Thursday, April 16, 2009

Walt Disney's Nine Old Men

Walt Disney's Nine Old Men are a group of animators who worked on Walt Disney's most recognizable films. The group comprised of Les Clark, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery, Eric Larson, Ward Kimball, Milt Kahl, and Marc Davis. They perfected the basics of animation through out their work with Disney, starting all the way from Steamboat Willie, where Mickey Mouse was first introduced to the world.

 Their range of drawing went from most realistic depictions, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to more cartoon-like images like Alice in Wonderland. 
By perfecting animation, the Nine Old Men made drawing a more adaptable and interpretational. When developing the look of a character, they would often draw 
that character in various positions, situations, outfits, etc, until the character was complete visually. The photo of the various angles of Cruella De Vil, developed by Marc Davis, shows the depth these animators had to go to for their art. 
One of my personal favorites is Maleficent as a dragon from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. Developed by Wolfgang Reitherman, Dragon Maleficent is easily recognizable as a transformation of the arch villain, both in the drawing and the film. 

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