Animation &Animation Artifacts &Disney 02 May 2008 08:28 am

Recap Friday: Kahl’s Jungle Book

– The release of the dvd for The Jungle Book inspired my posting of these animation drawings by the brilliant, Milt Kahl.

These are some of the animation drawings by Kahl from a sequence featuring King Louie doing a dance. It’s interesting that I think immediately of Shere Kahn as Milt Kahl’s work, and I don’t think of Louie. Yet I’ve had these copies for the past 25 years.

Somewhere – I have to find it – I remember Walt Disney being quoted as having said the one thing you should never animate is a monkey. They’re funny enough in real life; animation can’t improve on them. I remember thinking of that quote the day I first saw this film. I also wondered how Louis Prima felt knowing that they were representing him as an orangutan. I suppose that’s not a monkey.

The copies of these drawings I have are xeroxes. I’m posting them for the magnificent drawing alone; I don’t have timing sheets to be able to work out the movement. Honestly, with Milt Kahl’s work, looking at the images alone should be enough. I apologize if these are at all fuzzy or grey; that’s the quality of the images I have. They’re also not full sheets of animation paper. I copied only the peg holes and drawings.

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(Click any image you’d like to enlarge.)

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Talk about breaking of joints,
_______________this scene couldn’t be a greater lesson in animation for you.

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I know I don’t have to say, but I will; these drawings are extraordinary.
#100, here on the left, is a masterpiece in weight, balance, forshortening and sheer brilliance. And it’s only one frame from a scene.

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- There’s an excellent podcast of Kahl’s 1976 CalArts lecture about his work on Medusa from The Rescuers. Worth listening to if you haven’t heard it.

- Michael Barrier is back (Oct.11th) has some comments about The Jungle Book as well as a reprint of his 1978 Funnyworld review if you’re into that film.

A large thank you to the inestimable Robert Cowan sent me the cel setup, pictured above, from his amazing collection of animation art. It consist of three cels over a master background: Baloo, Louie & 4 monkeys.

3 Responses to “Recap Friday: Kahl’s Jungle Book”

  1. on 02 May 2008 at 8:52 am 1.Stephen Macquignon said …

    they are great to see
    Is there any way this group of drawings can be put together as a flipbook like the others you have done?

  2. on 02 May 2008 at 9:52 am 2.Biblioadonis aka George said …

    Wow…those are great drawings.

    Thanks for sharing those with us!

  3. on 02 May 2008 at 11:57 am 3.Tim Rauch said …

    the thing I’m always really struck by in Milt’s drawings is how every piece of the character seems to be composed for movement, he’s just turning and stretching the body parts around in the most imaginative ways to arrive at the animation. Looks like he gets a lot out of distinguishing where he has his straights and where he has his curves, what’s curving and how much and where? Just by flexing each shape, and pushing for a strong silhouette design, the stuff just holds the screen as a piece of motion.

    If anyone’s looking for this as a pencil test, I think it’s on the “Frank & Ollie” extras somewhere. Could be wrong, but I’ve seen it somewhere like that…

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