Wednesday, March 5, 2014

King Stefan & King Hubert

These two father figures from the film Sleeping Beauty were animated by Milt Kahl, John Lounsbery and other animators, but it was Milt who was responsible for the final character design.
This new stylized drawing style was right up his alley, even if it presented challenges. But there was nobody at Disney who enjoyed solving drawing problems more than Milt Kahl (even though he stated that this was always hard work for him.) He reveled in the fact that he was able to give new Disney characters the “That’s it!” look. Perfection that can not be improved. 
The Kings are configured of solid round and square shapes, their lines are either straight or curved. There is an architecture to this type of drawing. It’s one thing to come up with good looking designs like these, but then to be able to turn and move them around in space is astonishing. 
A few rare examples when Milt used color in his pre-animation research.

Milt refined the way King Stefan’s sleeves would be drawn. When an arm is bent, even the shape of the inside sleeve becomes a very unique design, while showing proper weight at the same time. A few years later Merlin from The Sword in the Stone would benefit from the same graphic sleeve treatment.


  1. Thank you sharing these very intersting info and beautiful pictures.

    I´m doing hand-drawn animation short. And from these pics i get some nice tips, how to draw clothes simply and clearly. And sleeves is one of those things i´m fighting with :)

  2. I just discovered that the Sleeping Beauty DVD has commentary on it with yourself, John Lasseter and Leonard Maltin. It was super interesting, it can be easy to forget that Lasseter was an animator once, so it was cool to hear him talk about the animators and other artists as a student of theirs.

  3. "There is an architecture to this type of drawing."
    So simply yet eloquently stated!

  4. Beautiful!
    I wonder what medium he used to color his sketches. I'd love to get this kind of delicate result on my own drawings ...

    1. That's pencil and watercolor.

    2. I would have originally guessed gouache, but watercolor makes sense.