Thursday, March 23, 2017

"And besides...I don't have any claws!"



This whole tree climbing sequence from The Jungle Book has always been one of my favorite pieces of animation. The storyboard sketches suggested basic ideas for action and acting, but Milt Kahl went to town with this material, and really got the most out of it in his brilliant animation.
In an effort to climb up a tree to spend the night, Mowgli ends up hanging on to Bagheera, as he continues to move upwards. There is so much entertainment packed into these scenes. The way the boy hangs on to the panther, Mowgli planting a foot into Bagheera's face and so on. Sublime anatomy. Animated gold!

Check out how incredibly graphic Milt's drawings had become. Yet when seen in motion you believe you are watching three dimensional, believable characters performing a comedy routine.

I added a frame from the preceding as well as one from the following scene, to remind you of the action's continuity.






















Milt's birthday was on March March 22. The day before this blog had almost ten thousand visits! Perhaps some of you were expecting me to post some Milt Kahl art.
Consider this post a celebration of his life's work.


10 comments:

  1. Happy birthday Milt!! I didn't know it was his birthday. I'm gonna watch The Jungle Book in blu ray today to celebrate. I haven't watched it in years but this scene is still stuck in my head. I guess that's how great it is.

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  2. It's been a long while since I saw The Jungle Book, but I used to watch the VHS tape over and over, and scenes like this are etched in my mind! Seems fair to say it's largely down to Milt's performances, and it's good to consciously appreciate that.

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  3. Andreas, do you have Milt drawings of Bambi adolescent but i know he drew some sketche for the film.

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  4. I made a gif out of it, trying to respect the timing as much as I could. Hopefully it turned out all right!

    https://giphy.com/gifs/Xzj4o9nzGUwUM

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  5. this isn't his first pass, right?
    Tell me he didn't have all that figured out, and drew it perfectly on his first go

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    1. Oh no, this is the final touch up pass. Meaning, Milt's assistant erased rough lines and enforced the clean up look.

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    2. I thought it might have been something like that, thanks!

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  6. Beautiful sequence and unforgettable film moment

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  7. My son laughs at this every time we watch it!

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