Friday, September 5, 2014

Peet's and Kahl's Brer Fox


It’s hard to imagine that story artist Bill Peet’s first character sketches of Brer Fox looked already this refined and so full of personality. He immediately came up with unconventional, appealing designs that worked perfectly for the film and were almost ready for animation. 
There is a sort of hillbilly look about the fox, with his big hat covering his ears completely.
Characters like him as well as the rabbit and the bear have this juicy graphic bite, you just want to pick up the pencil and animate them.




A few of Peet's final story sketches, can you tell he had a ball working on this film?





Milt Kahl refined Peet’s design to animation perfection. These were some of Milt’s favorite characters he ever worked on. The same can be said for Peet. 

The energy within the Song of the South characters is unique and inspiring. A top team of animators brought them to life: Kahl, Larson, Johnston, Les Clark, M. Davis and Lounsbery.






14 comments:

  1. Seeing the complete storyboards and pencil tests of these characters would be a real treat!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lord knows we've waited a LONG time for any of it.

      Delete
  2. I love the animation in Song of the South. It must have been great fun to work with those designs, personalities and voices.
    I can see why they don't want to release it any time soon, but hopefully at least a better-quality bootleg will show up eventually.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already have the Japanese LaserDisc and a DVD-R of a broadcast on BBC 2, I say that's the best I'll ever expect.

      Delete
    2. The BBC broadcast from 2006 is how I got to know the movie (I already knew the characters as I grew up with the comics). I have recorded it as well but sadly back then we only owned a VHS recorder and no DVD player so it's hard to say how good the quality actually is compared to the ones that are floating around online.

      Delete
    3. Well, my copy looks as good as it could get, though it was obvious BBC got a copy that was a PAL conversion from an NTSC source due to the slight lag in frame rate. A bit soft resolution wise, but decent colors none the less, I say comparable with what was released on VHS in the UK back in '91.

      Delete
  3. This site is amazing. The artwork is beautiful and inspirational.

    I want to be an artist for Disney someday, does anyone have any advice on how I should go about that? Should I major in any specific field before I try to get in with Disney? Sorry, I'm a little ignorant of how to go about this, but I love Disney's style. (As seen on my blog drawingdisney.wordpress.com).

    -Abigail

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome drawings. I love the eyes under hat´s shadow. It´s shame, that this isn´t at "normal" markets with other Disney classics. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Certainly became a scapegoat poster child of a film. Reminded I found one of the old Disneyland storybook LP's based on the film/characters at a Goodwill a couple weeks back, nice condition too!

      Delete
  5. Song of the South is an amazing movie and the animations are the best part! You can get it online from places like ebay. But it will be from places other than the US.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I find it interesting that these story sketches are in full color. I usually see much quicker, b/w ink drawings. How common was it to use color? I figured that's where the color scripts came in.

    It's amazing how closely they stayed to Peet's work. He was always spot on. A book on his work would be incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Again- thank you so much for sharing these drawings! They're so incredibly helpful, but so hard to get by. I have a few xeroxed model sheets of which one (a size comparison of the three main characters which I assume is drawn by Peet) I have never seen online yet. I can only imagine what's in Disney's archives, such as models of the more minor and background characters. One of my favorites is the skunk wearing a washing pin on his/her nose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lord knows we all wish that stuff saw the light of public day soon.

      Delete