Friday, March 7, 2014


The butler in the film The Aristocats doesn’t fall into the category of “Disney’s most evil Villains”, but that doesn’t mean that his character can’t entertain and delight as a milder, more gentle baddie.
When you have animators like Milt Kahl, Frank Thomas and John Lounsbery bringing Edgar to life, you know that there will be some terrific performances on the screen.
The sheet above shows Milt’s character designs. I like the loose skin under his chin and in the back of his neck, which provides opportunities for sqash and stretch. Milt loved working on scenes with Edgar, because his personality called for strong emotions, from deep frustration when he finds out that the cats will inherit Madam’s fortune, to gleeful excitement, when he believes that he has successfully gotten rid of the cats.
That particular situation is explored in these sketches by Ken Anderson, who came up with fun ideas that show Edgar in a self-congratulatory mood.

Milt animated this scene, in which Edgar celebrates with a cigar and a bottle of champagne.
The way he casually lifts up the bottle, lets it twirl in the air before adjusting his grip is fantastic.

“Ha, Edgar, old chap. Get used to the finer things in life.”


  1. I run the clip with Georges the lawyer and Madame Bonfamille, followed by the scene of Edgar overhearing the details of her will, for my Character Design class when we're looking at character expression. Edgar's expressions are extreme squash and stretch, therefore so much fun to study for personality animation. You're right in that Edgar was not a typical villain. In fact, in the opening scenes of the film he's established as such a long-suffering, yet efficient and loyal fellow, that he's really quite a sympathetic character. Even when you study the layout of Edgar's room, you can see that he's been treated rather shabbily. His cramped servant's quarters is likely the smallest room in Madame's mansion, with plaster crumbling off the walls, and Edgar's whole world consisting of a small trunk of personal effects and a guitar for some simple enjoyment in his off-time. When he accidentally overhears that he's about to inherit a fortune, then finds out that the cats inherit first, well who wouldn't want to get the cats out of the way if they were in his shoes?

    1. Interesting comment. You're right. I never thought about the significance of his small room. At least one can understand more the overall frustration that caused Edgar to snap!

  2. Hello, Andreas Deja! You are my all-time favourite animator, honestly! You've inspired me to draw animals, moreover your incredible work made me realize that I've always wanted to work for Disney. So - I know that this may be WAY too intrusive, and I'm sure you're a very busy man - but it'd be nice if you let me ask you at least 3 questions regarding an important matter - applying for a job at Disney. It would mean a lot! My e-mail address is Thank you, in advance!
    By the way, I love Aristocats!