Thursday, June 23, 2016

"But you were singing to someone..."

Shere Khan intimidates Kaa, the python, in this scene, after the snake just stated: "I was just curling up for my siesta."
Before reaching out for Kaa's neck, animator Milt Kahl has the tiger scratch his upper muzzle. It is a terrific piece of acting, which reveals Shere Khan's arrogant confidence as well as a bit of boredom.
Milt pulls the mouth way down in order to create a clear space for the scratching action. The elongated face should look strange, but it doesn't. Milt's master drawings actually expose character comedy.
These are copies of his key drawings for the scene. I grabbed them from a model sheet, so the images aren't hi res, but still fun to study. It's interesting to see Milt indicating stripes only here and there, the rest was left to assistant Dave Michener. 


  1. I love this scene! I've gone through a period of rediscovering Disney films through adult eyes, becoming more able to notice the detail and skill evident in a scene like this. This is one of the gems found on my exploration.

    You've included 13 pages here, though it seems as if 12 are here to define the action, which seems typical. Was all of Jungle Book on twos? Do you happen to know?

    1. A lot of the film was, but there are also plenty of scenes partially or all on ones.

    2. Thank you for the confirmation. That seems to coincide with what I noticed when I pulled up the clip on YouTube and counted frames as best I could.

      When the studio switched to using CAPS on Rescuers Down Under and several subsequent films, did this change the process of photographing the films? Or did business proceed as usual (a mix of twos and ones)? Are there particular scenes you animated in Aladdin on ones? My - uninformed - guess is that with how smoothly and slowly Jafar tends to move most of the time, there were a lot of still shots and mostly sequences on twos.

    3. The best way to study classic animation is by going through scenes frame by frame on a DVD or BLURAY, youtube doesn't give you accurate timing.

  2. I love that movie, and Shere Khan is one of the best villains Disney.

  3. This is a prime example of why I prefer older, hand-drawn animations. The older I get, the more I miss these human quirks and ticks that used to pepper information.

  4. Always a pleasure to study these drawings, for the character design and sheer appreciation of the drawings themselves, as well as the acting.

    It seems to me that part of the effect of stretching the face - in key drawings 6-10 here, at least - is to make it a little more human-like. Only a second or two of running time, but would the moment of extra anthropomorphisation have added to Shere Khan's character in any way?