Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I don't think I could have found a better drawing than this one to illustrate the point of action and reaction. And this is a one that Milt Kahl trashed, because in his mind something needed to be changed, which called for redrawing the poses.

Toward the end of The Rescuers Medusa is kicking Snoops in order to keep him away from the diamond. This is magnificently staged. From Medusa's shoulder all the way down to her right foot, one continuous line !! Her hands are holding the diamond up high in the opposite direction of Snoops. The idea being, you can't have this, it's mine!
Snoops reaction is very simple to read as well. Head, arms and legs, they all face forward to support the backward kick. What a drawing, sophisticated simplicity!

A little later in the film, Penny gets a hold of her teddy bear with the diamond in it. Medusa and Snoops are trying to stop each other from catching up with Penny.
Here Snoops has just grabbed Medusa's legs, as he is hitting the floor, his legs still up in the air.
Medusa's upper body reacts in a big upward stretch before falling down flat. 
All this action follows typical animation rules of overlap, weight and squash and stretch.
But it is just presented in a such a brilliant way.

It's fun to study the key drawings of the entire scene below.
I love the way Snoop's water balloon belly reacts when Medusa steps on it.


  1. Great posting again, thank you for sharing. That grabbing the Medusa is genius! Is there hold on image 129 for three frames?. Even seeing just images, theres the power that grab. Would be nice to see video from these pictures. Is there inbetween any images? Did Milt Kahl work for x-sheets like quoted in Richard Williams book. ” Whenever i see my drawings with odd numbers on them , i know i´m on twos and when i see even numbers, i nkow i´m on ones.” Or did that depends on case? (And Sorry Mr Kahl, up there somewhere, for my stupid animation questions ;) )

    1. There is no hold on 129, I posted the key drawings only. The scene is all on ones, so there are many in-betweens not shown here.
      All Disney animated scenes are done with an X-sheet, it is part of the process.
      Sometimes you can be on twos with even numbers, often a scene is animated partly on ones and partly on twos. So the numbering can be all over the place.

  2. Andreas, did Milt Kahl use any assistants in his work of Medusa and Snoopes, or did he single-handedly do every extreme drawing and inbetween on these characters?

    I've always read that he did all the work himself. just curious...thanks!

  3. Every Disney animator has an assistant who produces the in-betweens.
    It was Stan Green who helped Milt with Medusa.

  4. Such gutsy drawing right here!

    Do you know if Milt made those pencil scratches on the side to keep the end of his pencil sharp? I often find myself doing that when I work with softer pencils.

  5. when doing a fast action like this, would Milt work Straight ahead? again, thanks fer sharing the goodness.

    1. Yes, he would. But he would have done exploratory thumbnail sketches before , so he knew where he was going with the characters.

  6. Awesome.

    I love how Milt has the gun recoil backward by about two hands lengths from frames 146 to 150. Milt was such a master of the use of opposing directions.

    I'd be a fun exercise to see if we could recreate the timing charts based on what Milt has here as he transitions back and forth from 1s to 2s.

    Thanks for posting this Andreas!

  7. Great post as always ! Thank you

  8. You can really see the unsung work of Stan Green in the final tie down of the characters in the released film. Snoops almost looks like he's animated by someone else? Stan added to Milt's work 100%.

  9. Mr Deja, would you check out a few of my drawngs and give me some poiters please? I really liked this post and how a drawing can gain movement. I find mine too static :(

  10. These are just incredible! Such great movement and expressive drawings. Thanks for sharing these Deja!