4 07 2015

the following scenes from one of my favorite disney classic 101 DALMATIANS from 1961 show how far the artists in the studio had developed. not only in animation, especially MILT KAHL and MARC DAVIS at the peak of their art, – every single ingredient shows the same level of perfection. starting with a unique storyboard completely finished by one of the best – BILL PEET. the overall very stylized design of the film by KEN ANDERSON and an amazing layout and BG-department. all that combined in a new technology, the XEROX-process, that made it possible to bring 101 animated dogs to the screen, and – eliminated the ink and paint step in production, allowing us to see the original drawings of the animators.
the scenes that I selected are not in order of the story. they might show you the beauty of every single composition and color combination in those scenes. a true masterpiece.

101 dal comp 2
101 dal comp 8
101 dal comp 5
101 dal comp 3
101 Dal comp 1
101 dal comp 4
101 dal comp 6
101 dal comp 7

© disney enterprises, inc


more 101 dalmatians

14 01 2012

© disney enterprises, inc

comparison 7

1 01 2012

here we go – another year. hopefully a good one, – I doubt it – too many dark clouds on the horizon! anyway, I want to start the BLOG-year with some beautiful artwork, already over fifty years old but for me better than most of the film-design artwork I see today. the disney animated feature film 101 DALMATIANS was released january 25, 1961, the first of the disney films that had a very different style. the animation was xeroxed and showed for the first time most of the original drawings of the animators. the corresponding backgrounds matched the loose lines of the animation perfect, the background details in line were xeroxed as well and the cels placed over the slightly offset gouache colored backgrounds. stylistically a masterpiece. following are a few layout drawings with the recreated backgrounds.

© disney enterprises, inc

hell hall

9 09 2010

from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS some more recreated backgrounds, cruella de vil’s castle ‘hell hall’.

© disney enterprises, inc

comparison 5

14 08 2010

some more layouts and the recreated corresponding backgrounds from disney’s BAMBI and 101 DALMATIANS.

© disney enterprises, inc

twilight bark

26 04 2010

the two recreated pan backgrounds are from disney’s 1961 101 DALMATIANS, one of my most favorite films.

© disney enterprises, inc


21 02 2010

as everything else the color is perfect in disney’s 101 DALMATIANS as well. responsible for the overall look and the production design, as well as the art direction of the film was KEN ANDERSON. but he relied on one exceptional artist for the right color choices in every single sequence – WALT PEREGOY. in hundreds of small mostly abstract color sketches he defined the right color combination of the characters and the backgrounds. see below some of his work compared to the final result in the film.

© disney enterprises, inc


5 11 2009

more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS

101Dal111 PAN
101 dal.003PAN

© disney enterprises, inc

the de vil mansion

16 10 2009

some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS


© disney enterprises, inc


20 09 2009

some more recreated backgrounds and corresponding layouts from disney’s 1961 101 DALMATIANS

1 101Dal044pan

2 101 dalm.pan1

3 101 dalm.pan1mix

4 101Dal0022pan

5 101 dalm.pan2


7 101Dal056

© disney enterprises, inc

regents park

25 08 2009

going back to the sixties – here are a few recreated pan backgrounds from the opening of disney’s 1961 released 101 DALMATIANS.

101 D 1003a

101 D 1009a

101 D 1015a

101 D 1018a

101 D 1019a

© disney enterprises, inc


27 06 2009

some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS





© disney enterprises, inc

style 1

18 06 2009

as I mentioned in one of the last posts, WALT DISNEY did not hide the fact that he hated the look of 101 DALMATIANS. well, I think he should have known from day one in visual development how the film might look like. as head of the studio he would have had the power to change the style of the film very early. but I am sure he knew that this look was the only way to combine the new animation-XEROX-technology, that made it possible to show 101 black-spotted characters, with a more modern non-fairytale environment, and – for a very low budget! a MARY BLAIR-style fifties-london would not have worked. even a LADY AND THE TRAMP-like more realistic BG-style would have been too soft and probably even more expensive. I admire the solution these artist, especially KEN ANDERSEN, came up with.




when I met KEN ANDERSEN in 1991 he talked about the first test screening of a part of the film. walt disney was with his back towards him and said to someone ‘I hate this stuff, KEN did!’ for ken andersen that was like a shock. he worked for another year to finish the film and during that time walt disney never talked to him anymore. ken remembered, walt always wanted to have nearly 3-dimensional animated characters, like in live action films, so the audience would forget they watched animation. that’s why he hated clear contours, especially the ‘inches-thick’ xeroxed outlines blown up on the big screen. ken said, walt disney was not willing to finance more films for over $ 8 million after SLEEPING BEAUTY. that’s why he, ken, had pushed the development of that very complicated and revolutionary technique,that made it possible to produce the DALMATIANS for only $ 3.5 million. he recalled the moment when he saw walt disney returning from the hospital after his lung-surgery. ken saw him shortly on the stretcher, walt did not look very good but he was happy to see ken. so, said ken, finally 2 weeks before his death he did forgive him.




© disney enterprises, inc


16 06 2009

this is one of my favorite scenes in disney’s 1961 released 101 DALMATIANS. the whole film is one of my favorites, it has a very good story, the animation is beautiful, and because of the by UB IWERKS developed new XEROX-technology you can even enjoy the original animation drawings. since I first saw the film in 1962 I was fascinated by the look of the film. KEN ANDERSON developed the ‘line-art look’, based on RONALD SEARLE’S caricature style. he told me that SEARLE was a close friend and they had exchanged a lot of sketches. the use of color, developed by WALT PEREGOY, is very interesting as well. the linear drawings, where thick and very thin sketchy lines are mixed, were xeroxed and superimposed on the background layer. the color-blocks in these BG’s were never matching exactly the linear outlines, they were slightly offset. without the lines they look like a CUBIST-style piece of art. for me it is the perfect combination of line and color. and it works very well with the characters, with their xeroxed lines. the color overall in this masterpiece is so well chosen, the characters always read in front of the BG’s with most of the time a lot of line-information. all these ingredients create an atmosphere that caught me when I first saw the film and it still does.


101 dalm.0044l

101 dalm.0044aa

© disney enterprises, inc