Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Staging Pongo and Perdita II

Storyman Bill Peet drew this story sketch of Pongo and Perdi enjoying a peaceful moment together just before their lives would change with the upcoming visit of Cruella De Vil to the house.
For animation Ollie Johnston considered a different type of staging, more of a downshot of the two dogs through the window.

Frank Thomas referred back to Peet's staging, but simplified the silhouettes by hiding the dog's legs.
He also changed Perdita's head angle which makes for a better contact with Pongo. Even in this very rough sketch Pongo's muzzle reacts nicely to the hard surface of the windowsill.

Milt Kahl started out be defining Pongo's  appearance more clearly. It seems like he wasn't entirely happy with this version.

So he redrew it and referenced Frank's muzzle shape. Milt also felt that leaving out the dog's legs would simplify the staging, and guide the viewer's eye to the center of the frame, the Dalmatians' heads contacting.
There is also an abstract quality to the composition. The contour of the dog's bodies looks like an idyllic landscape with little hills and valleys. (The calm before the storm).
Milt did this sort of thing intuitively, he could never explain it.

There is no photo of Pongo's voice actor Rod Taylor working at the Disney studio to be found.
He either was photo shy or he chose early on not to promote the film.
Here is a picture of co-director Clyde Geronimi showing actress Lisa Daniels a story sequence.
Lisa voiced the character of Perdita. (Not to get confused with Lisa Davis, who voiced Anita.)


  1. Great Post. It's amazing to see how much thought went into the staging of the scene, talk about plussing in action. There's more asymmetry in Pongo's head in Milt's final version, so appealing.

  2. Dear Andreas,
    Thank you so much for all that you're doing for us, and for all you've done being a part of Disney all these years!
    You are my biggest inspiration and I am always look up to you. My wildest dream is to receive a feedback on my work from a master animator such as yourself. If you could share just a few words with me, any critique or suggestion, anything you would like to tell - it will be a great impact and will be more than enough to hope for. I sometimes make little cute animations in Disney style such as this:
    Please, contact me via email: disneyrus @
    My name is Pauline and I live in Russia. Please excuse my English spelling and grammar. I really hope to hear from you soon and looking forward to any new pictures you'd share with us on this blog.
    Best regards.

  3. How interesting that so much goes into a simple image of two cuddling dogs. :D And the hilly "landscape" is exactly what I saw in Milt's.

  4. Nice to compare different master´s works. And its great to see, that drawing guidelines of head are not just for amateurs like me, but Milt drew that also. :)