Thursday, June 18, 2015


I am lucky enough to count both of these artists as friends. Frank Thomas and Lisa Davis, who voiced Anita in the Disney classic film 101 Dalmatians, interact with a couple of Dalmatian puppies at the studio around 1959 or 1960.
Frank did animate beautiful scenes with some of the puppies as well as their parents Pongo and Perdita, but none with Anita.
This character presented a design challenge as a new human leading lady. Marc Davis had just finished animation on Aurora for Sleeping Beauty, and his early scenes with Anita show a certain resemblance to the princess ( Anita and Roger meet awkwardly in the park before falling into a lake.)  Les Clark got involved and did a few scenes when the puppies are born, but it wasn't until Milt Kahl came on board that this heroine's final design was set for the film.

This cel shows a Marc Davis drawing for a Les Clark scene.
In the end Milt Kahl drew Anita looking like Julie Andrews, which was coincidental, since the actress wouldn't become a household name until Mary Poppins a few years later.

Lisa and I are planing to get together and discuss her involvement in the film. We will take a few photos to be posted here along with lots more artwork that will demonstrate Anita's visual development.  So stay tuned!


  1. Actually, old design could be seen in the movie in a newspaper

  2. So cool Andreas! I will be very interested to hearing from you and Lisa about that production. I noticed an old TV comedy show called the Jack Benny Program included a few Disney actors like Vincent Price, Verna Felton, Bing Crosby, Phil Harris, Mel Blanc, and Dick Van Dyke. I wonder if Walt and the people in charge of casting ever considered Jack Benny for one of the characters at the animation studios.
    By the way do you know if studios used oil painting as a medium for one of the animated features. I know there was charcoal for Monstro the whale and Winnie the Pooh and Bambi used water color.

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  4. Hi Andreas, Could you also ask about her experience working with Eleanor Audley on The Beverly Hillbillies?

    1. Thank you! I know you did a post about her sometime ago, but I still feel that there isn't much known about this ravishing woman who has entranced many of us since childhood with that famous haunting voice of hers. From what I heard from people who have met her, she's charmingly eccentric, classy and always striving for perfection. Maybe you could dedicate another post to Mrs. Audley in the future? Just a friendly suggestion.

  5. thanks for sharing these beautiful drawings from Marc and Milt,both are superb!!!

  6. thanks for sharing these beautiful drawings from Marc and Milt,both are superb!!!