Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fred's Flair

I found out that whenever your drawings become stiff and overworked looking, it's a very good idea to take a look at some of Fred Moore's work.
Did this man ever struggle? Sure doesn't look like it.
There is an absolute appeal in the way Fred drew, and you can feel the fun he had animating his characters.
You would call his style cartoony, but there is plenty of realistic believability.
Look at this cover illustration for the Three Caballeros Souvenir Album.
Solid weight distribution on Donald's and Panchito's right legs. Jose Carioca puts his weight on the little umbrella, which perfectly counter angles his body.
Jose's left hand resting on his hip shows just the right amount of foreshortening.

Marc Davis used to say "In those early days Fred Moore WAS Disney drawing."
He was the right guy at the right time in the right place!

The first few images show Fred's poses that were inked by another artist.

These are Fred's rough layouts for publicity illustrations.


  1. When i look at these great drawings i think nowadays people can't draw anymore...

  2. Again: "roughs".... I'm loosing my mind! How can a "rough" drawing look like these! Genius.
    I dont't write comment often, but I read your blog since the beginning and I'm still very grateful to you for making it! It means a lot to me! Thanks, Andreas!

  3. There is something about the color schemes in the Souvenir illustration that grips me. It surely got a tried going on in three figures standing in the middle. Additionally,the whole poster also has a similar triad sort of scheme. It looks amazing!( I hope that din't sound nerdy!)

  4. i love the last drawing. Looks like Panchito and Jose are meeting with Fred himself.

  5. Thanks for these beautiful drawings. I deeply admire the work of Fred Moore. He was a master of design and of using beautiful lines. I wish he left more guidance to make learning his style easier, like Ham Luske or Frank Thomas did, but he probably did everything too effortlessly to create any rules that might be passed to others. Still, he reminds me that no thinking and rules can surpass the pure skill, draftsmanship and well trained eye :)

  6. Were those "free lance" projects animators took or was something they did as part of their work at Disney?

    1. This was all part of Fred's daily work at the studio.

  7. Fred Moore, no doubt, is a key character in Disney. In my humble opinion his drawing style changed Disney and changed the drawing style of cartoons drawers of twentieth century till now at days.
    I love his easy and natural drawings. Fred Moore's drawings were just incredibly appealing. As Frank and Ollie wrote in Illusion of Life
    His life always seemed me very interesting.
    A cheerful character, almost juvenile. You could not take him seriously.
    But his work was of a giant.
    I felt sad to know it was lowering its importance in Disney studios.
    I read about his problems with alcohol
    Blackwingdiaries said: "what happened to Fred Moore?... The brief answer, well known today, is that his talent and his health were ruined by alcoholism, but that's a bald-fact answer to a complicated set of circumstances.”
    I was shocked to read about his tragic death in a car accident.
    Really Fred went to the studio for some money for medical help?
    I wonder how this death hit Disney former colleagues.
    Can you write something about it MrDeja.
    (sorry for my poor English -translator online :P-)

    1. Fred Moore was so successful at a very young age, he had a difficult time dealing with that. When Disney started to include more realism in the design and animation of the characters, Fred couldn't keep up.
      Unfortunately that led to a drinking problem.
      When he died in a car accident it was Ollie Johnston who was particularly devastated.

  8. Being Brazilian I have a special pleasure when I see images of Jose Carioca painted in such a delicate manner

  9. Several decades ago, legendary animator, Frank Thomas trusted me with a stack of Fred Moore scenes. Holding the drawings in my hands I was practically speechless. Such charm and appeal and he made it all look so easy.

    Freddy Moore was Disney - and Disney was Freddy.