Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why Is He So Influential?

I loved this character when I was a kid, but never dreamed how influential he would become.

I'm looking for a good clip of Milt Kahl's animation of Ludwig Von Drake. When I find it, I'll put it up and we can discuss it.

Can anyone guess where this is headed?

47 comments:

Stone said...

Oh that character was especially brilliant in "A symposium on Popular Music" especially at the end where he begins rocking and rolling. Also all of his little inflections and nuianced acting throughout the short. Can't wait to see what this'll be about.

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Off Topic:

You asked a couple of posts ago who animated Donald's Cousin Gus's walk? After asking around, I found out the answer!

The walk was animated by Woolie Reitherman.

Peter said...

Ask Dr. Stupid!

David Nethery said...

"Can anyone guess where this is headed?"

Ummm.... you're going to say that Kahl's animation is technically well-drawn, but the design is bland and the acting is cliched and if Rod Scribner had animated Von Drake that it would have been a lot better ?

Is this a trick question?

;-)

Raff said...

"I 'ave never seen a more convuzed duck in ole my years of prractizing psoychoiatry. Ha-haaaa!"

This is my favorite Disney characer along with George Geef in those How To's. Who did he influence?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=OE6clPyFOYM

The voice is amazing. It's Paul Frees.

David Nethery said...

Is this by Milt Kahl ? (I have no idea)

VonDrake clip

Chris said...

Haha, knowing Milt Kahl and you, I'd say this is going towards a discussion in interesting (unbland) character designs with specific acting and funny animation.

LêA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LêA said...

Oh, I loved him too...

Really waiting for the Milt Kahl's clip & discussion...

Dan Pinto said...

I love Von Drake,

I don't know if it's Kahl or not but in an old Donald In Adventureland cartoon he has a song about colors. Some of the best animation ever. He has so much personality. To this day that cartoon makes me laugh

pinkboi said...

un-cool characters that kids love! (of course, being a nerd, I find that duck to be awesome)

Sean Worsham said...

Von Drake was always cool. I don't know if the particular drawings you put up were by Kahl or not (I'm guessing it's the lunchbox art) but they are still cool to me. Von Drake lives to even this day, in a recent Disney tv cartoon called "House of Mouse" (which also shows old Disney shorts) Von Drake hosted certain segments. Goes to show you can't keep a good character down.

Operation GutterBall said...

I bet you're gonna show the 'left right, left right head shake+ double blink to a stop,head animation' that everyone has ripped off since, instead of doing thoughtful observed animation like they should. I'm just guessing!

Maximum Awesome said...

I'm guessing, a discussion of "absent minded white haired doctors with glasses, high foreheads, and two tufts of frizzy hair" as a prefab character type, i.e. Dr. Wily.

David Germain said...

Von Drake was usually more talk than action. Maybe that's what John is hinting at.

PCUnfunny said...

"Can anyone guess where this is headed?"

I am guessing "when sterotypes are funny". By the way John, I saw "Boo Boo and The Man" for the first time two days ago. That was frickin' hilarous ! Mike Fontanelli's Italian voice killed me ! "Last'a time'a I came'a home with a blood on my a pointy'a shoes, my poppa senda me'a to a bed without'a no speghets !" And also I am still working on that Bosko animation, I just can't this damn "monkeyjam" thing to work.

Skun said...

k

Skun said...

I Think in acting one of the hardest comedy techniques that works the best is leading the audience into thinking you mean to do one thing when you are actually doing a totally different action(on purpose for the sake of comedy).I believe this character oozes this type of comedy... This character was hilarious in that way... of course in animation its obvious to an animator that this is the intent of the character but to the audience, if its done well, its just funny...

that i guess is what i see and learned from this character...

akira said...

i'm guessing he influenced people to do something bad?

peldma3 said...

he at least has character.

Ohjeepers said...

Could it be that he is the first major use of the angular design / eye stretch expressions that would become the model for everything afterwards?

from the "Disney Gets Almost Specific" post

"...Squash one, stretch the other...

...One at a time. For a take, stretch one up first, and the other follows but doesn't quite make it as high..."

C. A. M. Thompson said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFft9sNsoAA&NR=1
Who animated this one? I love it.

My guess is it's something about his angular design.

ZSL said...

ah Von Drake!
if I recall, a few years ago when the disney channel became free, they showed alot of his cartoons every night. too bad all they show now are "Footloose" wannabe films.

Custom Coaster said...

There isn't that much on the net with him that's like so lame for a good character I've too seen and liked this character, I always liked the more slapstick characters, so he did a good job for me, but that's me. Most of the shorts I've seen with Von Drake have him talking about some device that he's made that would back fire in some way that made a great laugh, still it's a hard mission, well good luck all!!

Sykomantis said...

I found this animation and just had to share. It creeps me right the heck out, but it's timed to music so you might enjoy.

JT said...

inspiration for:

Marlon Hoek! ...or... Dr Stupid !

Taber said...

I can remember for years having a Disney book set which explained various sciences and bits of history which featured him and his nephews. It was a really entertaining way to learn!

Maybe it was the thought of becoming like him that was so appealing. Being a fun old person, with lots to say and do and adventures to have, rather than sitting in an old folks' home sputtering pudding on myself.

Dume3 said...

Milt Kahl used lots of straight lines as a draftsman unlike somebody like Tytla who had flowing curves, and his style became the standard in the sixties in movies like Sword and the Stone and the Jungle Book.

Look at the visual style of the elephants in the Jungle Book.

Personally I think his drawings look a bit cramped, and because the xerox process was very inprecise and eliminated cleanup, it looks messy, too.

chucky said...

I'm not sure where this is headed, but wasn't Dr. Stupid based on the Mr. Know-It-All segment from Rocky & Bullwinkle?

Tool said...

"Personally I think his drawings look a bit cramped, and because the xerox process was very inprecise and eliminated cleanup, it looks messy, too."

I am interested in this Xerox process and how it necessitated this angular style. I have read that 'because of Xerography they did it all angular up until CAPS came along', but I have no idea what about it makes the drawings need to be a certain way.

Could anyone explain this?

Dume3 said...

"I am interested in this Xerox process and how it necessitated this angular style. I have read that 'because of Xerography they did it all angular up until CAPS came along', but I have no idea what about it makes the drawings need to be a certain way."

Disney himself didn't like the Xerox process, so he encouraged the animators to draw extra accurately to loosen the artistic burden on the cleanup people. Because there were no inkers to smooth out the lines even further, the cleanup people would have had to bear the full responsibility of making the animator's loose drawings look on model; the animators had to draw right on the money and this necessity produces the hesitant scratchy lines which xerox only worsens. After all, with xerox you're scanning pencil drawings (an inherently scratchy medium). This caused a real degradation in the quality of Disney animation IMO because animators couldn't draw as freely, and it's also why I don't much care for any of the movies after Sleeping Beauty in 1959.

You have to also remember that xerox was first and foremost, because it was cheaper. After the extremely expensive Sleeping Beauty tanked at the box office Disney decided he wasn't going to put that much money into features any more, so he eliminated the inkers and replaced them with an inferior method.

Whit said...

So Walt Disney respected the hell out of Werner Von Braun but then a few years after "Mars and Beyond" he makes total lame fun of the man in this Ludwig Von Drake character. Walt certainly knew how to amuse himself.

Blammo said...

If your theory is based on Kahl clips many people may be right on the mark regarding design based on angles and the straights vs. curves arguments etc....

The bigger impact this character had on Animation was the invasion of learning into cartoon content.

Although certainly not the first to do it, this character attacked us weekly on "Wonderful World of Disney" and shoveled learning down our throats!

J;)

Kali Fontecchio said...

I've always disliked him, and always will.

Will Finn said...

Ludwig is primarily a cartoon version of Sid Ceasar's vagabond "Professor" character (with a little Victor Borge thrown in) -- not a spoof of Von Braun. Ceasar's character was already a familiar burlesque trope when he was doing it.

if you want a spoof of Von Braun, look up Tom Lehrer's brilliant satirical lullabye sometime.

Tool said...

thanks a ton dume3!

glen keane really doesnt seem to go well with that process, haha

Jorge Garrido said...

The first time I saw what Ward Kimball looked like, I thought he looked like Von Drake!

Jorge Garrido said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot to add that it's probably the Disney doddering professor type that was also in The Sword in The Stone (Milt Kahl) and Atlantis.

Jorge Garrido said...

Sorry, I meant Tarzan, not Atlantis.

Tom Dougherty said...

You've definitely got my attention with this cliffhanger. Is it about xerography?

Dume3 said...

"Oh, yeah, I forgot to add that it's probably the Disney doddering professor type that was also in The Sword in The Stone (Milt Kahl) and Atlantis...Sorry, I meant Tarzan, not Atlantis."

The main character in Atlantis (Milo) was the epitomy of the doddering professor type--only a little younger than usual.

R Smith said...

I think I know where this is going...
Ducktales and the Saturday morning Disney cartoons of the late 80s early 90s? Possibly how those cartoons copy this character and lose what was good about the original, replacing it with blandness.

Gregg said...

I would agree with some, and say specific, offbeat, expressive, character acting.

I just watched that "pickle clip" posted above, and I saw more than the stock three expressions in a mere 11 seconds.

Jim Rockford said...

Is it that Disney and others kept recycling this same character type in various watered down versions?

Klark Kent 007 said...

Wasn't Ward Kimball handling the Ludwig duties?

I seem to remember a story about Ward complaining about having to work on Ludwig. I could be wrong.

SACKS said...

I have a clip of Von Drake over on my throwback blog. CHECK IT OUT! CLICK BELOW....
http://sacks10.blogspot.com

Klark Kent 007 said...

FInally found some Von Drake cartoons, I hope these will help.

http://www.youtube.com/profile_videos?user=kaijueguy&search_query=von&search=Search