Saturday, July 24, 2021

Tom Oreb Designs


Here are a few sheets with character design studies by Tom Oreb dating back to the 1950s. Looking at the Aurora drawings I have to say that Marc Davis and Iwao Takamoto had it fairly easy when it came to finalizing the character for animation. Everything is already there in Oreb's sketches. Overall styling, line and shape language, hair and costume, all of it.

He also drew rough concepts for many characters in 101 Dalmatians. These were based on story sketches by Bill Peet, who single handedly storyboarded the entire movie. 

Milt Kahl and other animators referred to these drawings while adjusting the designs slightly for final animation. 

Go to Howard Lowery Auctions, where you'll find Oreb's work for sale once in a while.

https://auction.howardlowery.com




 


Much more on Nanny's design in this previous post:


Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Robin Hood for Sale

Heritage Auctions is currently offering this terrific sketch of Robin Hood by Milt Kahl. He gave it to Don Duckwall, who was production manager on the film. (It was Don who would later help me with necessary paperwork in order to join Walt Disney Productions in 1980.)

This is a beautiful drawing, and if it looks a bit familiar to you, that's for a reason. A while ago I posted a rougher version of this pose, a sketch Milt gave to a gentleman called Leonard. While I like the looseness of that sketch, I have to say that Milt made significant improvements when he re-drew the image for Don.

It really is fun to compare the two versions and find out what parts of the drawing Milt changed.




 

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Creative Shortcuts

 



Images © Mushka Productions

Here is an example of a scene from the upcoming film MUSHKA that shows how we were able to cut corners, and still end up with superior results. The first image is basically a story sketch. Matthieu Saghezchi drew the scenery, I added the character poses.  Courtney DiPaola animated this emotional scene beautifully. We have NO rough layout and NO clean up layout on this production. We are going from story sketch straight to final background (which is crazy.). That background was pained by Craig Elliott. Craig added beams of moonlight, which create a multiplane effect during the camera move. 
You can do this sort of thing with top talents only. Everybody is trying to plus what's been given to them.
My team on this movie is tiny...but extraordinarily talented.

Did I mention that we are almost done?

Monday, July 12, 2021

Sullivant Original III

 


This one dates back to October 9, 1924 in LIFE magazine. It shows a little bit of water damage, but the piece has been treated to stop any further discoloring and deterioration.  It measures 20 X 14".

I don't know of any other illustrator/cartoonist who depicts a bear this way, weighty on top and thin around the bottom. It is usually the other way around (Yogi Bear, Baloo etc.) Beautifully designed human characters, and the hounds are priceless. 


Monday, July 5, 2021

Milt Keys a Bagheera Scene


Another example that shows how Milt Kahl helped his fellow animators with improved draughtsmanship in their scenes. Here Bagheera is trying to communicate with Baloo about a plan how to get Mowgli away from King Louie. Of course Baloo does not pay attention, he is about to join the "jungle party".

This is a short dialogue scene, animated by Ollie Johnston. In an earlier scene Bagheera said: "Now, while you create a disturbance, I'll rescue Mowgli.", followed here by: "Got that?" 
Actor Sebastian Cabot read the line in a hushed tone, not to be heard by the monkeys. I love how Bagheera speaks through one corner of his mouth, in the direction where he thinks Baloo still is.

I am not sure if Ollie had this in mind in his rough animation, or if this is a Milt Kahl addition. 
After the panther hears Baloo proclaiming: "I'm gone man, solid gone!" he quickly turns the other way to see what crazy stuff the bear is up to. 











Sunday, June 27, 2021

Happy Birthday, Kathryn Beaumont!

 

June 13, 1949: "DISNEY SIGNS THE 'VOICE OF ALICE, BURBANK, CAL....Kathryn Beaumont, 11-year-old English girl, is shown as she signed a contract as the voice of Alice in Walt Disney's lavish cartoon feature production of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Kathryn is the daughter of British actor-singer Kenneth Beaumont. Disney (who stands beside her) gave her a voice test and was immediately captivated. It was originally intended for Margaret O'Brien to play the voice."

Today is Kathryn Beaumont's birthday. I was lucky enough to celebrate with her and a few friends while enjoying a wonderful brunch at one of her favorite local restaurants in Studio City.

Kathy is doing great. She was happy that our LA pandemic lockdown has recently been lifted, and that it is now possible to socialize with -vaccinated- friends again. (Here's hoping it will stay that way.)

At the restaurant we witnessed a few teens being completely consumed by looking at their cel phones. We had a giggle when I asked her if she, as a former school teacher, would be able to have her pupils put down their phones in class and pay attention. Her answer was: "I don't know...I really don't know."

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Happy Pride Month!

 


I drew this poster for a party in Paris many years ago. (The paper is showing its age). And a great party it was. To be clear: this image of affection between Herc and Gaston is imaginary. There is no doubt that Hercules is pursuing Meg, and Gaston is insisting on marrying Belle.

But it's fun to play around once in a while...