Saturday, August 7, 2021

A Ward Kimball Talk


Here's a publicity pic of Kimball when he was involved with the cat sequence in Lady & the Tramp. In the end his animation footage was considered too wild to fit the overall film. And wouldn't we all love to see those scenes that were cut. Wild or not, I am sure they were brilliant.

On August 6 and 20, 1956 Ward gave a talk to upcoming animators (I presume at the studio) on various topics of character animation. Everyone in class is being asked to produce a 28 foot long test scene...which is extremely long, considering these were junior artists. 

I got a copy of these notes from Dick Williams way back during my Roger Rabbit days. It's interesting that Kimball covers technical as well as philosophical aspects. I'm sure he was a tough teacher to please. But that goes for any of these guys.


  1. Wow, 8/6/56, that was 65 years ago yesterday! I wish theyd release his siamese cats animation for us to see, assuming they still exist in the animation library....or maybe they dont exist? With all your access to the morgue/library, one would think youd have seen them and if not can we assume they arent in there?

    1. No such luck. This Kimball sequence is lost...for now. Who knows what might surface in the future?

  2. oh this is interesting! thanks for sharing

  3. 28 ft. is a long test , but it looks like they were using a single LINE "character" (literally, a line) , so the drawing challenge would not be as much as doing 28 ft. of Goofy or Mickey , etc.

    Kimball's notes:

    “Using a plain “LINE” for the first test gives everybody an equal chance regardless of their drawing ability . Our LINE character lends itself to thousands of variations and will give all of your an opportunity to use your imagination.

    As a preliminary exercise, you might fill countless pages with as many variations of LINE pose as you can think of. These may suggest interesting action possibilities. Accordion LINE … snake LINE … inch-worm LINE … thin LINE …. fat LINE , twirls , spirals, and steps … try them all !

    Also , look for texture possibilities in the drawing of your LINE. It can be soft, hard , smooth , hairy, hollow, dotted , and crinkly.”

  4. Anyone see this model railroad film by Kimball??