Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eric Larson's Burrito

In  February of 1945 Disney Studios released the feature "The Three Caballeros".
The most charming sequence in the film is probably The Flying Gauchito. Frank Thomas did most of the animation of the two main characters, the Gauchito kid and the Burrito.
But Eric Larson did significant scenes as well. I can see why he was cast on the flying donkey, after all Eric had done a beautiful job with the flying horses in Fantasia.

These are his design sketches and a few animation drawings showing the Burrito taking off. Eric admitted to some of us that drawing didn't come easy to him, he actually had planned to become a writer. But when he fell in love with animation his career took a turn, and Eric worked for Disney as an animator (and later animation teacher) for the rest of his life.
There is a lot of work in these drawings. This is a fantasy creature, but the anatomy is based on a real donkey, and the wings move convincingly.

A few years later this photo was taken, showing Eric with actor Bobby Driscoll during production of  "So Dear to my Heart". Eric animated scenes with the Wise Old Owl and the Lamb Danny.

Even though Eric Larson's draughtsmanship might not have come up to the level of some of his colleagues, his sincere love for the medium shows in every one of his assignments.


  1. I love Eric Larson. Interesting to see just how rough his drawings are here. They almost seem quite unsure. Grateful to see some of his work showcased. Hope to see more of the other 9 Old Men's work!

  2. Thanks for posting these pictures! Eric Larson's pegasuses in Fantasia are actually the thing that brought me into being interested in handrawn animation and in Disney's legendary animators!

    I always wondered if Eric Larson did only the big pegasuses, or also the babies (the last donkey on the first image has exactly the pose of a baby pegasus from Fantasia, just the angle is more difficult). Also I still couldn't find the information who animated the unicorns. Tell me please if you know :)

  3. Great sequence. I loved this movie as a kid. I think it's got some of the funniest Donald Duck bits they've ever done.

  4. Most adorable flying donkey I've ever seen! :D

  5. Great post!!! I just love the expression in those last two animation drawings. Thanks for posting.

  6. Very cool character. He did a really great job on the facial expressions and poses. Just screams JOY! lol...

  7. I like Burito so much! :)
    Thanks for this post! :)