Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Colonel

Storyman Bill Peet drew these sketches of The Colonel, an Old English sheepdog, from the 1961 movie 101 Dalmatians.
Most of the animation for this character was done by John Lounsbery, who must have been relieved to have gotten this assignment. After animating mostly serious and dramatic scenes for the previous film epic Sleeping Beauty, he again was given the opportunity to handle comic animation.
When you look at Lounsbery's career, it's his eccentric characters who are the most memorable. The alligators in Dance of the Hours, some of the Mice in Cinderella, the crocodile in Peter Pan and Tony & Joe in Lady and the Tramp are just a few highlights. 

Below are a few of his oversized thumbnail drawings for the scene when the Colonel, after realizing that Pongo and Perdita are close by, tries to meet them half way. "By jove, it can't be the Pongos!" The Colonel runs screen left over a frozen surface, and Lounsbery knows exactly how to play this scene for optimum comic effect.
Over the years John didn't get to develop his "own" characters very often in the way Frank & Ollie or Milt did. But the Colonel is one of his animated creations.

So much life in these drawings.


  1. One of the founders of the Animation College I'm studying at did a few scenes of the Colonel. Here's a drawing he did of the Colonel on the whiteboard when he came to do a talk for us: Colonel on whiteboard

    John Ewing's his name, he's a lesser known Disney animator but has worked on some important characters. He worked on The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, Sword in the Stone, The Headless Horseman segment of Ichabod and Mr Crane, though he said his favorite character to animate was Lugwig Von Drake.

    He's still around doing talks and doing painting and sculptures. Thanks for the Lounsberry frames!

    1. I recall noticing Ewing's name popped up on this short for Disney's educational film division back in the early 80's.

    2. John Ewing's son, Sam, also worked at Disney for years. I believe at the Florida studio.

  2. Lounsbery was obviously an amazing draftsman. The Colonel moves so convincingly with all of that fur. Some of the most exciting moments were when you'd see glimpses of his eyes. These glimpses were just enough of a reminder to the viewer that The Colonel was more than just a "barking haystack."

  3. John was, and still is, an underrated artist. Please keep posting any of his drawings you can find!

  4. I've always loved his wolf in Sword in the Stone!