Thursday, January 8, 2015

Alice and the Caterpillar

When Alice meets the eccentric Caterpillar she realizes that she is not in London anymore.
Like most scenes from the film, this encounter was filmed in live action as an aid to the animators.
Kathryn Beaumont acted out these moments beautifully, and Milt Kahl started animation on the title character of the film for this sequence. (Reflecting on his work years later, Milt thought he came up with a cute Alice here, but that some other animators fell short of producing quality footage with the girl.)
I am not particularly fond of the Caterpillar's design, I think that several book illustrators came up with more intriguing concepts for this character, like this illustration by Harry Rountree:

Backgrounds and cels don't match in these images, but they provide a glimpse into the astonishing stylized art direction of the movie.

A couple of many beautiful color sketches Mary Blair produced for this sequence.

Images Disney/Heritage Auctions


  1. The human hands in the Disney design seem inappropriate. And kind of creepy.

  2. Hi Andreas, my name is Fabrício, i'm from Brazil and i'm in the beginning of my studies related to 2d animation. You have being an inspiration to me mainly because of your passion for this medium and your huge knowledge about animation in general. I am going to CTN in the end of this year and i would like to ask you if i can meet you in personaly either before or after CTN so i can ask you some questions about animation and your experience working at disney. I heard in some interviews that you used to visit some of the Nine Old men and, to me, that would be the same if i could meet you. I could not find your e-mail on the internet so i had to write here on your blog. Sorry if that is not the right place. My email is, in case you want to answer me. Thank you.

  3. The best thing about opinions is that we don't always have to agree on them. I always dug the caterpillar's design. ;)

    Nice post! This is my favorite movie ever.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.