Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Embattled Drawings

This is a Frank Thomas scene from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow section, which is a part of the 1949 feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. 
The animation is gorgeous. Here are just five drawings from this looong scene. Brom Bones is trying to rid himself of Tilda, who seems glued to the town hunk during the dance. 
In order to save money (and paper), the animator's drawings were rubbed down before a clean up artist added volume research in color pencil on the same sheet of paper. The final graphite line represents the last stage in defining the characters before the drawings were sent to the ink & paint department. 
These drawings show the creative battle animators and clean up artists go through in order to achieve the best results on the screen. Correct anatomy is only slightly compromised to ensure fluidity of motion. 
Since Milt Kahl supervised these two characters, he most definitely did key drawings, so Brom and Tilda look the way he envisioned them. But the animation is all Frank.
So much brainwork on everybody's part. Teamwork!!

Read the note on #411, from Amey to Hillary.  Hilarious!!
This scene is discussed in my book on THE NINE OLD MEN. Just thought I bring this up...


  1. This is such a great sequence. Thank you for sharing it. Frank Thomas did a few of the key Ichabond Crane sequences, also, if I remember hearing that somewhere (particularly the ones with Ichabod his horse). The details on Brom Bones’ hands are amazing, especially the movement of his wrists in the last drawing (Frank Thomas did wonders with Captain Hook’s hands in ‘Peter Pan’—so much expressive acting came through in those hands!).

    It’s interesting that Tilda seems to have some of the same aggressive qualities, and even a similar physical appearance (dark hair, plump physique, pushy demeanor) to the Queen of Hearts in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ which Frank Thomas developed for the film (he said in his Disney Family Album segment that he was inspired to create the Queen of Hearts from a woman he saw in a restaurant when he was playing the piano for Ward Kimball’s band).

    It must have been a fascinating challenge for the animators to adapt Washington Irving’s story and Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel. You can really see where they might have been inspired by the great Victorian and Edwardian illustrators in Britain and America, like N.C. Wyeth, Howard Pyle, and Arthur Rackham, whose Ichabod also has that spindly, nervous quality:


    Thank you, also, for sharing this lovely post from last year when Frank Thomas’ house went on the market:


    Would you happen to know who animated that remarkable short sequence of Ichabod in front of the mirror preening himself for Katrina’s party? It has such great comic vitality, especially when the narrator (Bing Crosby) says, “Ichabod, you sly dog,” and Ichabod’s smile curls into this crooked, leering grin. Brilliant.

    1. According to the draft (available on Hans Perk's blog), that sequence was animated by John Lounsbery.

  2. Hey Andreas, Just wondering from your perspective and opinions how do you think these two package films would've been as two individually feature length movies? That was their intentions but do to the war and budgets, sadly that never came to fruition. I do hear that is in the works of the new remakes the studio is doing within the next 10 years of the lineup they have going on.

  3. There's so much going on here- different parts dragging. distorting, and overlapping. It must have been a pain to stage it nicely, to animate it, to refine the drawings, and to inbetween it too

  4. I just bought your book so I'll reach this part by some point. So happy!

  5. About the note: She stole it from Rafiki... http://www.wallpapers13.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Monkey-Rafiki-and-Simba-The-Lion-King-full-HD-Wallpapers-2560x1440-915x515.jpg

  6. Gorgeous art. Love this entire scene.

  7. I just had A. Dejas book in my hand yesterday, was thinking of this scene a lot, but i must tell the book is wounderfull, great edited, helps me a lot to improve and it was really worth to wait for it to come from such a far land! Thank you!

  8. Six fingers, count them! hehehe

  9. I think that's "Amby" (Paliwoda), not "Amey". But who was Hillery?