Monday, March 6, 2023

Pinocchio Ruffs

These are not properly scanned images, but I had them as photo files for a while. Remarkable rough animation drawings from a film many still consider to be the best animated Disney film ever.

First up Ollie Johnston, who animated the first scene of Pinocchio coming alive. Ollie must have felt some kind of pressure because of such an important moment in the movie. How would this marionette move and behave with human emotions?

Bill Tytla of course animated all personality scences with Stromboli. Here he freaks out over a fake coin. It's been said before, Tytla set new standards for personality animation. 

Fred Moore's character was Lampwick. I always think of a young Mickey Rooney when watching the acting and movement. Gorgeous drawings.

Milt Kahl animated most of Pinocchio's transformation scenes. But this one is by Ollie Johnston. Lampwick is horrified as he discovers his own transformation into a donkey. Here he is backing Pinoke against a wall, begging for help.

Pinocchio discovers his donkey tale. One of Milt's best scenes in the film. It's a juxtaposition: A cute animated character experiencing a horrific moment.

Milt's rough drawings of Pinocchio as a real boy. Not sure who asked for his hands to be drawn smaller in size...probably Walt. Milt admitted years later that he was tired at this point in production and didn't give his best. Still...beautiful acting and motion.


  1. Milt's roughs for Pinocchio as a real boy look kinda different from what ended up in the final film, most notably the eyes. I guess he must have made another pass before clean-up occurred.

  2. Awesome stuff, but yeah, the real boy scene has a few issues....there are certain frames where his hands are enormous and he could have been cuter overall, but still a fabulous scene.

    Andreas, which feature do you think has the greatest animation?

    1. This one...and The Jungle Book for its rich character interactions.

  3. Pinocchio is the best animated film ever.

  4. I love this type of controlled squashy, dimensional animation, and casting the animators by character really helped give them distinct personalities. Although I'm sure at a certain point in production, everyone ends up helping out with whatever needs to be done

  5. "watch arc" each frame is educational in itself!

  6. Each one of these is stellar. Thanks for sharing as always, Andreas!
    Naturally, Milt became a top-tier character designer later on, but my favorite animation of his (at least where performance is concerned) happened between Pinocchio and Ichabod. That stuff just feels so raw!

  7. Andreas, do you know which scenes of the Owl Preston Blair did for Bambi?

  8. I just wanted to thank you for continuing to update this wonderful resource of a blog. I've been quietly following this blog for years, returning over and over again, as it is such a wealth of wonderful information, I'm so grateful that you've provided the rest of the world with these drawings that we'd never have access to otherwise.

  9. Waoo! I was completely wrong because I thought fist one was animated by Milt not by ollie!

    This shot means Animation and being alive! And ollie was last alive 9 old men.

  10. "Mit admitted years later that he was tired at this point in production and didn't give his best..."
    I like an admission like this! He was a human after all! 😊
    Pinocchio and Fantasia. Both release 1940.
    It must have been hard. They all worked to the limit. And than History works against them. At that time Pinocchio and Fantasia should have been more successful! 👍😊

    Thank you for sharing their work with us!😚☺️👍

  11. I've always loved the look and individual set pieces in Pinocchio (the walk through the town set, the water scenes (when they were innovative at the time), the characters as usual. But I've often been disappointed by the storytelling - the whole cloth. It's been interesting to compare Del Toro's version which I found more entertaining somehow. Hope that's not too blasphemous!

  12. Thank you for posting. Beautiful drawings, of course.