Thursday, October 25, 2012

Early Robin Hood

What a beautiful character line up for a Disney animated feature!
This is how Ken Anderson envisioned the cast for Robin Hood. Nice contrasting shapes and silhouettes  make for a visually pleasing set up.
Although the one character who doesn't seem to represent his animal type clearly would be the Sheriff of Nottingham as a wolf. More on him in a future post.
Robin Hood himself is of course a caricatured fox, drawn here with a thin neck and with proportions that make him appear much younger than the final version.

These sketches by Ken of the title character represent a spunky mischievous type.
They date back to August of 1970. The movie's release was November of 1973.

Milt Kahl tried to preserve the "spunk" from Ken's drawings and explored animatable shapes, forms and expressions.



At that time John Lounsbery was cast as the animator for Robin Hood. Here are some of his exploratory sketches, based on Ken's and Milt's work.

I don't know if it was director Woolie Reitherman or Milt Kahl who voiced disapproval of these results, but things were about to change. For one thing, the length of Robin Hood's nose became a major issue of discussion. 
The choice to have British actor Tommy Steele voice the character was also questioned.

To be continued.