Animation &Animation Artifacts &Articles on Animation &Disney &Illustration &Models &repeated posts 29 Jun 2013 03:51 am

Young Bambi – repost

- It all starts with a drawing.


The brilliant host of cartoonists that came before us were an amazing group. To think of the complicated set of characters that the created. Characters with complex personalities and sophisticated drawing techniques.

Those characters went trough the mill in my own life time. Seeing the horrendous things that have happened not only to Mickey, Donald and Goofy but to Bugs, and Daffy and other Warner’s Bros characters. It’s been shameful.

I was going to post illustrations of some of those bastardizations, but I think it’s enough just to mention some of them.

Think of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse running now on the Disney Channel. If ever there was proof positive that cgi weren’t cartooning, that would be it. Those are very unsophisticated digital puppetry shows where every move is obvious and preplanned, the voices are hideous, and the stories nowhere sophisticated enough to call trite.

Take a quick jump from those to the flash animated whirls that are being released with a lot of fanfare, and you’ll see what can go wrong with animation of stars. They may as well have dug Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable out of the ground to allow the computers to move them as well. Like all new animation that’s being called good, these beasts-of-films are moved at the speed of light where no move gets to have any personality. Think of that naked Mickey in the most recent release. A thin slime of a creature, all black, that looks like a clam being animated by a Jim Tyer. There isn’t a pose in the film that could compare with what Terrytoons did – Terrytoons, the bottom of the barrel. They had personality all over these poorly drawn efforts.

There were the old Greg Ford versions of the WB characters for theatrical release, compilations of old with new. They were all mediocre but had the honor of the past directors in mind. The Bakshi Mighty Mouse cartoons were a take on their group of characters, but you had someone with a personality, Bakshi, trying to do wonders with a library of “B” stars. Even with the TV budgets, they were trying hard to do something, and often they were successful.

Today it’s all for poor exploitation, and no one is trying to do wonders with their characters. It’s all too sad.

The WB characters have had even greater attempts at poor art. You don’t have to think back too far to remember the sitcom version of the characters now running on Cartoon Network, also done in Flash. Think back to the poorly designed wretches that WB issued to their local network of stations, the WB. Those poor animated creatures were redesigned versions with scales and all. It’s just about time to scream, “Enough!” Is there not one executive who can offer some honor to these golden characters of our past? How much do we have to watch?

Why did these studios create their archives? Was it just to resell the goodies or was anything preserved so that the future animators could do right by these characters?

- It all starts with a drawing.


That’s all I can think. With that I’m just going to post a number of gems from Bambi. These had to have had some purpose greater than feeding Bambi !!. Or maybe I’m wrong.

Bambi is, to me, one of the most beautiful of animated features. Collectively, the artists at the Disney studio pulled together to create some wonderful artwork which produced a wonderful film.

The initial work went through many phases, as would be a natural state for animation. However, all of the artists seem to be trying for a higher plane, and oftentime they reached it.

To celebrate the latest release of this film, the Blu-Ray/DVD version, I’ve pulled a lot of the drawings from the film and post them here. It’s amazing how much influence Marc Davis had early on. I can only ID the artists of some of the sketches. If you know, let me know. We have to continue to ID these artists. Without their names we just have these flash animatedMickes that don’t even include one credit. And maybe they shouldn’t be credited; the work is so embarrassing.

David Hall


(above and below) Marc Davis


David Hall


(above and below) Ken Peterson



David Hall

Marc Davis

Murray McClelland

Fred Madison

(Probably) Gustaf Tenggren





Frank Thomas


Marc Davis


Lynn Karp

Ken Peterson

Ken Hultgren





(above and below) David Hall


A Tyrus Wong pastel sketch.

11 Responses to “Young Bambi – repost”

  1. on 29 Jun 2013 at 5:36 am 1.Mark Sonntag said …

    I wish someone would do a Art of Bambi book. When I worked on Bambi 2 layouts we got to see so much material from the archives drawings, I’d never seen before. I have copies of some but they don’t do justice to the real thing.

  2. on 29 Jun 2013 at 2:29 pm 2.Shane (Fighting Seraph) said …

    If you thought the New Mickey Mouse and Looney Tunes were bad, try these late ’70s to ’80s “updates”:
    -Betty Boop’s Hollywood Mystery
    -Filmation’s takes on Terrytoons and MGM characters
    -Hanna-Barbera’s versions of Popeye and Casper
    -Ruby-Spears’ Alvin and the Chipmunks (or the live-action features for that matter.)
    Speaking of the worst of Golden age animation, Screen Gems would make Terrytoons look like Clampett, Avery, Jones, Freleng, Tashlin, and the Fleischers.

  3. on 29 Jun 2013 at 3:02 pm 3.Mark said …

    Don’t forget Tom Codrick, the man who pulled the visuals of Bambi together–and the films supervising Art Director? Even Ty Wong and Marc Davis said the film would not have come together without his artistry and skill.

  4. on 29 Jun 2013 at 5:44 pm 4.Roberto Severino said …

    I don’t know Michael. I enjoyed “No Service” quite a lot and thought it was really funny. At least Mickey did seem to have some kind of personality in that cartoon compared to past efforts.

    I even saw some effort in the naked Mickey animation to maintain the silouhettes and negative spaces. Anything that Stephen DeStefano has been involved with is worth watching to me at least.

    As far as I’m concerned, so many of the problems that persist in the animation industry date back over several decades, long before any of these new shorts came out, so I’m not gonna blame stuff like that or anything that Seth MacFarlane and ilk have done as being the primary cause.

    With iconic characters like Bugs, Mickey, Superman and many others, you’re never going to please everyone. A cartoonist by the name of John Sanford wrote a brilliant tweet about this subject.

    Maybe it’s better for these companies to just release all the original cartoons on DVD and never do anything else with them to satisfy the purists. Sorry about the long comment.

  5. on 29 Jun 2013 at 5:46 pm 5.Roberto Severino said …

    The reason I wrote this comment is because I don’t want to see cartoonists get negative to the point where they don’t want to try to create something new and innovative. More animation artists need to stick together and continue to try to make the medium of animation better and taking good influence from the past too instead of getting too caught up in nostalgia.

  6. on 29 Jun 2013 at 5:48 pm 6.Roberto Severino said …

    These Bambi drawings are absolutely beautiful by the way. So much great stuff that I need to study more closely in each of those drawings to improve my own work.

  7. on 29 Jun 2013 at 6:13 pm 7.James Nethery said …

    “Think of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse running now on the Disney Channel. If ever there was proof positive that cgi weren’t cartooning, that would be it. Those are very unsophisticated digital puppetry shows where every move is obvious and preplanned, the voices are hideous, and the stories nowhere sophisticated enough to call trite.”

    Could you clarify this for me Michael? I think that’s a bit unfair to CG animators (or aspiring CG animators like myself) to say that something like that Clubhouse show is “proof” that CG isn’t cartooning…

    Shows like that are basically the CG equivalent to those ugly Filmation or H&B TV shows… they’re made quick and cheap (and most of them overseas) and certainly don’t represent the medium as a whole.

    But again, maybe I’m misinterpreting what you are saying…

  8. on 29 Jun 2013 at 7:41 pm 8.Thad Komorowski said …

    The Looney Tunes Show is not Flash, it’s ‘traditional’ through the overseas pipeline.

    Seeing all of these brilliant “Bambi” drawings brought to mind a recent visit with a great, retired animator recently when we were going through that new Disney Archives book of animation drawings. Upon the last quarter of the book or so, the animator began physically cringing. He had reached the post-Reitherman features. “It’s nothing against them; I’d be doing the same if my stuff was in here. But it takes a certain level of skill to pull this off… How does THIS [random "Princess and the Frog" drawing] rate to be in the same book as THIS [random "Sleeping Beauty" drawing]?” I don’t entirely agree with him, but the point is clear…

  9. on 29 Jun 2013 at 8:39 pm 9.Nat said …

    These drawings are truly inspirational. I concur with the comment about the art book. Better yet, how about a series of art books dedicated to Disney’s Nine Old Men.

  10. on 30 Jun 2013 at 9:52 am 10.joel brinkerhoff said …

    I have a copy of Frank and Ollie’s “Bambi the story and the film” printed in 1990 and it’s a pretty good ‘making of’ book. Lovely pictures through out.

  11. on 30 Jun 2013 at 12:01 pm 11.Laura said …

    What I appreciate is that these men captured not only the most adorable sense of a fawn, but the mystique of motherhood, animal fear, and their habitat, equally and so stunningly.
    Thanks Michael!

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