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:


  1. This is a feast for the eyes, thanks for sharing it with us :)
    It would be an interesting alternative experience to watch one of these movies but all in "pencil test" form and nothing more.

  2. Wonderful! I have always been a big fan of Sibley and his animation here is top notch, as good as what Milt or Frank would have done. I also makes me sad that we do not see this level of craftsmanship anymore these days, even the cleanup was so precise and beautifully drawn. Yes, it makes me want to animate on paper again after seeing this.

    1. I am also an admirer of John Sibley's animation , but reading the draft it shows that Bob Carlson and Bill Justice also animated significant scenes of the Siamese cats in this sequence.

      Sibley is credited with 70-00 ft.
      Carlson is credited with 54-00 ft.
      Justice is credited with 46-00 ft.

  3. oh this is fantastic, thanks for sharing. I don't think I'd seen what John Sibley looked like until now too.
    Was it typical to shoot pencil tests at that stage of the process? or did they go with nearly-finished roughs so that it could be understood better by the TV audience?

  4. Hey Andreas, I want you to show up some pencil tests from Roger Rabbit. Please?

  5. Thanks for sharing more info concerning some of the other, not-so-well-known Disney artists.

  6. I'm so thankful for it! :)
    I don't know what hypnotized me moore the movements of the cats or the music! :D

    Yes, in the final color footage a bit of this intense vividness get lost. And I remarked it particulary when I watch the remastered version on DVD!...

    To maintain and preserve archive material like this is a precious, invaluable and never endig mission! :)

    So thanks for sharing! :)

  7. Hey Andreas, I just wanted to remind you the upcoming auction in Bern with a few paintings and drawings of Fritz Hug and his cats, bigger and smaller as well. Especially the lion might interest you personally. Link below. Thank you for all your shared pictures and comments, Martin

  8. Imagine being THAT talented and not being considered "good enough" to be one of the Nine Old Men.

  9. incredible and so sad that this artform has died...

    1. I disagree that it has died. Unless you specifically mean "animation done with pencil on paper , which is then hand inked & painted on cels" I don't think this artform (hand drawn animation) is anywhere near dead. Just look around.

      Unfortunately what is pretty much dead is having a studio that is willing and able to support a large team of top artists who work together steadily year in and year out on animation of this caliber for feature films. Many traditional animation artists are being under-utilized and time is moving on.