Saturday, October 6, 2012

Animated Energy

These animation roughs by Milt Kahl are from The Martins and the Coys section in the feature "Make Mine Music'" from 1946.
I find the exuberance and vitality in these dance poses infectious, when I look at them.
The characters are Grace Martin and Henry Coy, and they are in the middle of their spirited wedding barn-dance.
(You won't find this section on the edited DVD, released years ago.)

The animation is not based on live action here, the characters' cartoony design didn't require it.
And yet there is an elegance and clarity even at this first pass rough stage. 
The sheets are not numbered, which indicates that they haven't been timed out. The final animation probably differs a little from these exploratory sketches.
Pure joy !

In a different scene wedding guests join in the folk dance.
Look at how the two main characters make eye contact in the second sketch!

The hilarious square-dance caller as a rough and as a clean up drawing.
I love the fact that at times his head almost disappears in his oversized collar.

You can see on this cel that during these fast dance moves the inking wasn't always spot on. Watched in motion though everything looks terrific !


  1. Lovely! Animated dances really amaze me. Was Milt much of a dancer himself do you know Andreas?

  2. I really don't know. I have to ask his daughter Sybil next time I see her.

  3. I love the loose, cartoony animation of the package features. Most people gloss over these films and prefer to think they don't exist. I find them fascinating though. Their obscurity and lack of popularity makes them even more interesting in my book.

    In short, I'm glad they exist.

  4. I forgot, why was this segment edited out? Was it because of the gun "violence"?

  5. I recall that Richard Williams used the sequence of the guy stomping one foot and pounding his hand extensively when he did his Masterclass workshops. It was fascinating to witness him break the sequence down.

  6. Thank you for posting great pictures again. That´s so fascinating to look all those sketches and finsihed cels done by masters.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful lines! Thanks again Andreas!

  8. If I remember correctly..some of these moves were also used for the dance section in Jonny Appleseed.Thanks fer sharing the roughs for these!!

  9. I was able to buy the Danish edition of "Make Mine Music". The Martins and the Coys' segment was included in this edition (you got to be able to see region 2 DVDs). I find this segment one of the best Disney shorts. It's not violent, it's sarcastic and, in my opion, one of the best way to look at marriage. The dance sequence is as vital as it can be. The secondary character just fantastic, the old granpa sneaking out in the rival family's territory and the reaction of the rooster is just amazing. Grace has a J. Howard Miller touch to her style and the ending of the segment is one of the most clever thing I've seen in American animation.