Sunday, April 13, 2014


Sleeping Beauty’s Goons have their roots in paintings by Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516). When I was a kid there was nothing scarier than to look at his pictures depicting visions of hell. Bosch filled his canvas with evil creatures whose anatomy was comprised of various animal and human parts.

Bill Peet and several other Disney artists studied these gruesome figures and used some visual elements in designing Maleficent’s scary, but not so smart henchmen, the Goons.
Peet had a great time researching and boarding sequences that included the Goons. Eventually these Disney versions of Bosch’s monsters were given a comical treatment. They are still repulsive, but not scary enough to give children nightmares.

John Lounsbery animated most of the important scenes involving the Goons, including their pig like leader.

Milt Kahl did this one drawing for John’s scene above, as he tries to strengthen expression and design.

A couple of story sketches for sequence 7.1, scene 14.
The Goon leader reacts to being put on the spot by Maleficent, who wants to know if the gang has looked for Aurora in the town, the forests and the mountains.

Milt Kahl animated this terrific scene as the Goon boss fumbles for an answer:
“Yeah, we searched mountains…and…uh, uh, uh, uh,…forests…and…uh, uh, uh, and houses…du…lemme see…uh, uh…and all the cradles.” 
Beautifully stylized, geometric shapes.


  1. Neat post, I always loved the character designs and atmosphere of Sleeping Beauty even if its leads were a bit lacking. I also remember hearing somewhere that one of the animators who worked on the goons animated the brigands in The Thief and the Cobbler.

    1. Not exactly, one scene of the goons was just used as reference:

  2. I loved these things. I used to draw these guys and then expand on them with even more little monsters. Great to read something about their background.

  3. I love those Goons! I wish that there were more sequences with these guys because while the good fairies are the comic relief on the good side, the goons were the comic relief (sort of) on the evil side.

    I actually studied the Goons for a Hanukkah painting I did based upon the Hanukkah story about a man who saves Hanukkah from a group of evil goblins and their king, as long as they don't frighten him from the village synagogue. I drew the goblins in a similar way in "Sleeping Beauty", like a pig goblin or a bat goblin, as well as study from "Peter and the Wolf" or "Night on Bald Mountain" but I colored them in different colors rather than the black and brown colors the goons had.

    I also did the goblin king but it was based on a concept painting that was used for an early version of "Night on Bald Mountain". Maybe I can email this painting to you, Andreas?

  4. Thank you for sharing the Goons! So fantastic to know who animated these scenes!

    I would also like to thank you for your fantastic contribution to the "Disney's 9 old men" flip-book series. I respect even more the animators, as flipping these unbelievable, beautiful animations! Such a delight and so much to learn!

  5. Great ! it's very interesting to saw the process of creation of an animated feature. Thank you very much to post this !

    I have a question about the face of Pumbaa. It's reminds me a lot of the boar goon face of Sleeping Beauty, it's purely a coincidence or the creators of Pumbaa were inspired by this character for the design ?

    1. As far as I know this is a coincidence.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thank you for your answer ! the face of Pumbaa has always reminds me the boar goon, it's because I would know about that.