Friday, March 22, 2024

Milt Kahl's Birthday

Today, March 22, is Milt Kahl's birthday. I have posted many tributes to Milt over the years, so here is something different.
As I pointed out before, Prince Phillip was his least enjoyable animation assignment. But as always he did a terrific job, the way he brought him to life with subtlety and humor. 
Years ago I was lucky enough to purchase all key drawings from a Phillip scene that ended up being cut from Sleeping Beauty. That scene has the Prince seated at the beginning, before he hears Aurora's singing in the forest. He gets up, walks screen left, then comes to a stop and looks to the right. He is trying to figure out where this beautiful voice is coming from. It might have been Milt's first production animation of the character, because the design looks different from the final version. As you can see in the first image, his face is a bit more stylized. 
Walt Disney asked for a change in the character design. Apparently Phillip did not look handsome enough in Milt's early version. 
The second image shows a few adjustments, particularly in the facial area. This look would become the final model, and I have thought that Milt drew this sketch as well. But in taking a closer look, I believe that somebody else did the "draw over". It is my educated guess that Marc Davis re-drew this Phillip pose.
There is an attempt to simplify the shoulders and the chest, and the line work reminds me of Marc's graphic style. 
As much as I prefer Phillip's final design, the first drawing is a masterpiece.
Then again all of Milt's drawings are.

Here is the link to my first first post on Milt Kahl years ago...: