Sunday, March 24, 2013

Countdown to Marc Davis' 100th Birthday

This March 30 marks the 100th birthday of Marc Davis.
I thought it might be a nice idea to post material relating to Marc's career until then.
The photo shows a very young Marc Davis. It was most likely taken sometime in 1939.
Some of the rough model sheets on the wall date back to 1938 and early 1939.
This means that the location isn't an office at the then new Burbank Studios, but a much smaller temporary studio for the Bambi unit on 861 Seward Street in Hollywood.

It's always fun to have a look around and see what you can find and identify in photos like this one.
It looks like Marc is holding a fly swatter, and he is pointing at a print of the Michelangelo painting The Holy Family (perhaps a fly had just landed on it). I don't recognize the artist of the print next to it.
Love the vintage radio, and what looks like a lunchbox on the left.
The illustration with a flock of birds Marc is working on is probably a story sketch. For inspiration he has a stuffed woodpecker in front of him. 
There is a sheet of paper just for sharpening pencils, but I also detect a Mickey Mouse doodle from The Sorcerer's Apprentice on it. That's unusual since Marc didn't work on that film.

Below are scans of a few of Marc's model sheets you see in the photo.

Some of Marc's bird studies for Bambi. All of these look so solid, because of his thorough understanding of birds' bone structure.


  1. I love this idea for a Marc Davis Birthday countdown! His work has always been such an inspiration for me :)

  2. Gorgeous. Jaw dropped when I enlarged the deer/stag images.

  3. Great idea! He sure has a fine body of work to highlight.

  4. Great posting, thank you. First thought i got mind, that he´s studying birds wing and how arc goes on wing on different view angle. But maybe it´s just fly swatter. :)
    Was there standard animation table on that time, or did Disney ordered specific one´s what animators needed?

  5. The Burbank animation desks were of course all specifically designed and built.
    I am not sure about older desk models.

  6. Was about to mention that they had a special dinner honoring Marc Davis at the Haunted Mansion but looks like you went:

  7. Happy 100th to Marc! and today was Alice's birthday! I'll have to call her tomorrow...

  8. Marc Davis has influenced my art in so many ways. Truly an artists artist, being able to do animation, design, and storyboarding. Thank you for sharing these! Will you be posting any of the sketches you did for the special dinner in the Haunted Mansion? I'd love to see what you sketched :) Cheers!

  9. Thanks for posting!:)
    I like the bird studies! :)
    The name of Michelangelos artwork is "Doni Tondo" or "Doni Madonna". :)