Monday, January 8, 2018

Ollie's Mowgli

Ollie Johnston animated practically the whole "Bear Necessities" song sequence from The Jungle Book. He had such a natural, instinctive feeling when it came to developing Baloo and Mowgli's relationship. It looks to me that he didn't overanalyze his animation, there is a strong gut feeling for how the characters' friendship evolved and changed. 
In this scene Mowgli mimics Baloo's actions, as he tries to pick a thorny fruit from a cactus. 
What a beautiful reaction when Mowgli pricks his finger. The whole head reacts first, his hair bursts, with his face wide open. He then shakes his hand, puts his finger in his mouth, then shakes the hand again. 
Actually the whole body is involved in Mowgli's reaction. His legs go up and down. This is intuitive, insightful character animation, with traces of Ollie's mentor Fred Moore.
These clean up lines were done right over Ollie's rough animation drawings.


  1. I love Ollie's work. How would you professionally compare him to Kahl?

  2. Andreas, did you see my compilation reel of Ollie Johnston's animation?

  3. Here are the drawings assembled

    I would have thought this kind of scene would be fine all on twos, but I'm framing through the finished scene now, and some parts are on ones. I guess Ollie wanted to get the hand wafting a particular way.
    It's interesting to see a tiny little hint of smears, too.

  4. Awesome stuff. Can't believe I was in D-wing when this stuff was being animated. It was clear that the animators were having a great time on this sequence.

  5. I like that Ollie reels himself in a little with the left leg, as not to distract from the main action of the hand wave. I also like the cool counter hand movement on the right hand during the shaky bit.He always keeps it simple and basic for clarity..I would have shaken the arm all over the place, but he keeps the motion clear and in a very tight space, away from the body in a nice little pattern...all great lessons in clarity. Thanks for sharing this.