Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sketches of Wart

I think I said this before, but Eric Larson found Wart very difficult to draw. "Boy...that kid was so skinny", I remember him saying. But then again any character design by Milt Kahl was hard to follow in those days because Milt had developed his own personal drawing style. For the most part Walt Disney approved Milt's character designs for a new film, but occasionally there were design details that the boss didn't like. And he called for changes such as Wart's profile, his nose in particular. Milt told me way back that Walt did not find this early version appealing enough. On Jungle Book it was the character design of King Louie that went through subtle changes. Walt asked for larger eyes and some hair on top of his head. "You are thinking too much in terms of a real orangutan" he told animators Frank Thomas and Milt, who had just presented their ruff animation of the King Louie sequence. (In the same memo Walt praised both of them for the great character animation).

One thing that really cracked me up is when Milt told me that Walt asked him to stop drawing the characters in the Hanna-Barbera style. "He was playing with me, you know."



  1. "Playing" with him huh? Glad Milt took that remark in stride. XD
    I would argue that Richard Williams ran with Milt's philosophy of modernized classicism on The Thief and the Cobbler. To make a character look starkly graphic and subtly dimensional at the same time is a heck of a challenge, and I wish more animators would try it.

  2. Andreas, do you prefer this Wart design or the final one? What about with King Louie? Its prob hard to not prefer the designs we've all come to know and love but are there any you earlier designs you prefer to what wound up on screen? Any time you think Walt was wrong?

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  4. "He was playing with me, you know."
    When in the end most of the artists were mostly satified with their work ....Why not? 😆
    Could this be the last post? 😦
    I hope it isn't! 😇

  5. I find Wart a difficult character to latch onto. Not that much there in personality. But I do like how different he is in design to Mowgli. Especially with Mowgli's almost completely round face. It's impressive to have some really strong traits in characters rather than just a different hairstyle (and skintone I suppose) but still have both characters be so clearly in the same art style.

  6. Andreas, Here is an original drawing by Bernard Garbutt (sale):