Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Art imitates Life

The Walt Disney Archives just posted a few photos of Milt Kahl in celebration of his birthday. I believe they were taken just before Milt left Disney in April of 1976 after completing animation of Madame Medusa. 

Look at these two images. Proof that artists unconsciously portray themselves in their work.


  1. I know of a better example.
    Some time late 90's, I saw Disney show on the BBC. Sort of a documentary, sort of a clip show, highlighting the Disney villains. They had you as a guest, talking about Scar and Jafar.
    There was this clip where you were talking about Scar "scheming" and you narrowed your eyes and got this dangerous look, and suddenly I'm like "Holy crap, that's Scar, right there!!" :-D
    That was the first time it clicked with me how you could use your own facial features to animate a character that doesn't resemble you at all, or how you could project facial features on something as different as a lion.

    Sorry for throwing that out there. Just thought it was appropriate, since that clip I saw so long ago got me started on following your career and your blog, and now you're pointing out something very similar. :-)

  2. It's always fascinating to see how much your subconscious can influence what you draw, and there are so many examples of this.
    As far as her mannerism is concerned, is it true that there is quite a bit of Milt's ex wife in her or is that just a myth? It wouldn't surprise me that such an explosive character could be the product of so many different sources of inspiration, subconscious or not.

  3. I wonder if he was the type to make faces as he drew them!
    I've never done the mirror thing, but I have gotten a sore jaw from animating angry characters, or sore cheeks from animating someone laughing

  4. My wife, Adrienne is painting Madame Medusa in the next room. She's a Disney storybook artist. Yes, Medusa does indeed remind me of Milt's former spouse.