Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Why isn't he finished yet...

 ...because our team is relatively small, and it takes time to maintain quality. We were thinking earlier this year, if  everybody gives it an extra push, perhaps we could finish the project by the end of this year. But this would mean compromising here and there in order to get it done. That's not going to happen. So we will go into next year with the hope and intention to finish by mid-year.

To be honest. there were times when I thought, what't wrong with a seven minutes format?
The fact is, I need 25 minutes to tell this particular story.
And we are making progress, with five sequences in final color very soon.

The scene above shows Sarah after she arrives in Eastern Russia. She is sent upstairs to her "room".
The camera follows her as she walks across her new home. She trips, then runs into a spider web before arriving by the window on screen left, where she opens her suitcase.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Milt & Roger Miller

Great behind the scenes photo of Milt Kahl and Roger Miller, the voice of Allan-a-Dale, the rooster from Disney's 1973 film Robin Hood. As far as character designs, this is one of my favorites. This character needed to be depicted in some kind of period costume. How do you do that with a rooster?
Milt did have some experience with clothing on poultry, having designed and animated Ludwig von Drake in the early 1960s.
For an extensive post on Allan-a-Dale from 2011 go here:


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Geppetto Head Studies

I should have put in a bid on these two sheets that were just up for auction. I was busy animating and forgot about S/R's animation art auction. Most of you know that Art Babbit animated the character of Geppetto in Pinocchio, but I believe these drawings are by Fred Moore.  
What do you think?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A Family Affair

The opening night for the Nine Old Men exhibition at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco was magical. Most of the Nine's families showed up, and to talk to them while visiting the various galleries...what can I say, once in a lifetime.
Wherever you are in the world, if you can afford it, come to SF to see this exhibit. It is the largest the museum has ever mounted. I was planing to take a ton of photos, but ended up talking to family members instead.

Here are three generations of the Kahl family. Milt, Sibyl, his daughter and Zoe, his great-granddaughter, who did inherit Milt's artistic talent (she is super creative, winning awards in all kinds of art competitions).

Go see this show!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Happy Mothers' Day

This unconventional mother-son relationship represents one of Disney's most heartwarming short stories (Lambert the Sheepish Lion). This is a basically a Bill Peet story, even though Ralph Wright and Milt Banta also received story credit. The film was released in 1952 and it stands out among other Disney short subjects produced during the 1950s. It holds up because it fits in with today's modern diverse families.
Such a beautiful message.
A couple of top notch animators, Eric Larson and John Lounsbery supervised the animation, while Milt Kahl helped with character designs:



Saturday, May 12, 2018


A great sketch of a frog by Swiss animal expert Fritz Hug. I love frogs. Their arms and legs always remind me of human anatomy. (Part of the reason I could never eat them.)
Below are beautiful sketches by Disney's Bernard Garbutt. What amazing observation.
Perhaps a dose of this kind of body structure might have helped the frog characters in Disney's The Princess and the Frog, one of the studio's last hand drawn films .

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Ex Libris

A couple of book plate illustrations by Wilhelm M. Busch (who else?)
Competent, honest draughtsmanship in its purest form. Can't stop admiring and being inspired by his beautiful work.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Sullivant Original

I do own a few TS Sullivant originals, but not this one. It was offered by Heritage Auctions late last year.
Just like every Milt Kahl drawing, each Sullivant illustration represents an adventure in humorous, graphic exploration. EVERYTHING is entertaining, the animals' anatomy, the insane sense for caricature, staging and on and on.
The caption is very funny, too. Here is what Heritage said about the piece:

Thomas Sullivant Life Magazine Illustration Original Art (Life Publishing Company, 1921). Before LIFE magazine was purchased by Henry Luce in 1936 and become the long-running photo-magazine American institution it is remembered as, it started in 1883 as a humor magazine similar to the British Punch. This whimsical cartoon illustration from 1921 features only a portion of the caption, but in it, Mrs. Hippo asks Mrs. Gnu how her children are. Mrs. Gnu replies that one of them has gnumonia, to which Mrs. Hippo says that is "bad gnus". At least this Dad-joke has charming artwork crafted in ink on an oversized 25.5" x 17.25" sheet of Bristol board. Signed in the lower left of the image area. Toned, with edge wear, torn caption, and a missing bottom left marginal corner. In overall Very Good condition. 

Over the years I have posted numerous times on Sullivant's art. Here is the first one:


Thursday, May 3, 2018

More Early Black Cauldron

I found a few more of my early character concept art currently being offered at Heritage Auctions.
They date all the way back to 1980/81. Drawn in an office on the second floor of the original Disney Animation building. As I mentioned before, my office mate was Tim Burton, for about a year.