Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ollie in 2005

I received this holiday greeting card from the Johnston family in 2005. 
Ollie had just received the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony. Other recipients that year included actor Robert Duvall and singer Dolly Parton. 
Ollie said he looked at this award as a tribute to all the animators who had worked with Walt Disney.
He passed away in April of 2008 at the age of 95.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and wishes for a wonderful new year from our MUSHKA team to you all!

Thursday, December 19, 2019

King Leonidas

The Secretary Bird is nervously conveying to the King that the Royal Star medallion has been stolen by humans. The King reacts: "Ha, Ha, Ha,...don't be ridiculous. What do you think this is?" He grabs and presents his referee whistle. 
This is a great scene animated by Milt Kahl. Brilliant acting choices, gorgeous head angles and amazing overlapping action on the coat's sleeves. You really feel the weight of the fabric.
And of course those great lion paws that articulate human gestures. 
This stuff just doesn't get old!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

MUSHKA Holiday Dinner

What an incredible evening! 
Last Sunday I hosted a holiday dinner party for our main MUSHKA crew.
Animators, background painters, song writers and so on. 
And Doris, our dog, who sneaked into the set up. With apologies to folks, who contribute to the project off and on. I only had 14 seats at the dinner table. We will have the big blow out with everybody next year, when the film is done and in the can.
Of course we had an updated screening of MUSHKA,  I am sooo thrilled to report that the Shermans were very happy with  the way it is coming along. Believe me, they would have told me if they saw any problems.
I am over the moon. A crazy dream come true. From JUNGLE BOOK to MUSHKA.
Full circle for me.

Fromt row:
Ariel Goldberg, voice acting and dialogue coaching.
Fabrizio Mancinelli, composer axtraordinaire and Roger Viloria, post production and a lot more. Then Andreas Wessell-Therhorn, animator . Followed by animator  Courtney Di Paola. Ambrosio Garcia, character opaquing and painting. Me, Elisabeth and Richard Sherman.
Background painters Craig Elliott and Tooba Rezaiei. And background supervisor Natalie Franscioni-Karp.
Way in the back, Craig Peck, associate producer.

Many thanks to Kai Loebach catering for the wonderful food!!

Monday, December 9, 2019

Frank Thomas on Lady & The Tramp

This is Frank Thomas, probably in 1954. Behind the scenes photos of Disney animators are relatively rare, so I treasure every one I can find. 
Frank animated scenes with Lady, Tramp, Jock and Trusty. The character of Tramp was designed by Milt Kahl, who also animated the character's opening scenes in the film (Tramp sleeping in a barrel, he wakes up and takes a "shower".)
Frank did wonderful scenes with him as he happens to pass by the Darling home and overhears a conversation between Lady, Jock and Trusty regarding a human baby.

Here Frank is animating, what might be his first scene with Tramp, who spots Lady being lectured by Jock and Trusty.

This is that scene, a close up of Tramp looking toward the three dogs,

In the upper right corner of the publicity photo you can see design doodles as well as a size comparison sheet drawn by Milt.
Walt Disney repeatedly assigned Frank and Milt together on the same character. Needless to say the results were always of an insane high standard.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Treat yourself to a viewing of the animated film Klaus on Netflix.
Sergio Pablos and his crew managed to come up with a brand new style for hand drawn animation.
Believable motion combined with inventive lighting. The result is magical.
Kudos to the entire Klaus team as well as Netflix!