Sunday, December 18, 2011

What a Bull

One of my all time favorites animated characters in a Disney film is the Bulldog from Lady and the Tramp.  It was the work of master animator John Lounsbery, who was also in charge of doing the great Italian duo, the cook and Joe, the proprietor of the Italian Restaurant.

You all know that I am a big Milt Kahl fan but in Lady and the Tramp, the bulldog steals the show for me in terms of animation.
First of all, it's a very complex design to draw and to animate with appeal and a lesser animator would have trouble to keep him well drawn and consistent.  Lounsbery not only animated him perfectly but kept every drawing in every frame beautiful. 
The dialogue is specially good and the scene where he sings alongside the other dogs in the pound is superb.
Below are a few great rough drawings from one scene.  The quality is not the best as they are copies of copies but still good to study them.

Below are some key cleaned up drawings from a great scene where he scratches himself as he talks.

I never heard or read anywhere but I am sure that Milt kahl must have approved Lounsbery's work on the bulldog.


  1. The thing I note about the bulldog sequence here is that it's subtle stuff... probably not a lot of fun to draw and yet very entertaining. Hard work! Amazing.

  2. These are great drawings Sandro. Here's a video from the movie for reference. Thanks!

  3. Hi Sandro--This is one of the very first scenes I ever studied in "the Mourge" (aka the Disney Animation Research Library) some thirty years ago. I am glad you picked it too.

    You know what blew me away most? Was how he swapped out the "realistic" tiny sharp front teeth for a pair of more straight, flat, "human" cartoon teeth on the "F" in "life" ("A short life, and a merry one!")

    Despite the realism of the animation, they were freewheeling enough to break the rules when it counted, and this was an astute and accomplished call on Mr. Lounsbery's part. As the actor reads it, it's a very juicy "F" and it requires a custom treatment of the teeth. Its the sort of detail that makes drawn animation so great...

    P.S. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words on my blog. Coming from you my friend, its an honor (mutually felt!) Cheers and Happy Holidays. Hope to see you in 2012.