Saturday, May 4, 2013


That is character actor Don Barkley, who provided live action reference for the character Nanny in Disney's 101 Dalmatians. He also acted out scenes with the Badun Jasper and the TV character Dirty Dawson. A performer with great range!

Nanny from Disney's 101 Dalmatians was primarily animated by Ollie Johnston, but there were a few other artists who had a hand in designing her appearance.
Based on Bill Peet's  story sketches character stylist Tom Oreb came up with these wonderful designs. The animators pretty much kept the qualities in these drawings, except for her slightly elongated upper lip, which distinguishes her from the the Fairies in Sleeping Beauty. I would have preferred to see Oreb's mouth configuration in the animation. 

Milt Kahl pushed the proportions further and added realistic eyes.
The shapes in his sketches are definitely inspired by Oreb, but Milt always had his own sense for graphic perfection.

Ollie Johnston softened the design's angularity a little to the point where he would feel comfortable animating Nanny. Ollie created a great walk for her.

Frank Thomas explored a range of proportions.

Here he is helping Ollie with motion analysis and staging.

Nanny is a very sympathetic character, protecting those puppies means everything to her. She could have been handled as a much more comic type, but her loyalty to the Radcliffs and her affection for the dogs make for a warm, motherly personality.

On a different note, this is post #300 !!


  1. I love these! (101 Dalmatians is one of your favorite Disney films isn't it? It's one of mine.) Congrats on the 300th post! That's quite a feat. :)

  2. Congratulations on the 300th post. I'm sure the time just flew by. We've all been lucky that you've done so much, here. Thank you.

    The Tom Oreb drawngs are just gorgeous. I can picture every scene in that film with only the mention of it. All of the artists involved did brilliantly. A masterpiece, to me.

  3. Is it true that some animation of the Nanny was stenciled from animation of Merryweather from Sleeping Beauty as a cost saving method?

    1. I don't believe so. At least I haven't noticed any Nanny animation that looks like re-drawn Merryweather scenes.

  4. Thanks for all your posts so far, and congratulations on reaching 300 already! I've always loved Nanny's personality. Seeing the development work is lovely.

  5. It's always fun to see the different stages of a character, and the reference photos as well!

    I just wondered…do you have any pre-production work, character sketches, pencil tests, anything for the movie Hercules? I think it's a wonderful movie, and I would really like to see a post about it. (Even if it's just a itty-bitty post!)

    Thanks for a great and inspiring blog, and congrats on reaching 300 posts!

    1. I have very little from Hercules, but there will be a post coming up.

  6. Great character evolution, every stage has something interesting. I'd love to see more of this kind of stuff.

    And congratulations Mr. Deja, keep it up! :)