Sunday, December 5, 2021

Milt Kahl's MacBadger

"Angus MacBadger is trying to straighten out the tangled finances of his gregarious but irresponsible friend Toad. Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole come to help when MacBadger sends out a distress signal. These drawings were done in 1941 for an earlier version of the film, which was shelved due to the war."

John Canemaker, in the 1982 publication of Treasures of Disney Animation Art

This scene does appear in the final version of the film though. After MacBadger fights off Toad's lenders, Rat and Mole show up and escort the exasperated Badger from the front door of Toad Hall back into a study. There he collapses against a writing desk. 
Milt's work is pretty rough here, and it represents his drawing style during the early 1940s. His animation roughs from Pinocchio look like this. 
Of course I admire his drawings and animation from any period of his career. Wether loose like these or meticulously designed during his later years, they all show true genius.



  1. Thank-you Andreas for sharing this masterpeice ! :)

  2. I love how expressive these are. I always thought the pacing in this story wasn't the best, especially if compared to the Sleepy Hollow short, but at least the animation has some great moments.

  3. I've always suspected the reason Milt (and others) tended to work rougher in the earlier period is because the assistants generally had more time to spend on really solid cleanup drawings (which were then further cleaned up by being hand-inked). As the years went on and the schedules tightened , the assistants could not put as much time into the clean up drawings, so to exert more control over their scenes certain animators would draw tighter (at least on their final tie down pass before it went to the assistants). Or those who continued to work in a rather rough manner (Frank Thomas) depended heavily on their key assistants (such as Dale Oliver) to make them look good, whereas Milt may not have wanted to give up that kind of control.