Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Milt Kahl Day

Many people think that Milt always drew very clean and precise right out of the bat but actually, he would start rough to get the storytelling pose right.  He would search and  rough it out quite a bit to get the drawing just the way he wanted.  The ones at the top of Penny and Snoops are just that.  They are rejects that Milt threw in the trash can (and thankfully someone save them).

The next two sheets are probably when he was designing the characters of the Sheriff and Friar Tuck.  You can notice how rough these are as Milt would search for shapes and attitudes.
The sheet above are copies of his final animation drawings that would be touched up for xerox and ink and paint.  The drawings are still rough but less so that it would make it easier for the people following him up.  They just had to close some lines and erase others.  Milt did not like people changing his drawings at all, what he drew was what he wanted to see on the screen.

Muitos acham que Milt desenhava limpo e preciso sem ter que rascunhar primeiro. Na verdade, ele rascunhava bastante ate achar a pose ou expressao certa e so depois fazia um desenho mais preciso.
 Os desenhos da Penny e Snoops representam isso.  Voce percebe o quanto Milt rascunhou procurando a pose e atitude certas.  Esses desenhos foram o que ele descartou e jogou no lixo (E gracas a alguem, os salvou).

Os outros dois do centro do Xerife de Nottingham e do frei Tuck sao provavelmente de quando Milt estava criando os designs.  Note que sao bem "rafeados"  pois Milt estava mais interessado nas formas e atitudes, etc.

O proximo (Do Sir. Hector) sao copias dos desenhos finais que o Milt entao passava para seu assistente que fazia apenas ajustes como fechar as linhas ou apagar linhas indesejadas para a pintura final.
Milt nao gostava que mudassem nada nos seus desenhos e o que ele desenhava era justamente o que queria ver na tela.


  1. YES! Yes yes yes. It helps so much to see the process of the masters -- to see they have rough, searching phases for their work, and that it's not a bad thing! I have often found Milt's art as daunting as it is inspiring. Thanks for posting!

  2. Nice!

    Sandro, perhaps you could answer a question for me. I watched The Rescuers the other day, for the first time in years, and in one scene I noticed a jump in the quality of how Penny is drawn. In other scenes, she's drawn well enough, in the standard Disney fashion... but in the scene where Medusa and Snoops send her into the cave (seen here, during seconds 47 through 1:54), she seems to be drawn exceptionally well. But then, once she's down in the cave, the drawing returns to the standard look of the rest of her scenes. Do you know if Milt animated that Penny/Medusa/Snoops scene? I'd always thought that he had only worked on Medusa and Snoops, but when I saw Penny in that scene it made me wonder, and seeing Penny in the sketch you just posted seems to confirm it. Then again, it seems uncommon for Disney animators to draw more than one or two characters in a scene.

  3. Excellent Milt drawings as usual Sandro!

    I wonder if you might be interested in a recent blog post of mine. I've been breaking down animated scenes to learn from them and have just written a post on Milt Kahl's Shere Khan.

  4. As always these MILT KAHL DAY posts are greatly appreciated . Thank you, Sandro.

    It's good to see these much rougher drawings, to be reminded that even the Masters such as Kahl still did very loose, rough, searching drawings at first , because I find for myself that even after years of supposedly knowing better I always have this little "censor devil" sitting on my shoulder when I'm animating who malevolently whispers in my ear: "That's not a nice drawing, that's too messy, you better fix it before someone sees how messy you are, you should be able to put the lines down right without so much scribbling, etc." and before I know it I'm getting all nervous and stiff with my drawing. The more I try to "fix" it to make it a nice drawing the more it ends up being a dud. But when I can manage to let go and get into the Drawing Zone where I'm just letting my pencil skate across the paper without "censoring" myself as I draw then I get better results. But I keep needing to be reminded . Thanks.

  5. Hey Jesse,

    Yes, those were drawn by Milt, he did all characters in those scenes and you are right, penny is drawn much nicer in those. I do not know who did her after that last scene at 1:54, it would be helpful to have the draft for The Rescuers. Now, I am curious to know who did Penny in the cave too!
    During the time of The Rescuers, Disney animators would draw all characters in the scene. They did not cast supervising animators for specific characters but for sequences and scenes. The Supervising per character thing started in early 90's.
    I know for a fact that Frank and Ollie liked the cast per sequence better, where the animator would do all characters in the scene.

  6. Andy,

    Excellent break down of that Shere Kahn scene, congrats!
    I have bookmarked your page.
    I do have a copy of that entire scene and I will post the keys for it soon.

  7. David,

    Yes, man! Loose up with rough drawings first, get that pose and attitude and do not care for a perfect drawing at that stage. When you do get the pose and attitude, then you would do a drawing over it or on the same rough and make it better.
    I found out my favorite drawings are the ones I do rather quickly without too much concern about perfection.

  8. Sandro,
    I hadn't seen the single Snoops rough yet.
    Beautiful brainwork going on there.

  9. These Milt posts are fantastic. Its great to see the rough sketches and how he would find his line. I was just talking to someone about Milt's roughs and you pretty much answered all our questions.

  10. It's wonderful work, as always!
    This sort of thing tells me I'm on the right track with my art, I'm not afraid to really rough up my sketches.

  11. Thanks for the info, Sandro. Very informative!

  12. Hey Andreas,

    I am surprised you had not seen that one before. I do not remember who I got that copy from.
    Thanks for dropping by!
    I love you Marc and Milt post.

  13. Hey Mike, amateurdiarist and Jesse,

    I am glad this can help you guys out and answer some questions.
    You are all welcome and thanks for visiting the blog.
    Come back later for more stuff.

  14. Nice to see some rough Milt Kahl drawings. Thanks for showing.

  15. Sten Platz,

    You are welcome. I am glad you liked it.

  16. "I do not know who did her after that last scene at 1:54, it would be helpful to have the draft for The Rescuers. Now, I am curious to know who did Penny in the cave too!"

    Sandro -

    The draft is here:


    The Pirate Cave Sequence:


  17. I absolutely love Milt's rough drawings. Not only does it make him seem approachable (as opposed to seeing only his finished work which tends to leave us scratching our heads and wondering about his approach to a scene) it demonstrates yet another dimension of his mastery.

  18. David,

    Thanks so much for the link to the draft of Rescuers. I will take a look.
    Much appreciated.


    That's the point. I am glad you liked it.