This whole tree climbing sequence from The Jungle Book has always been one of my favorite pieces of animation. The storyboard sketches suggested basic ideas for action and acting, but Milt Kahl went to town with this material, and really got the most out of it in his brilliant animation.
In an effort to climb up a tree to spend the night, Mowgli ends up hanging on to Bagheera, as he continues to move upwards. There is so much entertainment packed into these scenes. The way the boy hangs on to the panther, Mowgli planting a foot into Bagheera's face and so on. Sublime anatomy. Animated gold!
Check out how incredibly graphic Milt's drawings had become. Yet when seen in motion you believe you are watching three dimensional, believable characters performing a comedy routine.
I added a frame from the preceding as well as one from the following scene, to remind you of the action's continuity.
Milt's birthday was on March March 22. The day before this blog had almost ten thousand visits! Perhaps some of you were expecting me to post some Milt Kahl art.
Consider this post a celebration of his life's work.