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.


  1. Funny to see this now, it reminds of a game show that aired only a few days ago in my country, in which one question required the contestants to name the 1961 Disney movie that features a character named "Duchess" and everyone guessed "The Aristocats" but it was actually referring to one of these cows from Dalmatians... Super tricky.
    These sketches are beautiful, as usual, I especially like the Darling ones.

    1. That really is a very tricky question. Only the year of the film's release would give it away.

  2. Happy birthday to me!! Thank you, Andreas!!

  3. oh, a cow or horse character might be pretty tricky to design, since you have to move the eyes to be more forward-facing. These ones must have been pretty satisfying to animate, because they have such a good contrast of bony parts and soft parts

  4. Hi Andreas - hope you are well. Hoping to get in touch about an opportunity.
    Dr. Pat Beckmann Wells