Here is one of my newest, although of course incredibly established, favourite animators of all time. For many people this is no surprise but I am sad to say I have never looked into detail on many traditional animators, but that will defiantly change from now on.
Of course there are so many truly amazing and brilliant animators from the history of Walt Disney animation, with of course the 9 old men. They reached this standard much faster and to an incredibly high standard before any major animation studio, housing some of the best, and still are some of the best, animators in history. An interesting comment that was said to me not so long ago was something along the lines of, you don’t see any real masters of 3D animation, but you have so many masters of traditional hand drawn animation. There is no need to really discuss the level of work that Milt Kahl had created, the animations say it all, but it’s very interesting to see and try to take apart the animations. The amount of emotion and life he brings into the animations is amazing and some what magical.
“Roger” Seq 1, Scene 45, 101 Dalmations
“Have a banana”, Jungle Book
“Mr Snoops” pencil test, The Rescuers
Also if you’d like to see the colour version…
“Shere Khan” pencil test, The Jungle Book
“Mowgli” pencil test, The Jungle Book
This has to be my most favourite of Milt Kahl’s pencil tests that I have found so far. It really incorporates all the rules and principles of animation as well as really giving the character some emotion and life. The detail within his animations are inspiring and you can see why people classed him as one of the best, if not the best, animator that has ever been.
Milt Kahl – Disney Family Album Part 1 of 3
This is a great insight into the man himself where they look through some of Milt’s history with Disney animation. There’s some really interesting points which he makes about the character and the way in which they were animated. He speaks about how the animations worked so well in those days where down to the richness of the character and the contrast with the surroundings. Each character had some much emotion and feeling towards their movements and a real thought process as if they were alive, which they became.
At the end of the third part it goes through a truly magical and amazing array of work within Disney that he had animated which I didn’t realise was his work, as well as leaving a great note at the end about having set an incredibly high standard after leaving the Walt Disney Studio that only he could reach.
“If you dont have someone to aspire too, what have you got?! You have to have high standards, I think that’s part of any profession, god, if you don’t aim high you don’t get anywhere.”
To end this big Milt Kahl ‘fest’ off here’s some very personal and deep words about the animation legend from Richard Williams as a taped tribute was recorded in London and was presented as the closing tribute on the day of the show, April 27, 2009. As part of the Marc Davis Celebration of Animation, the Academy presented a centennial celebration of Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo.
Here’s also a link to an animators blog name Michael Sporn who has some amazing images of each of the frames in some of Milt Kahl’s pencil tests as well as them being placed into a sequence.