Saturday, May 13, 2017

George Darling

Many of you know that the father in the film Peter Pan was largely animated by John Lounsbery.
Milt Kahl animated the character in the final sequence of the movie. He kept the animation subtle and believable. See image above.
But this really is a Lounsbery character. He established Mr Darling during the film's opening sequence. Here are copies of a few rough Louns drawings where the father stumbles over the dog Nana. "And that's my last word on the matter!" (about Wendy getting her own room).
Lounsbery didn't draw hands as well as Milt, but who cares? His strong use of squash and stretch is legendary. I am telling you, if you flip the first drawing with the lastone, lightbulbs will go off. The shift of volumes is just beautiful. Lounsbery went broad on this character in order to avoid another straight, live action based personality. It was a good choice!


  1. I always thought George Darling was an under-appreciated Disney character. True, he's only in the bookend scenes, but he's just so darn memorable. Love him!

  2. Louns may not have been as anatomical or prospectively capable as Milt with hands, but he knew how to thrash them around expressively, especially when Wilfred Jackson was directing him. Brer Fox and Jaq the mouse have some great action scenes like this too.

  3. As an art student I want to thank you for these posts. Everyone is a class in art that they are not teaching in school (except maybe CalArts).

  4. Sehr geehrter Herr Deja,
    Herr Alexander Kunkel würde gerne mit Ihnen in Kontakt treten bzgl. Heinrich Kley, leider scheint Ihre alte Email Adresse nicht mehr zu funktionieren.
    Könnten Sie uns unter kontaktieren?
    Liebe Grüße
    Isabelle Weber

  5. I disagree about the hands. Out of all the Nine Old Men, Louns was the master of drawing hands.

  6. I agree with Brians comment. I have studied hands for some time, and the stuff Louns did with Joe's hands and wrist are pretty darn impressive.

  7. I enjoyed the scenes with the parents more then the Neverland scenes.

  8. Thank you for this fascinating post and for sharing these sketches. I've always been amazed at John Lounsbery's skill and finesse, especially in animating characters with a light comic touch (“The Dance of the Hours”, Willie the Giant, and Willie the Operatic Whale (my favorite), Tony and Joe, among others). It's interesting that the story people on 'Peter Pan' decided to have Hans Conried do the voice for both Captain Hook and Mr. Darling--a theatrical tradition that started when Gerald du Maurier first played Captain Hook in 1904.

    This character is so charming and wonderfully conceived. Disney’s George Darling seems to anticipate George Banks in ‘Mary Poppins’. I love that particular scene when George Darling, outraged that the family sympathizes with the injured dog ("Poor Nana") and not him, leaps up in rage (with surprising agility) with such force that all the toys on the floor around him briefly fly off the ground! Such a nice touch!

    I read somewhere that John Lounsbery also animated Thomas Jefferson (also voiced by Hans Conried) in ‘Ben and Me’ which came out around the same time as ‘Peter Pan’. I marvel at how Lounsbery could use live-action as a reference, but could still create such graceful animated characters (while retaining that essential cartoon quality) with such vitality.

    Thank you for sharing your insight and experience!