Saturday, June 20, 2020

Milt Kahl at Auction

Recently there have been a few offerings of Milt's drawings at Heritage Auctions. While other animation art items saw record prices, these pieces went for relatively modest dollar amounts.

The Mickey Mouse sketch looks like it was drawn in the late 1940s or 50s. To my knowledge Milt animated Mickey only one time for the short Mickey's Circus. And that was his debut as an animator in 1936.
That hand is too large.

When Milt drew characters for fans, he mostly sketched them in black and white. This is a rare color piece. It was drawn sometime during the 1950s. The style and line work is more graphic here than in his earlier production drawings for Bambi. Thumper has a resemblance to the rabbits from Sleeping Beauty.

The three Witches of Morva for The Black Cauldron. He recycles graphic character traits from his earlier animated personalities. But the top draughtsmanship is still there.

More on Milt's character designs for The Black Cauldron here:

Monday, June 15, 2020

Missing Puppies

I've always loved this still from 101 Dalmatians. Cruella de Vil is reassured that her plot has been successful. The newspaper reports on the stolen Radcliff puppies.
This illustration had to be made during an early phase of the film's production. Anita is drawn according to her initial design. Her face and hair as well as her outfit differs from the actual film. Milt Kahl drew Anita and Roger for this "press photo", I assume Ollie Johnston drew Nanny.

It is interesting to study some of the newspaper's text, as it reflects topics from the the late 1950 and early 60s. The write up about the stolen puppies is on the left of the image. It actually talks about people being rescued after an earthquake. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Marc Davis animated this beautiful scene at the beginning of the "Sweet Nightingale" song sequence.
No doubt based on live action reference performed by Helen Stanley. But it is the way Marc analyzed her movement and the way he drew it that is simply stunning. These are not Marc's drawings, his animation keys would have a more constructive, rough feel about them.
In those days it was common for in-betweeners and clean up artists to study the work of the animator by tracing the roughs. This is one of those sheets.
It shows Marc's thorough understanding for what's going on here. First of all the camera angle is a bit tricky to draw, a slight down shot. And it's a rear view with foreshortening challenges. How do you draw that and make it look fascinating?
To begin with there is anatomical accuracy. The first drawing shows clearly that Cinderella's weight is on her right hip. The left leg is relaxed.
By contrast the last drawing indicates the opposite. The weight has shifted to her left hip.
Feet and shoes can be tricky when drawn from a perspective like this one, but they do look nice and simple here.
All pencil lines just flow through her body. Simplifying human anatomy to this degree is NOT EASY.
What I am trying to say is that this could have been an ordinary continuity scene...but not in the hands of Marc Davis!!

Monday, June 1, 2020

Wilhelm M Busch 1959

These are illustrations for a story about a Lipizzaner stallion, written by by Uno Modin.
Busch's graphic style looks almost like a woodcut print or a linocut. I love everything about these drawings. Composition, staging, perspective...everything is masterfully executed.
Just look a the first image! How the guy is standing as he tries to control one of the horses. Just amazing!
I should call this post: So you think you can draw...!