Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Animated Elegance

Here is another post featuring Madame Bonfamille from The Aristcats. I sort of have a thing about the film's opening sequence, which introduces the main human characters. Edgar, the butler, George Hautecourt, the lawyer, and Madame, all animated beautifully by Milt Kahl. 
Disney's earlier film Sleeping Beauty was labelled as "Moving Illustration", well, so is this sequence.
Character acting and draughtsmanship are so sophisticated, and because of black Xerox, all that great drawing is in your face (in a good way.) Milt enjoyed animating the butler and the lawyer, less so Madame Bonfamille. But her portrayal is so elegant and charming, I can't take my eyes off her. 
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy crazy Tex Avery type animation just as much, but I can also appreciate subtle, realistic animation concepts, particularly when done so brilliantly.

As part of the Disney animation Training Program during the late 1970s, xeroxes were made of several Milt rough scenes. These served as a teaching tool for clean up assignments. I have a number of those xeroxed scenes, and will post them in the near future. Here Madame is looking at her reflection in the mirror before the arrival of her old friend George Hautecourt.
The Vis Dev color sketch is by Ken Anderson.

More posts with this character here:

and here:


  1. So fluid and beautiful.
    Is anyone working on a Ken Anderson book?

  2. Always thought it was interesting that despite being critical of this type of material (to animate) in one of his lectures, Milt Kahl still did it brilliantly. Who even now could do this with such a difficult character?

  3. I'd love to have a shot at one of those clean up tests!