Tuesday, October 16, 2018

More on Milt's Duchess

Milt Kahl rarely had his animation re-drawn, after all he was authority on the the Disney style. Most animators at the studio at one time or another asked Milt for "drawing help". Just one or two of his "draw-overs" would improve a whole scene in the way the character appeared on the screen.
I've said this before, Milt represented the drawing police at Disney for a few decades.

Here is a rare case where director Woolie Reitherman asked a clean up artist to alter Milt's animation drawings slightly during the production of The Aristocats. Duchess just met the alley cat Thomas O'Malley, who is trying to impress her by presenting himself as a man of the world during a song number. "Bravo, very good, you are a great talent" she responds. 

There are subtle changes that were made from Milt's original animation. Duchess' eyes got smaller and more cheek hair was added. 
I think she still looks attractive in the final version, but that "Milt Kahl graphic bite" got lost.

Even more on Milt's Duchess here:


and here:



  1. To follow up Milt's animation but changing his style? Where is his assistant's grave so I pay my respects?! 😭😂

  2. Hi Andreas, hope all is well!
    Is the line work in these two drawings entirely Milt's work or are these already "touched-up" drawings?
    I have seen a line test online of this scene and the drawings look more rough then in this version.

    1. Wil, this is touch up. So, some of Milt's lines have been erased. But most of them are still there.
      I'll email soon.

  3. Mr Milt Kahls Durchess is a great work!
    Her chin or jaw gives her face a proud expression.
    In combination with the bigger but a little bit oblonger animal eyes the attribute of her character would be perhaps too wild, too selfish and a little bit too foxy.

    I think they wanted her sweeter so her eyes and her face had to be rounder.
    Perhaps the shema of childlike was important for the credibility that she really need the help of O'Malley (a tomcat with a stressed jaw and a little bit oblonger animal eyes)

    In the end the characterisation in the way Mr Milt Kahl draw is perfect for characters like SARABI... :-)

  4. I actually prefer the draw-overs, strange as that may be. I remember the scenes at the beginning of the movie when Duchess is being carried by Mme Bonnefamille. Duchess looks markedly different in those and I find it slightly distracting.

    1. " ... strange as that may be ..."

      You actually prefer what you now like more.
      Why not? :-D

      I know what scenes you mean but I was more astonished about the quick color changing of Durchess collar in an other scene later...

  5. The extra cheek fluff makes her face look wider in a rather weird way, I remember thinking this scene was a bit off. But being off model wasn't that abnormal for this era of Disney, was it>