Sunday, December 4, 2011

Peter and the Wolf

I have always loved this short film  from the feature "Make Mine Music".
You put the music of Sergei Prokofiev and the animation by Disney together, and of course you end up with something special. Originally planned without narration, it was Walt who asked to get Sterling Holloway to tell the story.
The animation is top notch and the background styling is stunning.
Several great animators had their hands on this film, and it is interesting to compare these design sketches and staging drawings.

This is an early model sheet of Peter, courtesy of Joe Grant's model department,
followed by the final clean up sheet, based on animation by Ollie Johnston.

The next few images are by Milt Kahl, who actually didn't do any animation for this short. But as so often he helped out with design and drawing issues, in this case for scenes by Ollie Johnston. The sketch with Grandpa mimicking the wolf is kind of scary, Ollie did not take it this far in his animation.

The wolf foreshadows the one from "Sword in the Stone", both characters were designed by Milt and animated by John Lounsbery.

Milt's early version of Peter.

Ward Kimball took a crack at it and came up with these. Any resemblance to the young Pecos Bill?

These are Ollie's drawings, I find those proportions the most appealing.

Layout and compositional studies by Milt. The last image is Ollie's.

When I look at this cel set up, I see beautifully painted snow, but it also reminds me of sweet whipped cream. You just want to take a bite out of it!


  1. You again made ​​my day.
    Interesting funny, Ward Kimballs Peter looks like old Ward Kimball

  2. wow these are fantastic, thanks for sharing.

  3. I very much like Milt Kahl's version of Peter. He took the cuteness away (which overrides the character in the final film.) I like Ward Kimball's least of all. They look more like cartoons than anything relevant to a child or the film at hand.

  4. This has nothing to do with PATW but do you know, what Glen Keane is actually doing? I haven't heard anything since last year, when he stepped up from his director position.

  5. Beautiful. Look at that Fred Moore influence! Thanks Andreas...and yes, I'm with Matthias, what has Glen been doing and please, please tell us you both are working on any animated projects. PLEASE. It's like not knowing if Picasso is painting anymore.

  6. Matthias and MR Creative,
    I really don't know what Glen is doing right now.
    Why dont you send him a note at Disney and ask?
    As for myself, I am currently on my own, and I am working on a couple 2D short films. One of them could be as long as 20+ minutes.
    Check my post "Girl and Tiger" for a little update.

  7. Thank you, Andreas. Really glad to you are keeping active. Not sure how to contact Glen there, but I'll see if I can dig a little. You guys have been my heroes since I was 12 and dreamed of being a Disney animator. I wound up keeping a long correspondence with Phil Young. Went I left SCAD, Pixar began their domination and Disney started their chopping block festivities. I never got to Disney, but it's influence continues with my illustration and graphic design work. All the best...Mike Rosado

  8. Thanks for this artworks Andreas. I just love Петя и волк! I adore when the Wolf came back in "Lambert the Sheepish Lion". Wonderful Mary Blair backgrounds. I adored how this short insipred both "Journey to the Past" segment from Don Bluth's "Anastasia" and Roger Allers' "The Little Matchgirl". Speaking of the short I adore this popular form of Fantasia, it's a tale for children and it's appealing to adults as well. Sterling Holloway is the perfect fairytale storyteller and he adds a sort of "dannykayish" magic to the short. The setting is amazing! Ages before Doctor Zhivago here we have a sort of mystical Russia, with vast snowfields. Speaking of the animation, maybe my favorite part is the hunters one."Misha", "Yasha" and "Vladimir" are so amazing! They tried to replicate the idea of the comical trio in "The Small One", but I don't like the Arabian version as well. Just one more consideration about the characters: there are a lot of characters in this short, yet no one is useless and they are all memorable. That's what a simple plot with no claims can give. That's what I'd like to see from Disney. That's why I loved Nessie so much.

  9. I think "Peter and the Wolf" was the best part of "Make mine music". Really like to study the wolf

    Even my biggest interest is animation, i must admit, that i´m being a big fan of Sterling Holloway. I would have loved to animate a character, he did the voice for.

    Eventually. I´m right now reading a book called "The Nine Old Men" by John Canemaker. And i really recommend it.

  10. The Ward Kimball version of Peter just cracks me up.

  11. Hello Andreas. I have long been a fan of your work, although only just today discovered your blog! I am so thrilled to find it current, and cannot wait to go through it!

    I am sure you get this asked quite often, I apologise if I am being too eager, but is there an address that I can write to to request an autograph from you? I will send you a reply-paid envelope, and a card for the autograph to go on, and am more than happy to donate money to your favourite charity as a thank you. I would be very honoured to have your signature. I am putting together a framed work of my favourite character of yours, Scar (although Jafar is a close second), incorporating some frames from the film, and to have your autograph would be beyond amazing.

    I understand if you're not able to of course, you're a busy man... Congrats on your recent nomination by the way!!!

    Many thanks,


  12. Actually the Ward Kimball Peter looks suspiciously like..Ward Kimball!

  13. I agree with you about the snow looking like whipped cream. And I've always felt the same way about the snow scenes in Once Upon a Wintertime as well. Something luscious about that looks like a frosted cake.

    Thanks for sharing these pictures - Peter and the Wolf is one of my favorite shorts!

  14. Hey, did you add a few images to this post? I don't recall seeing the first three images of the wolf hanging down from the limb (the last one I remember).

    My brain must be thinking in terms of layout because I love how this drawing illustrates the focus, clear silhouettes and lines of action.

    Wonderful artwork from a wonderful film. Thanks!

  15. Amber,
    just leave me you email address, and we'll work out the mailing issue.

  16. Hi Andreas, thank you so much for replying! My email is

    I look forward to hearing from you :)

  17. Hi again :) I promise not to bug you after this ;) if the address above isn't working I can also be found at

    The first one is a .au, the second is just .com

    Hope you have a great Christmas

  18. So fun to see these early drawings! This movie used to scare me to death!! I would have nightmares about the wolf...there was something about the combination of the ominous music and the scary-looking wolf together that freaked me out. :} It is an amazing piece of animation, though. I can now watch it without getting scared. ;)

  19. The transformation into the wolf from the grandpa.... it is scary!