticks, so I thought it was King Richard from Robin Hood. Really nice drawings, though.

    I need to get around to watching that.

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    1. Do yourself the favor and get it on Amazon for a few bucks.

      http://www.amazon.com/Bedknobs-Broomsticks/dp/B004SK1Q4M/ref=sr_1_6?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1341731610&sr=1-6&keywords=bedknobs+and+broomsticks

      The animation is worth studying.

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    2. I don't think I've ever seen the whole film either. That and the three caballeros. For some reason those Disney movies seem to be less promoted than something like Cinderella or Snow White.

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    3. Funny really, I saw the whole film many times as a kid back in the early 80's when it did get a home video release then, though I also recall seeing it in school once from a 16mm projector too.

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    4. I got it on DVD last year -- lots of fun. Good songs by the Sherman brothers, good cast, especially David Tomlinson (the dad in Mary Poppins), good Kahl-heavy animation in the few animated sequences, fun premise.

      I'm glad to get this behind-the-scenes look at the art!

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  2. These are wonderful. What did you think of Talespin using the jungle book designs?

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    1. I don't have a problem with it (though the guys who worked on the show did bother to act like it was nothing since they simply altered those characters to work within the means of their show).

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    2. I suppose if they were simply 'original' characters than it wouldn't be the case, but since they bothered to use those characters from the original film then that's where I see it as a sticky subject over why they couldn't do it in their own vision/design.

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  3. More great Milt Kahl drawings to ogle at! Thanks, Andreas!

    This sequence is so much fun! I especially love the secretary bird character, he's such a fun design. I love the scene where he straightens himself up after the King roars from off screen, as he tells the humans that the soccer match is cancelled and dismisses them. Milt animates all this great business for him to do (fastening his cuffs, straightening his tie, etc.) and makes it seem that the bird deals with this on such a regular basis that he can do it all with his eyes closed, and still retaining his dignity (or at least attempting to).

    Somewhere I have a pencil test saved of that scene of the ball goosing him. I gotta find it. But when you think about it, with the Xerox process and all, the final animation in the film is practically a pencil test, besides a little rubbing down here and there.

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  4. Thanks again for all this wonderfull material, it's priceless !

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    1. You're welcome. Greetings to lovely Paris!

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  5. Andreas,

    The scratches in the bottom corner of the roughs, do you think that would be Milt working a point or edge on his lead there?

    The animated soccer match is one of my favorites that gorilla goalie and the cheetah who can't keep his pants up make me smile every time I see it.

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    1. You got it, Milt is just sharpening his pencil on discarded drawings.

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  6. Excellent, love seeing this!
    Jeff

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  7. "STOP. THAT. BALLRAWRRRRRRRR!!!!!!" :D

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  8. Have been quite a while since I saw that clip. The ruffs seem to indicate that Milt was in a hurry and had to hand the scene over to an assistant/animator without being able to finish it.
    Because for me that last part in the animation never worked, no sense of weight, and the movement of the medal was a mess too. I know it's nitpicking, but the scene always looked to me as if two different animators made that shot.

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    1. Last time I checked that scene looked fantastic. There is plenty of weight, and the medal's bounce feels just right to me.
      A beautiful "mess".

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