“I know where the weight is in every drawing; I know where the weight is going to and where it is coming from. On a four-legged animal, or a two-legged animal, or if it’s a hand moving, I know where the weight is.”– Milt Kahl
Milt Kahl’s pencil test of Pongo from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (1961)
Decades after this pencil test was completed, Disney animation legend Andreas Deja would re-discover it and rave:
“Here are a couple exploratory drawings from one of my all time favorite scenes. Milt goes very, very far here as far as graphic representation of this scene. Razor-sharp points and an intense balance of straight against curved lines make Pongo look like a Picasso creation. Yet anatomical correctness is never compromised.
“Even if some people don’t appreciate such a stylized approach to Disney drawing, they buy into it because of the scene’s weight and fluidity of motion. Not to mention the overall convincing emotions a dog goes through when scratching, yawning and collapsing on to a pillow.
“Just a few years earlier, Milt had animated a similar scene with Tramp, as he wakes up inside a barrel near the train tracks. It was in Milt’s nature to constantly challenge himself and try different ways to handle a situation that was somewhat familiar to him. Animated sometime in 1960, even after so many decades this remains a MODERN animated masterpiece.”