Thursday, February 2, 2023

Sketches of Wart

I think I said this before, but Eric Larson found Wart very difficult to draw. "Boy...that kid was so skinny", I remember him saying. But then again any character design by Milt Kahl was hard to follow in those days because Milt had developed his own personal drawing style. For the most part Walt Disney approved Milt's character designs for a new film, but occasionally there were design details that the boss didn't like. And he called for changes such as Wart's profile, his nose in particular. Milt told me way back that Walt did not find this early version appealing enough. On Jungle Book it was the character design of King Louie that went through subtle changes. Walt asked for larger eyes and some hair on top of his head. "You are thinking too much in terms of a real orangutan" he told animators Frank Thomas and Milt, who had just presented their ruff animation of the King Louie sequence. (In the same memo Walt praised both of them for the great character animation).

One thing that really cracked me up is when Milt told me that Walt asked him to stop drawing the characters in the Hanna-Barbera style. "He was playing with me, you know."