Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shere Khan and Kaa

These are a few more examples that show the transition from story sketch to animation.
In other words, you can see how the animator got inspired by the story artist's work and then plussed the scene by improved staging and drawing.
I believe the story sketches are by Vance Gerry (Floyd Norman might be able to confirm that).
The animation of course is the work of Milt Kahl. I traced and combined all character levels on to one drawing. The whole sequence is almost like limited animation, often the body is on a held cel while only the head moves.

This high level of imagery, for the moment, is a thing of the past. It represents a blend of Character Animation and Fine Art, because the animator was deeply interested in both!
There is plenty of realism here, but a ton of abstractions as well. The designs are stylized, but remain very accessible at the same time. There is almost no way you could simplify the tiger's body any more. Everything is boiled down to an essence, every line has great meaning and communicates beautifully.
And the staging is as solid as a rock. Anatomy, caricature, weight, perspective and entertainment for sure.

The last image just kills me. How can you draw an extreme stretch like this one on the snake and still have it come off as plausible and believable? Yet one more inch and Kaa's head would pop off.
This set up also reminds me of a Henry Moore sculpture. Sophisticated but simple organic shapes and forms that work in three dimensions. (Milt had actually met Henry Moore).

A real high in Disney Animation.