Sunday, September 27, 2015

Milt's Thumper

We all know that Milt Kahl does "Eccentric" very well. Medusa, Madame Mim, the short Tiger Trouble etc. He also does "Realism" well. Bambi, Peter Pan and Prince Phillip.
Of course he also had a knack for "Cute" as you can see in these rough animation drawings of Thumper. It is interesting to see how loose his work was in the early classics. But in order to avoid poor clean up, Milt gradually drew tighter, so he could control the quality of final drawing on the screen.
This is a classic scene. Thumper has just been asked by his mother:"What did your father tell you this morning?" He replies:" If you can't say something nice...don't say nothing at all."
Milt recalled in a later interview that child actor Peter Behn wasn't able to deliver a long sentence. He would pause trying to remember the line. Milt used such a pause here, and Thumper also tries hard to recall his father's words.
The drawings shown here on two sheets are out of order. I presume an assistant or another animator cut them out to create impromptu model sheets.
So much emotion and insight into the young rabbit's personality.

I intended to include some of these drawings into the Milt Kahl chapter of my book on the Nine Old Men. But there just wasn't enough room. The process of elimination was painful. I have enough Disney rough animation art for three more books. So, go ahead and order your copy, if this book is successful there just might be an "Encore" edition with more animated treasures.