Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sullivant influences Disney

Here are a couple of examples that show the graphic influence T.S. Sullivant had on the design of certain Disney animal characters. 
The first one is the brown cow from the 1950 short film The Brave Engineer. The train had to come to a sudden and abrupt stop because the cow happened to stand on the railroad tracks. With a nonchalant attitude she turns away and moves on. Milt Kahl animated this scene with all the comedy you can get out of a Sullivant design. Oversized muzzle, and hip bones that stick out for days.

This sketch by story artist James Bodrero depicts a young  Gauchito on a horse. The final 1945 short film The Flying Gauchito includes a flying donkey instead.
There is a certain size and shape Sullivant applies to a horse's head, and you can clearly see the influence when compared to Bodrero's beautiful sketch.

Most artists working in the animation industry during its golden age just loved Sullivant's work. 
There really is nobody like him.
Now who is going to publish that coffee table book on his work?!


  1. Perhaps it would be appropriate for Disney Publishing to publish?
    Just sayin' ;)

  2. I hope you will publish Andreas, but I had no idea what it's going to be you can find a way to published.

  3. I love the "Descendant of Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" sketch. The expression reminds me of the hippos from Fantasia.

  4. I didn't know that Milt worked on any shorts past the 40's war-era. That's pretty interesting! I love the Sullivant-influenced stuff you did for your book too, although I haven't seen the actual book

  5. Hi Mr. Deja, I've been trying to reach you at your email but it bounces back saying your email is full. It's to send you an invitation to our festival next year, please let us know how we can contact you again: justo@creativafest.com

    All the best.

  6. Andreas, can you tell me what brand and grade pencils you use to sketch these beautiful drawings?

  7. I´ve heard stories about mysterious troubles every time one of Sullivan's book is announced... spooks? maybe. About that Bodrero horse, I detect also another influence, this time by an artist who was actually hired at the time by the Studio: Florencio Molina Campos (he did concept and backgrounds mostly, all related to Gaucho stuff). Check his art in the net.

  8. I don't know why Aurora touched the spinning wheel by Maleficent, Aurora is controlled by Maleficent like a puppet, it looks scary.

  9. My thoughts exactly, Lucas. Yes, you can see a lot that Molina Campos supervised the sections of the gauchos! Especially in the "Gaucho Goofy" the horse is equal to the Argentine horse (and therefore the one of Molina), with the well round nose and the great muscle of the jaw
    Brodero in this drawing marks that curve of the nose but a little soft ...
    The rest of the horse's body could be from Sullivant


    Disney-Molina Campos:

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  11. Andreas, I absolutely adore Sullivant's work and can't wait for that coffee table book so long overdue. His pen and ink technique is amazing. His original drawings are interesting; Sullivant did as much scraping as he did drawing, correcting mistakes. I met someone who worked with a journalist who knew Sullivant well. Sullivant's knowledge of animal anatomy informed his caricatures of them and he refused to do what we commonly do without thinking - assign human traits to animals so that they can move as we do. He refused to do it much to his editor's frustration and the editor would be forced to pass the job on to another staff illustrator!