Friday, October 5, 2012

The King and The Royal Lackey

One more post about characters from Cinderella.
As I mentioned before, Milt Kahl designed and supervised the animation of the King.
I didn't know until recently that this character as well as the Duke were voiced by the same actor, Luis Van Rooten. 
That's amazing to me since they both sound so differently, and in terms of acting one is mostly aggressive, the other one reactive. Just as amazing as Jim Cummings, who has been voicing Winnie the Pooh and Tigger for a while.

Here are a few original drawings that show Milt's animation process. At first his rough pass, loose unfinished sketches in color pencil. The emotion and acting is explored at this stage.
It's interesting to me that the character's pupils are not drawn in yet, this is somewhat typical for Milt's first pass. Eye direction is something very important even in this early stage of the process, I myself would need to indicate pupils here.
But when Milt ties his drawings down in pencil, like the third image, pupils are very clearly and unmistakably placed in the eyes.

More examples of Milt's tied down animation roughs.

The Lackey's final design was set by Kahl as well. This first sheet though was drawn by a story artist (?), it shows a certain comedic type in rough form, but more refinement is necessary for animation. Milt of course used those ideas and in trying to plus the entertainment he emphasized the Lackey's overhanging upper lip and  his oversized coat.
Ollie Johnston made the character his own and animated him beautifully, as he is trying his best to fit the glass slipper on the ugly stepsisters.


  1. Thank you , great post again. Beutifull lines, so simple and perfect curves. Intersesting indeed, that pupil thing. Maybe he thought, that not nessecery to use time to draw pupils, pose first, (or something like that.) What could mean that text "wife"?

    1. Wife is the word the king is saying here, the "i" is underlined, so on that drawing the mouth is drawn open.

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  3. I want to thank you sincerely, Andreas, for posting all these wonderful drawings from Cinderella. I kept reading and following your posts since you started in 2011 and I was hoping, within myself, that sooner or later you would consider them. Finally it happened! There is not much available of this kind from Cinderella, neither on the many animation books I own, nor on the internet. I even complained about that with the authors of some of those books (I begged Christian Renaut to do something about it when I met him and now I am "courting" Pierre Lambert to make Cinderella the new project for his wonderful series of art books, after the new "Belle Au Bois Dormant, available at the end of this month). I always felt Cinderella has been mistreated by the many historians and animators. This is the perfect material for "the Sketchbook" that never was. Let’s make this one with a beautiful blu cover :-) Thanks a lot again and congratulations for this fantastic blog of yours. Sincerely, Lino

  4. The King is one of my favorite Disney characters. He really gives the story an extra layer of depth in his few scenes. Adults watching the film can relate to his motivation; despite all his power and wealth, the one thing he wants more than anything is grandchildren, and Milt's portrayal of his frustration is priceless.

  5. Wonderful post! :D Love the king's mustache.

  6. These beautiful designs are very valuable!Thank you for sharing!