Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tease 4

One of Madame Mim's best acting moments, and one of my favorite Frank Thomas scenes.
The witch is setting the rules for the wizard's duel against Merlin: "(Rule one: no mineral or vegetable!) Only animal. Rule two: No make believe things like, dragons and stuff. Now..."
Quite a while ago rough drawings from this scene were offered for sale all over the place. It took me years to collect most of the important ones, which can all be seen in sequence in my upcoming book on Disney's Nine Old Men.
This scene showcases yet again Frank's virtuosity as an actor. Mim first gets into a thinking pose, as she dreams up the next rule. Wild gesturing follows, emphasizing the "outrageous" idea of turning into a pink dragon.
This is the kind of work that still awes me and inspires me.


  1. Andreas, what was Frank Thomas's working process like? Did he make exhaustive exploratory thumbnails like Milt, or was he more spontaneous when animating?

  2. Lovely drawing! I just pre-ordered the book the other day. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

    I remember years ago there was a little feature on the Frank and Ollie DVD where you showcased and flipped through some of Frank's rough scenes, including this one. There was a lot of drawings in that bunch. Must've cost a heck of a lot! But still, it's great that you took the time and energy to scour all over to put at least a majority of that scene back together!

  3. Like Mike said above, it's one thing seeing this on a dvd feature of the drawings being flipped, but to have a personal printed version of it in book format is going to be far more superior. Seriously cannot wait for this book!!!

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  5. I remember a lecture by a Disney animator from our generation (that should remain nameless) who showed this particular shot saying it was over animated and not sincere and on top of that, he said the shot was a Milt Kahl's. He did not even know or checked who did it, he just assumed.

    I could not believe that he was pointing to this animation as something not to do in our work. I was very disappointed because he was a very top animator. This particular shot is one I use to go frame by frame every time I watch Sword in the Stone and one that caught my attention the first time I saw it.

    Cant wait to see it in the book and I am glad you have the originals, Andreas.

    1. That's terrible, I mean... didn't even checked who.

      A little off topic, but Inspector, when is Il mio Approccio al Character design e all'Animazione, arriving to amazon? someday? never?

    2. Sandro - was it Andreas??!! (jussssst kidding!!)

      I LOVE this whole magical sequence!