Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Peter Pan: A Closer Look


I am sure most of you have seen this model sheet of Peter Pan before. Copies of it have been circling the animation industry. 
Here are hi/res photos of the actual oversized original model sheet from 1951. All drawing are from scenes by Milt Kahl. These are photos of Milt's rough animation, the real drawings were sent to a clean up artist (possibly Iwao Takamoto), who then drew the tied down versions right on top of Milt's roughs.
And today these remain within complete scenes at the Disney Animation Research Library.
Be sure and double click on the images for full resolution.

Each one is a master drawing, full of life with that unique appeal that only Milt could bring to a character.
Peter Pan's subtle proportions are everything. A bit more realism, and you would have steril looking images. A bit more cartoony, and the character would loose believability.
Milt just knew instinctively how to find that perfect, precious balance. That's why Walt wanted him to animate Peter, and the film's villain Captain Hook went to Frank Thomas.

This previous post shows Milt's version of Captain Hook, the character he wanted to animate instead: