Sunday, April 26, 2020

Lisa Davis II

A charming article in Sketches Magazine from 2006.
Lisa Davis talks about her experience voicing Anita in Disney's 1961 classic 101 Dalmatians.

Several animators were involved in designing and animating Anita.
First there were Bill Peet's story sketches which served as a springboard to the animators.
Marc Davis (probably before getting going on Cruella) animated Anita at the beginning of the film when she meets Roger Radcliff. There is a little bit of Aurora in these animation roughs which is not surprising. Marc had just finished animation on the princess as well as on Maleficent.

Actress Helen Stanley (who had modeled for Aurora) was filmed as she acted out scenes with Anita.

At that time Les Clark was cast to animate the human female lead, but not before Milt Kahl tried out some  character designs. These are Milt's drawings.

In the end Milt took over the character of Anita, and he caricatured her facial features while maintaining a sympathetic heroine type appearance. Less formulaic, too.

Great character design, wonderful animation and a realistic, modern relationship to her husband Roger. A triumph for a straight, female  Disney protagonist.

Links to earlier post on Anita:


  1. Beginner Question: You often talk about analyzing/studying animation. How do you approach such a study? What do you focus on? How do you analyze timing and spacing?

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  2. Wow!! These are so great! Than you so much for sharing these gems. Milt's early version of Anita reminds me of Belle from "Beauty and the Best". It's very interesting to see how drastically he changed her look from the "standard" round and child-like head to the more angular oval head.

  3. Dear Mr. Deja,

    Could you throw some light onto how Mr. Kahl developed his skills at a very younger age?
    About how he could anticipate, visualize and pen down almost truer than reality anatomy with ease.
    Did he during his childhood sketch or study anatomy in order to sharpen his imagination?
    It would be my pleasure if you could share with us the same.
    Rajiv Palshikar(India)

  4. Whow, 'disney prop culture' ist soooo toll. Richard Sherman mit der Schneekugel, hinreißend. Klasse, dass der Zuschauer bei dir daheim sein durfte. Als Dan Lanigan die Roger Rabbit Zeichnung bekam, bin ich gleich ins Treppenhaus und habe meiner Jafar- und Tigger-Galerie zugeprostet. Beide Bilder sind immer noch mein großer Stolz. DANKE :-) liebe Grüße Christian

  5. The expression "less formulaic" calls my atention. Perhaps in that moment it wass less formulaic, but it became a formula for Milt Kahl. She reminds me to Wart, to the fairies of Sleeping Beauty, even to Roger. The design of characters in Disney was more than ever a formula since Milt Kahl took that responsibility.
    Is my humble opinion, of course.