Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ken's Shere Khan

There are MANY posts on this blog regarding Shere Khan from The Jungle Book, and there is a reason for it. I believe that this character represents a late breakthrough in Disney character animation. Ken Anderson came up with an "above it all" villain, at a time when the rest of the animation crew was scrambling to develop a unique approach to this tiger. It could have gone in so many different directions.
A physically overbearing, threatening, vicious villain would be the most obvious way to go.
But once director Woolie Reitherman saw Anderson's sketches, the idea of hiring actor George Sanders for the voice came to mind. And the rest is history.
Milt Kahl was completely on board with the concept of a tiger, who is suave and acts in a restraint manner.
The final result is a villain for the ages. Designed with graphic sophistication and animated with just the right amount of realism.

Images courtesy of the Reitherman family, with many thanks.