Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Autograph but no Drawing from Milt Kahl

One time during the early eighties when I met up with Milt Kahl in San Francisco, I asked him for a sketch of one of his characters. He felt a little uncomfortable with my request, on one hand he knew that I would very much appreciate it, on the other he thought that he wasn't up to his old drawing standards anymore.
Since I had brought a couple of stills showing Shere Khan  (I had made these prints from pieces of actual 35mm film), he looked at them and said:
"Yeah, these are good, these are good poses." 
Milt then went on to sign one image, as you can see below.
Just look at the stylized anatomy of the tiger, still takes my breath away.


  1. I love your work. I love your posts. C'est "Formidable" comme ils disent au Moulin Rouge.

  2. Was this the time you took Uli? When I visit Sausalito I often wonder where Milt lived- is his house still there?

  3. Matt,
    this was before I took Uli for a visit.
    Milt lived in a Condo in Sausalito which he had bought.
    After his passing it was sold, but I am sure it is still there.
    And yes..... I am working on a post for my own little tribute to Mr Searle, probably tomorrow.
    I am so thrilled that you and Uli got to know him!!

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  5. Shere Khan is awesome and the talent behind that design is amazing. Still, I think Scar is at the same level of awesomeness. The lion takes MY breath away. Perhaps one day I can get a signed still of Scar too :)

  6. Groovy! I'm glad you were able to get something that timeless. Treasure it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Pretty awesome! I always see a lot of Tigger every time I look at Shere Khan – something about the head, jaw, and placement of the stripes I think. Tigger's evil uncle. Yeah.
    Agree with Noelia up there though...

  8. My hat's off to you, Andreas. You had the courage to pick up the phone and establish a relationship with Milt. Many would've never done that, simply out of fear over his past reputation of being volatile! Those are great poses of Shere Khan.

  9. I would find it hard to believe that someone like Milt Kahl would not be up to his old drawing standards after he retired. However, I suppose it's like any skill. If you have not practiced it in some time, you can get a little rusty!

  10. Hey, I figured you'd write something on Searle-looking forward to reading it. People often ask who animated Searle's style best? We need look no further than Edgar the Butler, or Mim or Arthur & Merlin, 101 Dalmations . . .

  11. Hi Andreas,

    Sorry for the off-topic comment, but I have a question I'd like to ask if I may.

    Do you know who animated the puppets that appear on stage with Pinocchio when he is singing "I've got no Strings"?

    It's great seeing the inanimate puppets dance around, and being able to compare their movements to the animate Pinochio. I'd love to know who was responsible for their animation.

  12. I don't know if this autograph is funny or a tiny bit mean...
    And he knew how much you loved his work. Did he made a sketch for you after that or that's all you could get from him ?

  13. Andreas i loved those cels of Shere Khan singing. At least i already know Bill Lee did the singing for Shere Khan because George Sanders refused to do it.

  14. Andreas i loved those cels of Shere Khan singing. At least i already know Bill Lee did the singing for Shere Khan because George Sanders refused to do it.