Thursday, January 2, 2014

Milt Kahl's First Shere Khan Scene

This scene is at the beginning of a brilliant sequence from The Jungle Book when Shere Khan interrogates Kaa, the python. Milt animated both characters throughout. The moment when the tiger comes around the tree was the first production scene of him, and it's a beauty!
"It's me, Shere Khan. I'd like a word with you, if you don't mind", he tells Kaa ever so politely. No live action reference here, this came out of Milt's head. He said in an interview: " I learned so much about tigers by studying them that I didn't have to rely on any life action crutch." 
Great perspective walk, and I love the way the tiger lies down, upper body first, then the rear. The way he moves those front feet is worth studying alone. Such great anatomy.
The last pose holds for a while, and Milt kept it alive by adding a few eye blinks on a different level. 

By the way, Walt Disney did see the whole sequence in pencil test before he died. Milt said that Walt liked it and approved it.


















The final pose was inspired by a Ken Anderson design sketch, which was inspired by a Bill Peet drawing of the much cartoonier tiger from the 1945 Goofy short "Tiger Trouble". Milt animated that tiger as well…brilliantly.

In case you missed this earlier post, here is a great pencil test of Shere Khan stalking: