Sunday, June 27, 2010

Milt Kahl Day

As I had promised, here are some more of those sheets that I put together for a quick reference.  This time it is from one of my favorites in terms of design and animation, Sword in the Stone.

Milt designed all the characters in this film and these two sheets consist in three scenes that he animated which I love.  Merlin has a great and broad acting style and I think is great.  Merlin is an old guy but he is very enthusiastic and full of energy and I think it's animation reflects that.

Many animators and directors today think it is over animated and bad acting.  For me, it is acting for a specific design and style and I just think it is one way of doing it.  There are many ways of doing a scene and each animator would do it differently.  I am glad Milt animated this way because it is just fun to watch and very much in character.

There is also that nice walk of Johnny Appleseed that is also by Milt.


  1. Thanks, this was some much-needed inspiration! I'm doing a bunch of storyboards today, and this is that extra kick-in-the-pants to draw harder!

  2. This kind of examples are very inspirational to me! I love seeing how the great animators from the past used to make animation.

    Congratulations for the blog! It is great!

  3. Sandro!! thanks for posting more of these. Your helping to fill some more slots in my scene stacker/ reference holder


  4. in reference to him "over acting"

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I think some would say Madam Medusa is over acting a bit in the Rescuers but it is character specific and fits her 100 percent. We have to remember that we are animators and can bring things to life in various ways. If we can push human motion and make it still believable, then it is not over acting. We have come to really want to MIMIC human motion to the "T". Remembering what we do is to take life and push it a little or a lot is the great thing about being an animator. If you want it to look that damn real... you might as well rotoscope or mocap it.

    Make the acting feel real and the motions believable. The audience will believe it if you do.

  5. Sword in the stone is my favorite in every way
    except the tag ending.I dont understand when todays directors think its over acted.Its supposed to be overacted.Whats tha sence in animating it if you dont.Might as well do it in live action.There needs to be a certain amount of cartoon sence in there movement.The people in charge of animation today with the exception of Pixar,just try to be to real in design and acting and the result is a lack of fun.And sometimes a look that is grotesgue.Todays directors and producers should study a little more of what those talented people of the past have produced.And try to have more fun in doing it.

  6. excellent. thanks again for posting these. you happen to have any shere khan? i missed out on copying them when I had the chance.

  7. What a treat!! Having spent HOURS troving the internet and every book available for any piece of Merlin animation at all this is a welcome reward. For me the animation in this film, but more specifically Merlin is perfection in designing an image on screen to put across and idea JUST the way it needs to be. Even ignoring the way it moves, you could learn all you need to know about drawing for animation from the the pictures alone.
    Thank you SO much for another wonderful post. Any more would be the cherry on top.

  8. Thank you!
    Every Milt Kahl Day you make my day!

    Also for those who consider his work "over-animated" I think the "acting" was quite appropriate for the tone of the films, the depictions and the tempo of the times.

    The acting in Milt's animation (Medusa, Sword in the Stone) is just about on par with what you would see in a live action comedy from a Billy Wilder or Neil Simon. I don't think anyone would accuse Neil Simon's Odd Couple being "over-acted".

    The same should go for Milt Kahl's work.

  9. Amazing! I love Milt Kahl's work and I've been looking for something like this. Thanks for posting!