Friday, July 29, 2011

The Cast of "Jungle Book"

Here they are, the characters from "Jungle Book".
I can't tell you how much this movie means to me. This was my first Disney animated film, I was about 11 years old when I saw it, and my life changed forever.
That's what I wanted to learn and do, Disney Animation.
No way I was not going to pursue this, despite the fact that everybody thought I was nuts. My parents sort of tolerated this "passion", didn't understand it though.
School friends enjoyed my early drawing skills, but me wanting to go to America to draw cartoons for Disney.......sure you will!
"Jungle Book" was and is huge in Europe, more so than in the US.
Audiences appreciated the humor coming from the characters within a very simple story line. Also, even though there are plenty of emotional moments in the film,
sentimentality shows up in more subtle ways than in other Disney films. 
In Europe all these characters are now iconic and part of American/European folklore.
And wouldn't it be nice, if Disneyland Paris had an exclusive "Jungle Book" ride,
.....long overdue.

All these drawings are by Milt Kahl. As so often he gave the final look to all the characters, based on sketches by Bill Peet and Ken Anderson. 
Some are scans from originals, others from copies. The drawings with Baloo
were done for scenes by Frank and Ollie.

When you think of it, this movie had so much going against it. Walt died before it was finished, story genius Bill Peet quit early on, and so did Walt Peregoy, who had much to do with color and design on previous films like "101 Dalmatians" and "Sword in the Stone". Yet somehow to many this became a very special film.
As Milt told me later : " At least the dam thing has a nice flow to it!" 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mama Odie Test Scene

This is a scene I did a while ago, before we really got going with animation for
"The Princess & the Frog".  It was based on story work  that was current at the time, but was later changed and improved.
It's always good to do a few test scenes in order to get to know your character.
Usually it takes me 5-6 scenes before I feel comfortable with what I am doing.

I am showing you here the first pass pose test followed be the tied down inbetweened version.
There are also scans of the main key drawings.
Looking at the scene now, if it were production, I would probably punch up the timing here and there. 

Mama Odie was a blast to animate. With a character concept like this one, and the voice recordings of Jennifer much better does an assignment get?
Though originally I thought that her eye glasses would present a problem.
How do you show emotional change without eyes? It turned out that her eyebrow wrinkles would work well enough to show the mood she is in.
And "loose flesh" was the name of the game. The more her fatty neck reacted to her overall motions, the better. I probably could have pushed that in production scenes even more.

Anyway, in this scene Mama Odie talks to the off staged frogs, showing her enthusiasm for candy. At the end she interrupts herself when she smells the
burnt gumbo.