Sunday, July 5, 2015

Milt's Design Doodles for the Beaver

I have had numerous posts on the film Lady and the Tramp, featuring one of its funniest characters,  the Beaver. Here is one more, since I just came across some beautiful design sketches by Milt Kahl.
As mentioned before the Beaver was animated by Milt as well as Eric Larson. And even though Eric's draughtsmanship was nowhere near of Milt's, their scenes blend together perfectly.
It is amazing to me and refreshing at the same time to see how expressive a character can be with relatively small eyes. Sullivant did and Milt too, in stark contrast to many of today's animation designs that feature gigantic alien eyes.
Milt based his design on Joe Rinaldi's story sketches, and the end result is so charming. The beaver sequence was the first footage from the film I saw as a kid, on German television. It holds a special place in my heart.

Here are links to previous Lady & Tramp posts, featuring the beaver:


  1. I am so glad that finally a professional artist has coined perfectly what I had in mind for quite some time: today, these "gigantic alien eyes" are so disgusting, and although the characters have big eyes, they have almost zero expression.
    Milt and Eric were capable to give the beaver so many expressions, even with these small eyes. With just a few lines!
    Thank you for sharing!!!

  2. The Beaver was one of my favorite characters in Lady and the Tramp—he never failed to make me laugh. His expressions are so full of character, you are sure that he is real.

    Thank you for posting these beautiful design sketches. Milt was brilliant!

    On another note, am very excited to learn that you will be accepting animation interns at the Center Stage Gallery. Am curious as what you want from a reel/portfolio (e.g., gesture drawings, character designs, dialogue test, biped/quadruped walk cycles)?