Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy Birthday, Milt Kahl!



Today is Milt's 104th birthday.
The photo was taken around June 25, 1974 at his "40th Anniversary with Disney Party" at the studio.
Milt is obviously enjoying goofy gifts from some of his colleagues.
When I started at Disney I remember seeing a long printed panel that was made up for the occasion. It was titled "40 Years of Kahl Characters" and showed many drawings from his long and astonishing career at the studio.

So this is a good enough excuse to post more of his roughs from his last animation assignment, Madame Medusa. Except for the the eyelash scene, all of these drawings are throw aways. The final animation differs just a little from what you see here.
"I was always trying to get the most entertainment out of everything" Milt said, and that intense search for character comedy, inventive drawing and great animation is evident in the these images.

But let's start off with a drawing from one of the first scenes he ever animated for the short "Mickey's Circus" from 1936.
























I posted a xeroxed image of this thumbnail page before, but this is a better scan.
Both of these were a offered at auction recently.



21 comments:

  1. Happy B-Day Milt, and thank you mr. DeJa

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  2. A very Happy Birthday to the legend!! Thanks for sharing those killer drawings :D

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  3. Feast for the eyes! Thanks Andreas, and happy birthday, Milt, we still love you.

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  4. Such intensity in gesture and acting!

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  5. I remember we talked about Medusa and I mentioned that she looked like a bag of potatoes on sticks.
    You corrected me an said : "..a bag of MASHED potatoes"!
    But what a wonderful bag of mashed potatoes she is!!!
    Congratulations Milt!!

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  6. Hi there Andreas and happy 104th birthday Milt!

    I was wondering if you could shed some light on these drawings for me? In the sketches where parts of Medusa's arms or full arm hasn't been drawn is that arm simply remaining stationary?

    And also the drawing in which Medusa is firing the gun? The numbers down the side, are they to indicate the animation of the back and forth kicking of the gun as it fires? Staggering of drawings?

    Thanks,

    Liam.

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    1. As I mentioned, these are throw away drawings. They are unfinished, that's why parts are missing.
      As for the numbers on that one sheet, I really don't know what they represent. There is no stagger in this scene, just a strong reaction after the gun goes off.

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  7. Happy Birthday to Milt, and thank you for another great post! :D

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  8. I love the word balloons in the pictures on the wall behind Milt almost as much as I love the drawings.

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  9. Hi Andreas. Thanks for sharing. I love the Mickey drawing....I now know why! I didn't realize the Milt drew Mickey from that scene in that short. I have been looking and eyeing drawings from that sequence over the last couple of years and auctions. I will have to keep my eye out for a good when next time.

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  10. Happy Birthday to Milt. And thank you for post great drawings again. Nice detail, that they´ve marked the initials in old days. Just come to mind couple question. Did Milt study drawing at schools? How much he practised drawing , whe he was younger or was he always "He did not draw, if not needed"?

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    1. Milt had limited art training. After leaving high school early, he went into advertisement.
      But I don't think he was a compulsive draughtsman at that age.

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    2. Andreas, this is incredible! I can easily see why Milt Kahl inspired you so greatly! I love his works & yours & every other animator on your blog! Keep up the good work! Incidentally, where did you get all this?

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    3. Some are originals. Trainees used to pick them out of Milt's trash at the end of the day, then years later they sold them.
      Others are photocopies, the owners want to hang on to them,
      but I was lucky to get a copy.

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    4. That's incredible! Incidentally, I'm actually Eric Zimmer with a new name; I had problems with my old account! I'm simply fascinated by animation & am seriously thinking about doing it. I remember you said something about being your own critic. Well, I've been very critical how I draw cartoon characters & have been working harder & harder to improve my drawing skills before I even attempt to do an animated clip a few seconds long. Thanks again for sharing the works of the Disney animators as well as your own work, Andreas!

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  11. Some beautiful gestural work and great poses in his Medusa work. Full of energy. Happy belated birthday to one of the masters...

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  12. I just turned a bunch of these into a rotating slie show on my desktop. Great stuff.

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  13. I'm just now finding all these great things on your blog. It would also be great to see any admiration you have for modern characters and animators' works as well.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I'm not an artist (well, not a visual artist), but I love hand-drawn animation.

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  14. Just watched "Tiger Trouble", and thought how great and funny animations there is. Wonder who animate that short, and suprised what names there was : Milt Kahl and Eric Larson! Surely John Sibley and Jack Boyd did great job also.

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  15. This was nice found about Milt http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.fi/2013/11/a-great-animator-that-drew-movie-ads.html

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