Tuesday, August 20, 2013

London & Peter Pan

I am writing this post slightly jet lagged, having just gotten back to LA from a week in London (after a few days in Hamburg, Germany).
The weather was beautiful for outdoor activities, so I skipped museum visits this time around.
I decided to look up the bronze statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. 
Walt Disney paid a visit there while working on his animated version of the J.M. Barrie story. Commissioned by Barrie in 1902, the tall statue was sculpted by Sir George Frampton and placed in the park in 1912. There are all kinds of characters like rabbits, squirrels and fairies climbing up the base toward Peter.

Last Sunday a few friends joined me for a boat trip on the Thames, from the London Eye to Tower Bridge and back to Big Ben. How can you not think about Peter Pan as you pass by these incredible sights. It was an absolutely beautiful evening.

I have always liked this attractive illustration which was used for the film's poster as well as other promotional material.

These are key drawings from a Milt Kahl scene which takes place inside Skull Rock. 
"(Psst, Wendy) watch this!"
Milt didn't use any live action reference here, he was more than capable of pulling this one out of his head. The action is a little cartoony, but believable anatomy is maintained throughout.

Woolie Reitherman animated this surreal moment with Captain Hook emerging from inside of the crocodile's mouth. Other animators criticized the scene at the time for its irrational quality.
All I can say is…works for me! And you couldn't portray Hook's scream for Smee any better.


  1. It's great to have you back, and Milt drawings on my birthday, thanks a lot. Talking about Mr. Kahl, I found this on eBay, they said the sculpture was made by Milt Kahl, and it's signed, I wanted to know your opinion, if it could be authentic:
    Hope you get better from the jet lag!

    1. I had spotted this on eBay as well. A while ago there was another
      sculpture offered, supposedly by M. Kahl.
      There is absolutely nothing here that represents Milt's sophisticated aesthetics. This kind of stuff makes me laugh out loud.

    2. Thanks a lot! You are absolutely right, it doesn't have the aesthetic interests and sensibility of Mr. Kahl. Great post!

  2. Hi Andreas! This is my first visit to your blog! I really admire you putting up so many pencil work of all these classics!I love animation so much but I know very little about it. It would be very much appreciated if you answer the following questions:
    1. How long does it take for an artist to finish one pencil drawing?
    2.How were the special effects produced before computer existed? Ex: The glitter during Cinderella's transformation.
    3.Did you take classes before starting your career (before the 1970 training program)? Are there any resources available for learning animation besides going to college (I mean, there's no way for us to major in animation since they don't exist in normal universities in our country).
    4. How do you determine what gestures should a character do throughout the film? Some movements are impossible in reality (ex: flinging some creature's head...well, I can't think of a better example because you always come up with something more unexpected), so it's really cool to see that you have so many fresh ideas.
    5.What do you use for inking?
    6.How do you convert the paintings into the petite cels on the reel?

    There's a whole lot more because I'm so fascinated with Disney's traditional films. Too bad animation is not that prevalent where I live.

    Sorry for using up so much space and thanks for what you've shared!This place is dreamy!

  3. Woolie Reitherman's scenes with Hook and the crocodile are some of the funniest moments from the film. I always saw Woolie's action-oriented animation as superb. Great material!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hi Andreas! I've discovered your blog only yesterday. I'm from Italy.
    I love Reitherman's scenes because they're so vigorous and they are perfectly placed when it's necessary.

    P.S.: I hope I haven't made any mistake

  6. Hallo Herr Deja! Ich muss Ihnen hier als deutsche Fan mein Kompliment aussprechen! Ich bin erst vor Kurzem auf Ihren Blog gestoßen und verfolge Ihrer Posts mit großer Freude!:) Ihre Zeichnungen und Animationen sind wundervoll und stecken voller Leben! Ich selbst zeichne auch seit Kindestagen sehr gerne und habe auch seit einiger Zeit das Animieren für mich entdeckt! Ich würde das auch sehr gerne zu meinem Beruf machen, bin mir aber nicht sicher, ob dieses Berufsfeld aufgrund der zunehmenden CGI Animation überhaupt noch ein Zukunft hat ... was würden Sie dazu meinen? Ich würde mich auch gerne bei Disney selbst bewerben, bin mir aber so gar nicht sicher, ob meine Fähigkeiten dazu ausreichen würden. Auf meinem Blog befinden sich einige meiner aktuellen Werke ( http://teresawolfrum.blogspot.de/ ) Wäre es Ihnen möglich hier aufgrund dieser eine grobe Einschätzung zu geben? Nur, falls die die Zeit und Lust dazu aufbringen können!

    Ich danke schon mal im Voraus & hinterlasse meine Besten Grüße!!! :)

  7. Oh wow! I guess I have another place to go on my "to-do-travel-list" for my life! Thanks for posting that sculpture but ESPECIALLY thanks for posting those Milt sketches. I have been obsessing about movement lately--watching everyone and everything move. This movement of Peter is great, like you said cartoony but totally works. In fact, this scene sticks out in my mind as one I gravitated toward as a kid, too. He just seems so uninhibited in his motion--like a fairy or something. LOVE IT! Thanks again!

  8. How DARE cartoon characters have scenes that are irrational! :)) Andreas...why did they feel this way? It's a comedic moment and hilarious. The scenes with him and the croc are the best in the movie...Props to Woolie. Didn't know he did this scene.

  9. I really like Peter's blink anticipation on the dialogue. Great stuff..and the great movement into forward space.
    Thanks fer sharing these!! Woolie's Hooks were all so solid and well done. I liked it when he is climbing up the pole at the boys..the great acting plus the solid drawing on the foreshortening...brilliant, and scary Believable!

  10. Did you have a good time in London?

  11. Great drawings. Hook scene works definitely. Had to check on youtube, and i think that´s funny and cartoony animated. Maybe some frame repeated, which seems little odd. But overall Master´s work!

  12. I have to say that every time I see any of Woolie Reitherman's animation my admiration for him as an animator is increased. Woolie gets criticized for some of his later directorial decisions (the "corn pone Hee-Haw" low comedy , the re-use of animation ) but there's no denying the man was a great animator.

  13. Hey Andreas, do you know who painted that illustration they used for the poster, and perhaps where one might find a print of the work? Absolutely gorgeous!