Hello! I'm curious to know if Leslie Howard as Professor Henry Higgins in Pygmalion (1938) was part of the inspiration for the animators who designed the character of Roger Radcliffe in 101 Dalmatians (1961).Thank you for sharing your animation skills & knowledge!
I strongly suspect not – they were designing in the 50s and long before the advent of video would have had to rely on distant memory to do so – but I don’t know, myself, for certain. The person who might know is Andreas Deja (andreasdeja.blogspot.com) but I don’t know if he responds to questions. I believe there is a comprehensive art book for 101 Dalamtians out there, but if they did consciously use Leslie Howard as a jumping-off place, they wouldn’t say so, for legal reasons.
My personal suspicion is that he’s an evolution of some Ronald Searle sketch somewhere, as that’s what they leaned on very heavily for just about everything in that film.