Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Broody Brom Bones


Brom Bones is not happy watching the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel dancing with Ichabod Crane. In this scene by Milt Kahl his frustration intensifies as he re-positions himself before noticing Tilda sitting by herself, and not participating in the festivities of the party.

A couple scenes later show him coming up with an idea to get back to Katrina, and that plot involves Tilda.

Beautiful animation, gorgeous drawing that show his emotion very clearly. I remember Frank Thomas (who also animated Brom Bones and Tilda in this sequence) talking about how he felt that at that particular time -the 1940s- Milt was just perfect for the studio. (Which implies that Milt wasn't perfect for the studio later on.)

You might want to print out these pages, flipping them is a real treat!

More posts on Brom Bones here:

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Ken Anderson in his own Words

More comments about Walt Disney, this time by layout artist, art director and character stylist Ken Anderson. I really enjoyed getting to now Ken during the 1980s. Even in retirement he was so enthusiastic about the art form of animation, its past as well as its future. And he loved talking to young people who were just entering the animation business. 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Milt Kahl Character Designs


I recently came across these two design sheets my Milt Kahl. The one above is the "Darling" character from Lady & the Tramp, voiced by the one and only Peggy Lee. I saw one of her last performances at the Hollywood Bowl years ago, she was incredible. I'll never forget that night. This sheet explores Darling's hair style, how to get a hold of it graphically. Still, those perfect Milt Kahl faces always get to me. Animator Ken O'Brien ended up animating Darling as well as her husband Jim Dear.

More on O'Brien's work for Lady & the Tramp here:

The next sheet is a xerox stat of cow studies from 101 Dalmatians. horns, that is the issue here. In the film some cows have them, some don't. A terrific "modern" cow design approach, which also made it into the farm sequence from Mary Poppins.

The cow design sheet is currently being offered at Heritage Auctions.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Frank Thomas in his own Words

 Continuing the series, here is Frank reminiscing in 1993 about working for his boss.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Vote Now!


To my American friends:  the most important vote of our lifetime.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Mama Odie's Secret


I remember having a moment of animators' block during production of The Princess and the Frog.

In one scene during her song "Dig a little deeper" Mama Odie was searching through a chest, looking for  appropriate "musical instruments" for some of the other characters present. As she begins to dig in, the layout artist suggested that she throws out a shoe and a gavel at first.

The thing is that I had time for Mama Odie to throw ONE more item. So what should that be? A book, a piece of clothing, a plant....boring! For the life of me I could not think of anything clever (even though audiences would not really have the time to register the third object). I was starring at my animation disc forever...and then...of course, she will throw an animation disc.

I did not tell anybody about my choice, not the directors, not checking, nobody. AND IT WENT THROUGH. No phone call...what is this?...we can't have her do this...Everybody within the Disney pipeline knew exactly what this item was. By coloring the disc blue meant that this was a vintage metal animation disc. (The ones we worked on were black plastic.)

Mama Odie had some serious voodoo powers, but... she was also a 2D animator.

In order to find that frame I just took a cell phone pic off of my TV.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Ward Kimball in his own Words

 Here is Kimball in Storyboard magazine, talking about his boss Walt Disney.

A few of his terrific life drawings with clothed models. My guess is that they were done sometime during the 1950s.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Wilhelm M. Busch, Ex Libris

A few more stunning drawings by Wilhelm M. Busch. 
Such a command over portraying the human body with elegance and grace. The first two sketches have an obvious erotic flair, but the third one shows a grieved Russian woman with her children during WW II.
Throughout his lifetime Busch depicted a wide range of topics and emotions with great skill.. 
A true master draughtsman of the last century.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Ollie Johnston in his own Words

I am going to post a few comments by Walt Disney artists that were originally published in an issue of Storyboard Magazine from 1993. The topic is mostly about their relationship with Walt.

At the time these essays were submitted to the magazine by the artists, and as far as I know are unedited.

Ollie drew these charming sketches at his home in Flintridge around 1963.

Drawings: Howard Lowery Auctions

Monday, October 12, 2020

Lady & the Tramp Pencil Test Sequence

Classic Disney pencil tests are treasures. The characters seem to be even more alive than in the final color footage. You are reminded that someone drew this stuff with a pencil on paper. It represents the animator's art in its purest form. No color or rendered backgrounds to "distract" you, just a bunch of lines on the screen. But those lines have an explosive magic, because they reveal imaginary yet real life.
Steve Stanchfield just posted the complete Siamese Cats sequence in pencil test form. 
Before the release of Lady & the Tramp in 1955, Disney presented a TV program featuring Peggy Lee, Woolie Reitherman, Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl and others. 
I believe this pencil test sequence was supposed to be a part of the TV show, but was ultimately cut.

John Sibley animated the cats. They had originally been assigned to Ward Kimball, who animated some if not all of the sequence. His footage apparently did not fit the realistic style of the film.

This is a real treat, and I'd like to thank Steve Stanchfield for making it available to everyone on Vimeo.


Here is the link: