Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sir Ector

Frank and Ollie said in their book "Illusion of Life" that the humans in Sword and the Stone were animated without the benefit of live action reference, and the results are beautiful.
For the most part Sir Ector , Wart's foster-father, was animated by Milt Kahl. 
John Lounsbery and Eric Larson also did key scenes with the character.
In the scene pictured below, Ector has a few words of warning for young Wart, who claims  to have pulled the sword in the stone: "You're making a fool of us, boy! Now tell the truth!"
This could have been a very ordinary continuity scene, but Milt found ways to add subtle personality touches.
After the crowds laugh in disbelief of Wart's statement, Ector turns his head toward camera, gathers his thoughts for a brief moment before addressing the young boy, who is staged off screen right.
On "Tell the truth" Milt uses a strong head nod, which causes Ector's hat to follow through on the main action. The result is slightly comedic and helps to turn this into a personality scene. 
The way his moustache overlaps during dialogue is pretty nifty, too.

These are key drawings from an earlier close up scene in the film. They show a wide range of rich expressions for this boorish and pompous character.