Saturday, April 28, 2018

Roger Rabbit Poster

I drew this illustration of Roger Rabbit eons ago for some Disney travel department or Disney theme parks. I remember having fun with it.
Black felt pen and Magic Markers. Very much influenced by what Hans Bacher taught me about markers and color.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The 9 Old Men at the Walt Disney Family Museum

A once in a lifetime exhibition is being presented at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. NINE OLD MEN will be open to the public on May 17, it will run into January of next year. The curator is Don Hahn, who got in touch with family members of the nine, and was able to secure rare items, such as personal art, student work and pieces associated with their hobbies.
Below are a few examples. The majority of art will of course be animation related. Hundreds of rough drawings, flip books  and a new documentary film.

Early Milt Kahl

Frank Thomas student work

Les Clark

A great caricature by John Musker of himself with Eric Larson.

There will be an exhibition catalogue for sale. And Glen Kean's own fabulous exhibit is up simultaneously. If you ever wanted to visit the is the time!!!

Here is the official link to the museum:

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Martin Provensen

So I have a confession to make. These are early model sheets of the villain for the 1946 short film Peter and the Wolf. The artist is the incredible Martin Provensen. His sketches greatly inspired me during the pre-production phase of The Lion King. I remember, I was looking for any kind of visuals that might help me to get a handle on Scar. Well, when I saw Provinsen's wolf drawings I suddenly found Scar's main attitude. Not very strong physically, but very crafty and scheming.
I honestly have no words to describe the genius behind these sketches. I am still in awe.

This is a scene I co-animated with the brilliant Mark Henn, who drew young Simba. Mark was working at the Florida studio while I was in Burbank. We never spoke about how to play the scene, it just seemed obvious.

Martin Provinsen and his wife Alice, probably in the late 1940s after he left Disney. The two eventually became first rate book illustrators. They pioneered a flat graphic visual style, which in turn would influence Disney. (Sleeping Beauty)
Martin died in 1987, his wife Alice is now 99 years old, and as far as I know still illustrating.

It's funny how the work of another artist can give you a lift and help you with your own assignment.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Just a Beautiful Drawing Wilhelm M. Busch for a bookcover.
An ordinary pose, drawn in an extraordinary fashion. This approach applies to animation as well.
Often you get to do a scene in which the character does something ordinary. How can this scene come out looking interesting. Of course the first thought should be around the character's personality. Is there a way to be unique and specific in your acting choices. The same goes for drawing and staging. A woman is sitting on a chair. What is she thinking? Who is she? Once you know that, then the drawing challenge follows. How can I portray this woman in the most beautiful and insightful way, so people want to look at her.
Well, I do want to know more about this woman. I guess I will have to read the novel.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Prince John Goes Berserk

A beautiful scene with Prince John, animated by Ollie Johnston. The character is very consistent throughout the film -drawing and personality wise- because Ollie handled just about every scene with Prince John. 
Here at the beginning of the archery tournament he says:
"That insolent blackguard...ooh...I'll show him who wears the crown.". 

The film's draft gives the following description:
MCU - Prince John reacting to the mention of Robin Hood's name - slams paw down on arm of chair, which causes crown to bounce off his head and down into position covering eyes.

The action goes great with the dialogue, because obviously he is not wearing the crown very well.
I also love how fast he raises his arms on "ooh", he goes from being upset to severe outrage.
Great overlap on the heavy sleeves.

Did anybody notice that up until frame 60 Prince John has five "fingers", but from then on shows only four?

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Fred Moore's Mickey


I found this image on the internet a while ago. Whoever the owner is...congratulations, this is a unique Fred Moore doodle sheet. Starting out with red pencil, Fred explores a variety of poses. Then, in usual fashion, he adds black pencil lines on top. Those lines are the ones that matter, the red under-drawing was research in order to get to the final form defining black lines.
There is just one unusual thing going on here.
The red under-drawings show Mickey's eyes with pupils, the "modern" design. The black lines refer back to the "old" eye treatment, solid black ovals.
There is no doubt that these sketches were made during Mickey's eye transition in 1938/39.
It's just that you'd think Fred would draw the old design first, then add the new Mickey with pupils on top.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Embattled Drawings

This is a Frank Thomas scene from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow section, which is a part of the 1949 feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. 
The animation is gorgeous. Here are just five drawings from this looong scene. Brom Bones is trying to rid himself of Tilda, who seems glued to the town hunk during the dance. 
In order to save money (and paper), the animator's drawings were rubbed down before a clean up artist added volume research in color pencil on the same sheet of paper. The final graphite line represents the last stage in defining the characters before the drawings were sent to the ink & paint department. 
These drawings show the creative battle animators and clean up artists go through in order to achieve the best results on the screen. Correct anatomy is only slightly compromised to ensure fluidity of motion. 
Since Milt Kahl supervised these two characters, he most definitely did key drawings, so Brom and Tilda look the way he envisioned them. But the animation is all Frank.
So much brainwork on everybody's part. Teamwork!!

Read the note on #411, from Amey to Hillary.  Hilarious!!
This scene is discussed in my book on THE NINE OLD MEN. Just thought I bring this up...