Monday, June 13, 2011

Ward Kimball II

Here is a little Kimball encore.
This is in reference to last post's photo with him signing the character board :

For the opening of this showcase of classic Disney drawing panels we had invited the remaining Nine Old Men. Frank and Ollie weren't able to make it, but Marc Davis and Ward came by.
At the end of our little wine & cheese reception my animator friend Doug Frankel,
who is a huge Kimball fan, had the courage to walk up to Ward and to introduce himself. Ward sat on a chair, facing one of these panels, stonefaced !
So Doug said excitedly :" Listen to this, Ward, I've heard this great joke !"
And he proceeded telling it, I forgot now what it was all about.
The punchline came, the joke was told....Kimball still stonefaced looking at the panel. He then slowly turned his head to face Doug and went :
"HAAAAR, haaar, haaar !!"
Ward's face then turned back to the panel.
I still remember poor Doug's awkward smile as he walked away to grab a beer.

Lesson #1 :  You don't tell Ward Kimball a joke, you let him tell you one !

The photos below show Ward at work on "Alice in Wonderland".
The live action pics with final film frame grabs might not match completely,
but it's close enough.

Following are a couple of key roughs of Old King Cole from "Mother Goose goes 
These remind me of an Ollie Johnston statement to students:
"Your drawings can be rough, but they need to be clear !"
That's what these are.

The rest are more drawings of Panchito and Donald for "The Three Caballeros".
Strong poses and tons of appeal...except for that one Donald sketch on the last sheet. Typical ! :)


  1. That one with Panchito and Donald sitting together, just beautiful! He could truly breathe life into a drawing!

  2. With your knowledge,talent and enthusiasm, this is already one of the best
    animation blog sites I've ever seen. (if not the best)
    PLEASE keep them coming.

    Your friend and admirer,
    Wayne C.

    P.S. I would still like to get that drawing
    from you when you got the time.

  3. Gosh, these are great!
    Each drawing says so much. Really inspiring.
    thanks for putting up such an awesome blog Mr.Deja!

  4. I really start to love Kiball's drawings. They look all so very vivid.
    Thanks for posting! :)

  5. This isn't related to Ward, but I have a request Andreas....I'm not sure if I'm odd having a favourite pose, but I've always loved the poses Gaston strikes in Beauty and the Beast when he sings "roughly the size of a barge". Its just perfect and I'd love to see the original drawings. Do you by any chance have them Andreas? It'd be fantastic to see them.

    Another of my absolute favourites is when Scar the lion says "there will be a king" during the Be Prepared song in the Lion King. The twisted imposing angles are brilliant. I'd love to know the thought process that went into these pieces of animation.

  6. Hi Andreas,

    first of all, let me join the choir and thank you so much for sharing all these precious anecdotes and information.

    One thing I always loved of traditional (feature) animation, at least the way it has been conceived and developed in the western countries (equals -mostly- Disney), is that it let the personality of animators emerge in a character. This was in the era of the Nine Old Men, being Ward Kimball one clearest example, and still is now a day with artists like you. In CG animation, animators normally tend to work on different characters throughout the production. This is definitely a good thing on other aspects, and I know that there are multiple reasons why this is not the case of traditional animation (not least, in CG, you don't have to draw.. ), but don't you thing this tends to make more difficult the characterization of a character, often weakening it and tempting even great animators towards cliches that risk to turn performances into flat or already-seen solutions?


  7. Andreas, I just discovered this all new window to your gold mine. So wonderful unpublished work here to look at. Thank you SO much for sharing.

    I hope to see you back at Disney or anywhere else, for a traditional animated film.

    Take care.


  8. Very good entries , thank you, really !!!
    I´ve linked this blog on my blog,

  9. Poor Doug! When you meet your heros, be prepared that they might not turn out being the way you imagined...

    I always loved Kimball's Mad Hatter. And those crazy twirling feet of the hunters in Peter and the Wolf! Try and make that work in CG, hah!

  10. That story is kind of terrifying. I don't know what I would do in that situation...

    I was having a chat about Kimball's work on Mars and Beyond just last night - wonderful stuff.

  11. Wow, that story about Kimball having a "curmudgeon" moment at Doug's expense hurts. He may have just been having a bad day. Every time I encountered Kimball personally (only three times , actually) he was always jovial and friendly , although with a bit of a serrated edge to his comments (you know the "Walt's dead and you missed it , kids" kind of comments ).

    Be that as it may , these drawings by Kimball are wonderful. (as is everything else you've shared with us so far) . Thank you, thank you, thank you. Can't wait to see what's next. For me your blog is like being a kid opening Christmas presents every day.

  12. Hello Andreas.
    Wonderful post, again!

    The sequence of tea in "Alice in Wonderland" is fabulous, one of my favorites of all!
    And these drawings from the movie "The Three Caballeros" are sensational. Ward is definitely my favorite animator, followed by Fred Moore, Milt and Michael Lah.

    Andreas, when Walt Disney and his team came to Brazil in the forties, for production of "The Three Caballeros", Walt was very impressed with the wonderful Brazilian cartoonist named J.Carlos!
    Do you know this cartoonist? His work is simply amazing.
    I usually say that J. Carlos was our "The Line King".
    Like Hirschfeld, the work of J. Carlos is very charming and the characters in his drawings are beautiful!
    There is a famous story by here that Walt liked so much the work of J. Carlos, who invited him to work in his studio(I believe this story is true!). And another story that Joe Carioca was inspired by a cartoon of a parrot that J.Carlos had drawn in one of his cartoons.
    Soon I'll post some beautiful drawings of J.Carlos on my blog.
    Andreas, I hope you can see these drawings there.

    Returning to Kimball:
    Ward and (the great) Walt Kelly were great friends right?
    Do you know anything about this? There should be funny stories involving them, and Fred Moore. It was a wonderful time....
    There are sensational scenes in Disney movies such as the short "The Little Whirlwind" which were animated by Kelly. And I thought it was animated by Fred Moore or Ward!

    Thank you Andreas.

  13. I adore Kimbal.
    But, have you more story like yestersday's Ward Kimball l?


  14. I once heard a funny anecdote about Ward Kimball from a veteran animator who knew him. It went something like this:

    When asked what it was like to work with Walt Disney, Ward's response was, "Walt takes a sh*t just like everyone else."

    The story clued me in a lot as to the type of guy he was lol.

  15. Andy,
    that Gaston scene was beautifully animated by Tim Allen,
    very appropriately over the top. I just did some key drawings for clean up, to help them keep the scene on model.
    The Scar scene is one of mine. I just remember that it needed a attitude change. He moves forward being angry,
    then upward into a pose that should read- insult.
    Figuring out the follow through on the different parts of his mane was a little tricky. I think I did that twice.

  16. David,
    I'm happy this stuff reminds you of Christmas,
    it has the same effect on me.
    There is so much more to come.
    Eventually I might have to post every other day though.
    Still, Christmas three times a week isn't half bad.

  17. Sir, nice to see your seems world was waiting for you. within a week 1000+ followers.
    really we expecting a lot from you. thanks for you posts on Disney legends.

  18. This is such an amazing blog! The pencil tests are blowing my mind, can't wait to see some Ward Kimball ones! Thanks for starting this!

  19. Thanks for explaining your work on those scenes Andreas, interesting stuff :)

  20. I was hired by Cyndee Whitney as an artist in the Consumer Products division back in 1996. She brought Frank and Ollie in '96 and Marc Davis in '97 to come speak to us. Don't know if you remember but, you came to speak to our group as well. Anyway, those were amazing events.

    This blog brings back that excitement of those days for me. Thank you for doing this. I second David Nethery's assessment, it is like Christmas.

    Cyndee's assistant would ask, "any suggestions who we can bring in to inspire you guys?" and I would ask for Ward Kimball. The request was always met with a weird silence. He was too much a loose cannon I guess.

  21. Lol! that donald duck!!! love it! hahaha