Monday, September 10, 2012

Fox and Rabbit

I love enlarging sketches.
The vitality and power of a good rough sketch becomes magnified when the art is blown up in size.
That's certainly the case here with Milt Kahl's animation drawings of Brer Fox threatening Brer Rabbit. The images are scanned off small old model sheets. These larger sizes make you appreciate these fantastic roughs even more. 
Milt was about 36 or 37 years old when Song of the South was in production. Studying his work here proves that he was already an expert draughtsman and a master animator.
Dynamic staging, expressive acting and extraordinary drawing. 
Look at the fox's threatening right hand in the first image. It is based on a human hand, but exaggerated for animation. 
I love the fact that you can feel the weight of the clothes' fabric. The fox's shirt is light, there are soft wrinkles on the under side of the sleeves, it convincingly hangs from his shoulders. The vest is a different material and feels heavier.
While the rabbit is drawn with ultimate appeal, the fox's expressions are pushed to the limit.

Milt and the other animators had a blast animating these characters.