Tuesday, March 24, 2015

King Louie by Frank Thomas

King Louie is briefly annoyed during the jungle jam session, when he notices that his sidekick "Flunkey" has joined in, taking some of the spotlight.
This nice cel from the scene is currently being offered at Heritage Auctions.

Frank did all 58 drawings for the scene, there are no in-betweens. Throughout Louie is bouncing up and down to the beat of the music, so the overall motion is pretty involved. Because if the amount of work, there was no time to tie down the drawings. That task went to Frank's assistant Dale Oliver, who traced the poses on to new sheets of paper with thin, sketchy black pencil lines.
Frank's drawings might not look as polished as you would expect, but they sure have a soul, and they communicate beautifully. I like the way Louie turns his head, as the upper cranium leads the move with the mouth unit following through. 
It's a great scene, completely alive!

More on King Louie in this previous post:


  1. The best Animator EVER!!! Long Live Milt Kahl!!!! Thank you for post this treasure Andreas!!!! =)

    1. Jaison this is not Milt's work, it's Frank's.

  2. Beautiful work, especially in this loose, rough form.
    By the way, I have a drawing of Baloo, which judging by the linework in the above images appears to be a Frank drawing- would love to get your opinion

  3. Andres, I've always wondered if the fur on the elbows was handled in a second pass after the key body animation was done. It blows my mind to think that they could figure it out all at once.

  4. I believe the overlapping fur was done as a second pass. You can see it drawn in different colors.

  5. Hi Andreas, greetings from Brazil!
    These drawings are indeed amazing, if you happen to have some Prince John by Ollie Johnston would be nice, too..

    btw, you might have worked with my Teacher Haroldo Guimaraes Neto a long time ago, he did some scenes of Sykes and Ursula at that time and produced the Alladin's episode: "In the Heat of the Fright" here in Brazil.

  6. The bones of it are definitely there, but it goes to show you how good of an assistant Dale Oliver was to give the scene its sparkle! Years back I thought it was a milt scene as well, until I learned About Franks animation blueprint. Thanks for sharing.