Saturday, February 29, 2020

Animators' Footage on Jungle Book

This is a beautiful scene by Frank Thomas. Milt Kahl offered some help with drawing the characters on model.
And here is an interesting, rare document I received a while ago from the W. Reitherman estate.
It looks all too familiar to me, because we received these weekly footage updates as well at Disney.
Management needed to keep track of how animation production was progressing.

Here you can see what the animators' average footage was between May of 1966 (when animation officially began) and the end of December of that year (which was the time of Walt's death.)
Not surprisingly Ollie Johnston was the fastest, followed by Hal King and Frank Thomas.
Milt Kahl comes in fourth with almost nine feet per week. That's about SIX seconds of film. Milt of course would argue that he could have been a lot faster if other animators didn't bug him constantly for drawing help on their scenes.
In any case, these numbers are incredibly impressive, considering the top notch quality of Jungle Book's character animation.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Milt Kahl Outtakes

These are a couple of rough animation drawings by Milt Kahl from a scene featuring the character of Frou Frou  from The Aristocats. This scene was not included in the final film, perhaps the action was re-staged. There is a similar shot in the film depicting the mare as she reacts strongly to Edgar slapping a newspaper on her rear.
I am not entirely sure if the two are connected.
In any case, any rough animation drawing by Milt Kahl is a revelation, as it shows the master's mind at work. I remember him talking about this character and that he had a hard time with the design and her personality.
Nevertheless the work he did on Frou Frou is just beautiful!

A little more about this character here:

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Cinderella in Pencil

You've got to see this...several times! At Disney Animation Twitter.
Animation by Marc Davis, effects by George Rowley. Sure, it is based on life action, but man....

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Lounsbery Outtakes

These are Aristocats animation drawings by John Lounsbery showing the Italian cat Peppo, as he is preparing a Roquefort omelet or something of that sort.
The scene (perhaps two scenes) was cut from the film, and it is a shame that a pencil test of the animation doesn't exist, at least to my knowledge. But who knows, the remaining drawings might surface sometime in the future. In the meantime enjoy these two Lounsbery beauties.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Mowgli Design Sketches

These are obviously by Milt Kahl and predate animation on Jungle Book. It is pretty much the character you see in the film, but this early on Milt is still messing with Mowgli's overall proportions.
The size of the head to the body, the size of his hands etc. Details of his anatomy are already figured out. Legs, arms and the ever complicated way to draw accurate knees in any position.
Another feast for the eyes.

More on Mowgli here:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Preston Blair's Mickey


I love the scenes in the Sorcerer's Apprentice where Mickey Mouse wakes up from his dream, deep in water. He panics and tries to make it over to the fountain where he earlier had instructed a broom to do his chores.
Preston Blair uses a lot of fun distortions here, particularly on Mickey's hands in order to support fast gesturing. It was surprising to find out that a lot of the animation is on twos. This is unusual since this is normally done on ones, so the distortions don't really register to the viewer.
But then again...Bill Tytla did the same thing when animating broad scenes with Stromboli.

I remember distorting King Triton's hand by elongating his fingers as he lifts a hand to his forehead.
Clean up was later instructed to draw a normal looking hand instead of what I had in mind. A fellow animator even quipped: "This is not Roger Rabbit!"

It makes me laugh thinking about this decades later.