Thursday, June 20, 2019

Lounsbery Dogs

Lady & the Tramp is one of those films in which John Lounsbery's talents fired on all cylinders.
I would say that after his work on Fantasia (Ben Ali Gator) this is another high in his career.
Brilliant drawing and acting on Bull, with moving flesh, wrinkles and all. Beautifully timed to the voice of Bill Thompson.
Louns also animated all scenes with Tony and Joe at the Italian restaurant.

This whole sequence at the zoo's entrance was also animated by Lounsbery.

A few years later he drew scenes with Danny, the great dane, voiced by George Pelling.

Thanks again to Wil for the scans of these terrific drawings.
Here is the link to my first post on John Lounsbery from 2011:

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Rare Milt Kahl Drawings

Milt Kahl did mostly clean up drawings on the Prince in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
This guy was even more difficult to draw than the film's title character. As soon as the team found out about Milt's power of subtle draughtsmanship... as Milt himself put it:
"I got stuck with the clean up job on the guy." Needless to say he didn't enjoy this assignment at all. But he knew his superb artistry was needed to pull this character off.

Next is a Pinocchio drawing he did for a Les Clark scene.

A great doodle sheet featuring Thumper. Let's call 422 and see who answers.

A great sketch of adolescent Bambi. Still, I am not 100% sure if the head turn works with this definition of the neck.

I loove this scene of a cow turning away from camera in the 1950 short film The Brave Engineer.
There is no way you can animate a scene like this one in a more entertaining way.
The weights shifting is what it's all about!
Earlier I posted a drawing from this scene here:

Milt's final model for Alice.
But who is this lucky Evangelina person ??

Ok, I just googled her, she was a famous Mexican actress:

One of Milt's Peter Pan roughs, clearly based on live action footage.

This is a sketch Milt did for a Frank Thomas scene.
Look at the beautiful curvature of the dog's spine, supporting a roll over position.

My thanks again to Wil for providing hi/res scans of these stunning drawings.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Over 50% in Color

We recently hit a milestone on our production of MUSHKA. We have about 16 min. in final color, including effects, highlights, shadows etc. That's more than 1/2 of the 30 min. film. 
Color backgrounds with character colors are coming in fast and furious.
I just need to hold on to my recently hired talented BG painters. They both make a difference in speeding up production. 
Also, I am looking for a couple of local, seasoned character animators. My footage pay is not top, but nearly top. 
I need people who can help to take this project to the finish line. If I have worked with you in the past...great. Just leave your email in the comment section.
Richard Sherman loves our project, so does Kathryn Beaumont as wells as Robert Reitherman.

It's my post Disney statement, and it is very personal.
C'mon and join the MUSHKA Crew.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Rare Marc Davis Drawings

Here are a few of Marc's drawings from three Disney feature films that haven't been circulated online.
A couple of his polished story sketches for Bambi show his thorough understanding of animal anatomy as well as a feeling for entertainment. I believe Marc spent a total of six years on the film. Most of them in story, then in animation (Flower, the skunk).

One of those mysterious doodle sheets. On the right of course is Flower, a motion study with structural accuracy. The other sketches look like telephone doodles to me.

Color designs for Cinderella's Fairy Godmother and the Prince.
The inscription is wrong, Cinderella already premiered in 1950.
It's interesting, the Fairy Godmother looks pretty much like Milt Kahl's final animation.

An animation drawing of Aurora which was later redrawn for the film with a stronger jawline.
Here she looks sixteen years old, in the movie more like twenty-six (still beautiful though).

Maleficent turns away from the King and Queen after finding out she had not been invited to the princess' Christening. "Well, in that event, I'd best be on my waY".
Marc underlines the ending of the word "way" to remind himself of the proper mouth shape.

Thanks to my friend Wil for providing scans of these beautiful drawings. 

I am recommending this book on Marc Davis' art:

And the upcoming book on Marc's work as an imagineer:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Woolie's Gaucho Goofy

Woolie Reitherman's animation of Goofy as a Gaucho in Saludos Amigos, 1943, is astonishing!
In this slow motion scene the audience is supposed to find out about the gaucho's hunting technique on horseback.

These are clean up drawings over Woolie's roughs. You can see clearly how the animator "messed" with his animation. Multiple color passes, erased positions and re-timed numbering.
The end result is broad, highly comical motion that somehow remains believable because of solid drawings based on real anatomy.
A masterpiece!

Click on the images 2x. For some reason they become sharper that way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Pinocchio Story Problem

I remember years ago when I had a conversation about Pinocchio with Frank Thomas.
As usual I was gushing over the film and its animation.
Frank recounted certain sequences he was involved with in terms of animating the title character.
When it came to the section where Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket returned home after escaping treasure island, Frank got suddenly agitated.
He really disliked the way the two characters were informed about Gepetto's absence and his whereabouts.
They re-introduced the Blue Fairy as a dove, dropping a written message right in front of them, Frank remembered. "I thought that was a terrible idea" he complained. 
It didn't work for him way back, and it didn't work for him still.

I had seen the film numerous times and never questioned this story issue, but I realized Frank had a point. 
How else this information might have gotten to Pinoke and Jimmy I won't even try to elaborate on.

Here are a couple of Frank's rough animation drawings from that sequence, followed by their corresponding film still.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Another Great Marc Davis Sketch

I forgot how long Marc Davis worked on story for Bambi. He told me once, I think it was about five years. Marc skipped Pinocchio and Fantasia in order to focus on the challenge to develop sequences with realistic but expressive animal characters for Bambi
In this particular sketch it's Thumper who just kills me. What an appealing, gorgeous, all around wonderful caricature of a rabbit.

I this photo, years later, Marc is pretending to work on Lady And the Tramp.
As a matter of fact, he skipped this film as well, so he could do designs for the next Disney film Sleeping Beauty. Marc created endless characters for crowd scenes, but as you all know, focused on Aurora and Maleficent.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Marc Davis Bambi Research

A few sheets with beautiful development drawings for Bambi by Marc Davis were recently offered at S/R Labs auctions.
They remind me of what Frank Thomas once said, that without Marc's thorough deer studies quality character animation would not have been possible.
Marc found just the right balance between realistic anatomy and human expressiveness.
He developed appealing designs that could be animated.
Animated by only a few artists who were willing to take on this challenge of studying the heck out of deer anatomy, then adding subtle caricature and acting.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Steps in the Making of the Jungle Book

Disney created educational panels like these off and on to help promote a new upcoming animated feature. They were hung in the main hallway of the animation building, ground floor, or at the movie theatre where the film premiered.
I recall seeing Steps in the Making panels for Sleeping Beauty, The Aristocats and The Rescuers.

For The Jungle Book the character of King Louie guides you through the animation process. 
Sketches by Ken Anderson, storyboards, and animation drawings by John Lounsbery and Frank Thomas help explain how Louie makes it from early development to final cels on to the screen.

All pretty basic stuff, but still lots of fun to follow nevertheless.
Milt Kahl is featured in the photos, and yes, I do own his animation desk.