(Milt by Milt. That guy on the left? He's copyrighted by the Disney Co.)
The L.A. Times notes that animator Milt Kahl's centennial is being celebrated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
... [A]mong the veteran Disney animators, Kahl was considered the most accomplished and influential. Characters he brought to life included the animals in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the tiger Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, Peter in Peter Pan, Tramp in Lady and the Tramp and the villainous Madame Medusa in his last film for Disney, The Rescuers. ...
Uh. I think maybe Frank Thomas would have an issue over that "most accomplished" part.
Milt quit Disney before I got there, but I did have a few lunches with him. In retirement, he didn't come off as the fierce fire-breather that studio veterans had described to me, but a guy who was okay with moving on to the next phase of his life and enjoying San Francisco.
And he could also be admiring of other people's drawing skills. When he was down from San Francisco doing character designs for The Black Cauldron, I walked with him as he looked at drawings hanging in the caricature show in the studio library. He came to one of Dan Haskett's drawing, straightened up and said:
"Jesus Christ! This is great! Who the hell drew this?!"
I told him it was a young animator at the studio. Milt said: "Well, he draws like a son of a bitch."
Besides being a
tyro top-rank animator (and ... okay ... a little crusty), Milt was an appreciator of talent.