Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Great Quote

Here is a Quote from Milt Kahl, which is from the "Walt Disney's Nine Old Men & the Art of Animation" by John Canemaker. My friend Billy Merrit pointed me to the other day.

In a talk to students in 1976, the year he retired, Kahl was unusually articulate in summing up his thoughts about the art of animation. "it's a very difficult medium," he refelected. "Animation requires a pretty good draftsman because you got to turn things, to be able to draw well enough to turn things at every angle. you have to understand movement, which itself is quite a study. You have to be an actor. You have to put on a performance, to be a showman, to be able to evaluate how good the entertainment is. You have to know the best way of doing it, and have an appreciation of where it belongs in the picture. You have to be a pretty good story man. To be a really good animator, then, you have to be a jack of all trades. I don't mean to say that I'm all fo these things, but I try hard. I got accused over the years of being a fine draftsman. Actually, I don't really draw all that well. It's just that I don't stop trying as quickly. I keep at it. I happen to have high standards and I try to meet them. I have to struggle like hell to make a drawing look good."

How about them apples?

--Dr. Stephen G.


Anonymous Michael Benedict said...


"Actually, I don't really draw all that well. It's just that I don't stop trying as quickly. I keep at it. I happen to have high standards and I try to meet them."

A wise friend once told me you get to a point where you stop worrying about how it's done and just DO it. It's efficient advice.

11:56 AM

Blogger Cooked Art said...

Great to hear that even the great Milt Kahl struggled with his drawings.

Great quote indeed!

1:33 PM

Blogger Joe said...

pointless comment, but that quote is awesome.

1:39 PM

Blogger Dave said...

Honest and humble - what a great quote. Thanks for sharing!

4:05 PM

Anonymous andy said...

Wow, very inspiring words! It's so easy to become complacent, it's nice to have masters like this to remind us that hard work and perseverance is the only way to achieve really great work.

8:26 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Based on the latest posts, focused on drawing capability and so, it gave me the drive force to work on my drawing skills and try to understand the physics a lot better. I think I will try to work on single poses, and also how two or three poses would work together, then what will the action be in between. Eventually one will have a short animation. Thanks very much for these posts Dr. Stephen.


9:51 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very awesome quote, I love it. Ever since I was exposed to a little of what animation is(it's so impossible for me to say I totally understand it...dont think I ever will) I always thought, "This is the hardest thing in the world."

But of course, everyone else is gonna say whatever THEY do for a living is the hardest thing in the world.

Whatever, I think when Milt Kahl is going down the list of all the skills and stuff you need to be good at, I kinda realize damn, this is a very advanced and NEW form of art, so it kind makes sense as to why I thought animation is so freakin hard.

Thank you so much, Doctor Gregory!!! You've given us so much to go on...we appreciate it!

7:45 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

of course these days in the CG animation era, you dont need to be a good draftsman, to be able to turn things and draw them from differnt angels. I mean, in the old days you couldn't become a good animator if you couldnt draw, period but nowadays you have the computer. and i wonder, how much has that fact changed the way an animator would work, if any?

7:44 AM

Anonymous Paul said...

"in the old days you couldn't become a good animator if you couldnt draw, period"

I suspect that guys like Willis O'Brien and Ray Harryhausen would disagree with you... :0)

1:48 PM

Anonymous Mike Antonicelli said...

I've printed out two copies to hang up - one for home and one for work.

I really needed this now cause I'm struggling.

Thank you.

11:18 PM

Blogger Fraenk said...

hello there!

thanks again doc for that nice peace of knowledge and milt is so damn right! i think drawing poses should always be the first step before going to animate a scene. there are many reasons for that. at first you can easily and fast play around with the line of action, which is so hard to "see" on the computer. another point is, that you can flip your poses to try out some different breakdowns. and with just a pencil and paper you're free where you're thinking about a scene. the front of a screen is not the most inspiring place, so take your pencil and paper, go out and "find" your scene in the real world and get inspiried!

thx & cheers fraenk

10:29 AM

Anonymous said...

To my mind one and all ought to look at this.

1:49 AM


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