Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Louie Schmitt

When Cartoon Brew featured an article last year on "The Cute Greeting Cards Of Louie Schmitt And Stan Spohn" I had no idea that Amid Amidi was talking about THE Louie Schmitt. The one who drew this model sheet of the field mouse for the film Bambi.
Here is the link to Cartoon Brew's article:

These drawings just kill me. Schmitt is not following any early cartoon formulas, this stuff is based on real life by a super sensitive artist. Each and every pose is interesting and crazy appealing.
Best mouse studies I've ever seen.
And look at the these beautiful Mole sketches.

I believe this opossum is his work as well, but I am not 100% sure.

According to Frank and Ollie's book on Bambi this is Louie Schmitt in the front.
(Behind him are Ollie Johnston and Milt Kahl.)
Now I need to find out what scenes he actually animated in Bambi. After leaving Disney Schmitt ended up working for Tex Avery on some classic shorts, including the hilarious Bad Luck Blackie from 1949.


  1. I like how he draws the skeleton of the possum above it I can never get that right in my drawings

  2. Standing mouse is so great! It´s so alive, even it´s just one drawing. :) Thanks for this post, it´s always great to hear more about not so famous Disney artists.

  3. Wow! I always love your blog, but something about those model sheets really grabs my attention. Love the flexibility he shows - both balling up the mouse in different ways, and showing how it can stretch. He's made it so easy to imagine movement. Very inspiring!

  4. Fantastic, Andreas! I'd never seen any of his Disney work. By the time Schmitt started doing the Hallmark work, he'd settled into clear cartoon formulas, but there's still a great deal of appeal in them. Nothing like these incredible mouse studies though.

    I have more of his greeting card work and will try to scan them in soon.

  5. Hi Andreas, I'm a big Disney fan and I really admire your work as an animator, you manage to give life to your drawings in an amazing way! I dream of becoming a 2D animator and be as talented as you to produce my own traditional animated film, I already have some characters design, a scenario and lots of ideas. But this morning I read that Disney closed its legendary 2D animation department ; it's extrêmely sad!! Do you believe that the future of 2D animation in cinema is compromised and that one day Disney would remake 2D animated movies ?
    A French fan :)

  6. Hi Greg,
    yes, the news was sad. So for the foreseeable future no hand drawn features coming out of Disney. But the artform is not going away. Many independent animators, such as myself, are working on 2D projects.
    And you can do that, too. It seems there is always a 2D film being worked on in France. Europe is still in love with drawn animation. It won't go away, there is too much passion for it.

  7. HI Andreas:

    The model sheet of the field mouse is amazing. I had not heard of Louie Schmitt before this posting. One thing you will notice is that these sketches practically make it to the screen when you watch the scenes of the mouse during the water drop and April shower sequences. Very beautiful and I love the way his drawings captures the fluidity of what a real mouse can do. Fun! Thanks for sharing.

  8. The Artworks of Louie Schmitt is so great! I like it so much! :)
    I'm a big fan of rodents and I'm glad that nowadays many know how awful it is to lift up a mouse by the tail or lift up a rabbit by the ears. :)

    Thank you for this post! :)

  9. You might contact his son Bob Schmitt for more information. He lives in Carlsbad, CA. He and his wife Karen are on Facebook.