Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Way Milt Kahl Draws

When you watch Milt draw some of his characters at the end of his episode from The Disney Family Album series you can't help but feel his intense concentration. He was interviewed and filmed in 1984 at home in his Condo, just north of San Francisco in Marin County. Milt hadn't drawn in several years, he left Disney in 1976. Nevertheless, full of self doubt feeling rusty, he gave in to the show's director Mike Bonifer and sketched in front of the camera.
The footage is of historical importance, because it shows Milt's unorthodox way of drawing. He throws in a light circle for the main mass of the character's head, but then goes straight for details.
The order in which he puts lines on paper is completely absurd. He finished drawing Pinocchio's head, before moving left to define his finger, which is on fire. The connecting arm was drawn in much later.

Milt's assistant Dave Michener told me that Milt stared at blank paper on his desk for a very long time before then quickly animating his scene. He literally saw poses projected on paper, which he then "traced".

Her is the link to The Disney Family Album Wikipedia page for more infos on all episodes:


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Rembrandt Bugatti II

It's been over four years since I put up a post on the great Rembrandt Bugatti. Time for another look at this unrivaled master of animal sculpture. I consider any of his sculpts a masterpiece. Who knows how his art would have evolved and how many more gems he might have created, had he not taken his life at the age of 31.

here is the link to my first post:


Bugatti was a master of the human form as well. Below, Reclining Athlete from 1907.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Polar Bear

I was told that these polar bear designs are the work of John Lounsbery. They don't show the type of line work I associate with Louns, but who knows?! It looks like these sketches were made sometime during the 1940s, possibly 1950s. In any case, the drawings are lovely, good caricature based on the real animal.

Talking about polar bears. You MUST watch David Attenborough's BBC production of "The Hunt".
Just like "Planet Earth", best wildlife documentary EVER. The photography is insane, the program's episodes cover all kinds of animals. Get the Bluray from Amazon! If you are serious about studying nature to influence your animation, The Hunt will leave you breathless. Here is a clip:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Two villains, one from the film Cinderella, the other one from Robin Hood. These two scenes have something in common, both characters are eavesdropping. Lucifer -animated by Ward Kimball- is pressing his ear against the Stepmother's bedroom door in hopes of hearing more orders for Cinderella, something he obviously enjoys.
The Sheriff of Nottingham's pose -by John Lounsbery (with a little help from Milt Kahl) - is almost identical, as he tries to listen in on a conversation between Friar Tuck and Otto. It is highly likely that they are talking about Prince John's taxes.
Both animators chose to flatten one side of their character's head, the one which is pressing against the hard surface of the door. To show soft material like fur reacting to a hard surface like this is very convincing and satisfying to see.
The pupils are looking upwards in anticipation of any revealing news.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Walrus

I believe the character sketches on this pre-animation model sheet of the Walrus from Alice in Wonderland are by Joe Rinaldi. They are terrific and scream out to be animated.
However there is one thing that's been puzzling me: How come that the animal specific tusks were left out in the design?
It's almost like drawing an elephant without a trunk, or a cow without an utter. By omitting the tusks the character ends up looking a bit more generic, this could be a Disney version of a bear or a dog.
When you look at the guy below, you can see what I am talking about.

John Tenniel's original illustrations for the Alice books show an anthropomorphic walrus whose design is definitely based on a real one.

A couple of production cels, showing Disney's high standards when it comes to character colors.

Ward Kimball animated most if not all of the Walrus' scenes. Here he runs away from the Carpenter, who just found out that his buddy ate all the oysters. "The time has come..."
This is your typical cartoon take off. The character is running in place in anticipation of the  actual get away. Yet Kimball manages to add a lot of personality to this boisterous movement.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

More Fritz Hug Animals

Time for another post featuring one of my favorite animal artists, Fritz Hug. Both his sketchy as well as his more rendered work show this man's passion for animals. Mammals, birds, even insects are fascinating to him, and he succeeds in finding poses and expressions that reveal the animal's particular characteristic and personality.
You'll find quite a few posts with art from this Swiss artist on this blog, here is the link to the first one: