Tuesday, September 20, 2022

"Where is Mowgli ?"


This is easily one of Milt Kahl's best scenes in the Jungle Book. Bagheera heard Baloo calling for him, so he runs toward where the bear's voice was coming from. He is less concerned with Baloo and more worried about Mowgli. 

The first part of the scene is missing here, when the panther steps on the bear. I just love the way Bagheera repositions himself to look for Mowgli in a different direction. Then back to Baloo for further questions about the boy's whereabouts. 

Those are complex, analytical drawings during the transitional motion from right to left and back. It would be just about impossible to draw those positions beautifully, but Milt pulls it off, needless to say. And he maintains a super simplicity in defining the panther's body. Always just a few lines, big cat anatomy boiled down to an essence.

The way Bagheera shakes Baloo's head in frustration at the end is such a human gesture. Done by a lesser animator this could look awful. Great squash and stretch on Baloo's neck!

The whole scene is a joy to watch and to analyze.