Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ken Anderson's Robin Hood II

Ken Andeson has a huge fan base (and deservedly so). My 2012 blog post featuring some of his character designs for Robin Hood is BY FAR the most visited during my 5+ years of blogging.
Here is the link to that popular post:


Here is another photo of Ken in front of some of his many concept sketches for the film.
To the upper right of his head you see a sheet with head studies of the rooster Allan-a-Dale. Those are by Milt Kahl.
Ken also storyboarded several sequences for Robin Hood. Below is Sequence 1. It's astounding to realize how close the animators stayed with Ken's poses and staging. This section of the film was animated by John Lounsbery (Wolves and Sheriff, also Robin and Little John walking toward camera, then falling into the water), Ollie Johnston (most of L. John) and Milt Kahl (Robin and some of L. John). Milt decided to have Robin Hood stand up during his opening dialogue scenes, instead of sitting down.

I posted a B&W version of this model sheet before, here is the color version.

And this is what you get when combining the talents of Ken Anderson and Milt Kahl. Even miscellaneous characters turn out looking fantastic.


  1. Never knew Ken was that important. I get it though. His character designs are animation 101. Thank you so much for posting art like this for five years.

  2. From what I have gathered talking with various people who knew and worked with Ken Anderson, he was insecure about his position with Disney. That fact is surprising in many ways because he was an anchor at the studio who could be thrown into just about any position and be an asset. That's why he's often referred to as the Tenth old man of Disney Animation. Still, it seemed that he really feared losing his job with the studio. The look of 101 Dalmatians was Kens and Walt hated it, But he didn't lose his job for it. And when Anderson suffered a stroke shortly afterwards, Walt Disney supported him and made sure he still had a job at the studio. Heck, the man even set Walt Disney's mustache on fire and Walt didn't fire him for that! That should have been an indicator for him how valued he was!

  3. Ken Anderson, what a great cartoonist. His gesture is unbelievable. An artist who could really capture the gesture of something, make it interesting, and also have good subtle perspective.