Monday, May 29, 2023

King Triton Today

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I am most certainly ok with this interpretation of King Triton for live action. It's kind of funny though to realize that our animated  characters were allowed to show much more skin than their life counterparts. Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Gaston, Triton....

Thursday, May 25, 2023

MUSHKA in Animation Magazine


With my sincere thanks to Jeff Spry for the nice write up.
Be sure to watch the trailer on Youtube, and leave a comment if you like.

Here is another still from the film.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A Recent Mushka/Sarah Sketch


I still draw characters from my film MUSHKA occasionally. In order to show my gratitude to certain artists who contributed so generously, a special sketch seems appropriate.

There recently has been another mention regarding MUSHKA in Variety magazine. In the article I talk about my fabulous experience at ANIMAYO, the animation film festival in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. It was truly an honor to head up the voting committee for the best animated short films.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Milt Kahl in 3D

Milt Kahl's designs work in 2 dimensions. They are flat and graphic in the most sophisticated way imaginable. His drawings always show a magnificent tension between straight and curved lines. Inventive shapes and lines based on a lifelong research of realistic animals and humans. You might think that his aesthetics could not be faithfully translated into 3 dimensions.

Think again! Sculptor Andrea Blasich totally nails Milt's extraordinary style in 3 D. His work is a great tribute to one of the most important artists of the 20th century. The looseness of his sculptures reflect Milt Kahl's rough drawings, full of life and appeal.

One of these days I am going to break down and order a whole bunch of these wonderful maquettes.

Andrea's website includes characters from other studios as well as private work:

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Spring Parade



That's the title of this Heinrich Kley illustration. A couple of women observing a parade of men carrying spring branches. One of them is holding a weighty woman. And the ladies sit on top of an aging centaur who might be touching one of his legs because of rheumatism. What does it all mean? Any connection to WW I ? Who knows. It sure is a fantastic drawing! 


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Lucille Martin


Here is a photo from 1965 with Walt Disney and his secretarial staff. From left to right: Eunice Combs, Lucille Hoey (later Martin), Walt and Tommie Wilck.

I had the good fortune to get to know Lucille Martin. After Walt's passing, Lucille worked for Ron Miller and then Michael Eisner. I recall a few occasions when Lucille would call me up to ask if I could provide a certain character drawing for Michael Eisner. These drawings ended up being gifts for executives and Disney business partners. 

Lucille was a wonderful person. She loved and respected animation - after all, her former boss was the king of the medium. I never forget her elegance and grace. One time a friend of mine and I took her out to lunch (the restaurant was Ca Del Sole in Studio City). Lucille was more than happy to share her memories of Walt and what he was like. I found it fascinating that she had worked for several Disney CEOs. Somehow I had to ask: "The stories you know...wouldn't you like to write a book?" Her answer: " Andreas, those stories are not for publication." In other words, they were private to her. 

In 1994 I was working on the Mickey short Runaway Brain with a great French animation crew in Paris. I thought wouldn't it be nice if my German family could come and meet me at Disneyland Paris for three days? To make a long story short, Lucille and her staff arranged everything for this "Christmas Holiday Deja Family Reunion". And we were a large group, 10 persons. Hotel bookings, restaurants, shows etc. It turned out to be a once in a lifetime get together with my family. 

This is how I remember Lucille. Warm, generous...and always so elegant. She passed away in 2012 at age 90.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Old Milt Kahl


A great photo of Milt working on The Aristocats, sometime in 1969 or 1970. Afterwards he would work on two more animated features before leaving Disney, Robin Hood and The Rescuers.

Madame Bonfamille is a unique character in terms of her realistic design and illustrative look. I remember seeing the film for the first time, and I was thinking: She is different, she looks like a beautiful magazine illustration come to life. I wondered who mastered such a unique challenge.

In the pic Milt is re-working the first drawing from one of her opening scenes, in which she inspects her appearance in a mirror in anticipation of her lawyer George Hautecoure's visit.

Here is the link to an earlier post about this scene:

And a relating post:

Here are copies of Milt's rough animation drawings from Madame Bonfamille's first close up scene. What delicate drawings!

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Young Milt Kahl


My guess is that this photo dates back to Milt's days on Snow White or Pinocchio, perhaps even earlier. We all know that he showed tremendous skills from the day he started animating at Disney. After a few scenes with Mickey Mouse in the 1936 short film Mickey's Circus, his career took off into the stratosphere.

Yesterday was his birthday. Milt died in 1987.

Here are clean up key drawings from one of his scenes with Brer Fox from Song of the South. The fox is holding Brer Rabbit and threatens to kill him. "I spect I'll have to skin ya!" What is brilliant here is to see how Milt handled the second part of the dialogue. The fox talks through his teeth, which adds a great sense of menace (as well as comedy).

And look at the first page of the scene's exposure sheet! Milt felt compelled to add a doodle showing how he himself felt about the scene. Hilarious!

Saturday, March 18, 2023

MUSHKA Cast & Crew Screening

Just about a month ago the MUSHKA crew finally got together for a premiere screening of our film. Most people had never met each other. Everyone had worked from home, and the voice talents were recorded separately at my home studio. We invited a few guests of honor as well.  

Before the screening I introduced the artists individually. Actor Tanner Beard, who voiced the Father, turned around and shook hands with his on-screen animated daughter Helena Aviv Perez (Sarah) for the first time. It was such a funny but beautiful moment.

This was the venue for our screening and reception. 

Of course we had to give out goodie bags for all of the guests. They included a copy of the Jungle Book catalogue as well as.... some MUSHKA merchandise. 

Voice actors Josh Goldman (Alex), Tanner Beard (Father) and Helena Aviv Perez (Sarah).

Disney royalty Kathryn Beaumont and MUSHKA singer extraordinaire Holly Sedillos. Unfortunately Richard Sherman wasn't available that evening.

Don Hahn and Rick Farmiloe. 

On the left, filmmakers Ted Thomas and his wife Kuniko. On the far right my storyboard partner (Layout artist and scene planer) Matthieu Saghezchi. 

Head of character opaquing and character color Ambrosio Garcia. 

Animator and good friend Andreas Wessel-Therhorn. Andreas animated critical scenes with the three villains. 

Cortney DiPaola animated a ton of lovely scenes with Sarah. 

On the far left my amazing screenwriter Mayka (Michael McKinney), then Roger Viloria, coproducer  and head of all postproduction...and my dear partner. Next to him is composer Fabrizio Mancinelli, who worked closely with Richard Sherman. Fabrizio gave me a film score I could only have dreamt of!!

And Natalie Franscioni-Karp painted the vast majority of the backgrounds. I am in such awe of her talent and her commitment. 

On the right is Steve Gordon. I go waaaaayy back with Steve to the Black Cauldron. He animated the most complicated action scene on MUSHKA. At the time it seemed impossible to do from a technical point of view.

Kathy Beaumont with another Disney voice legend Bruce Reitherman. 

It was an emotional night to say the least. I will always be grateful to our small but kick-ass crew, who helped me to get this story to the screen.