|Born||Milton Erwin Kahl
March 22, 1909
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||April 19, 1987
Mill Valley, California, U.S.
|Known for||One of Disney's Nine Old Men|
Kahl was born in San Francisco, California. He would often refine the characters sketches from Bill Peet with the ideas of Ken Anderson. For many years the final look for the characters in the Disney films were designed by Kahl, in his angular style inspired by Ronald Searle and Picasso. He is revered by contemporary masters of the form, such as Andreas Deja, and Brad Bird, who was his protégé at Disney in the early 1970s. In the behind-the-scenes feature "Fine Food and Film" shown on the Ratatouille DVD, Bird referred to Kahl as "tough", but in a gentle way, as he often gave Bird advice on where he could improve in animation whenever he came up short. He also worked as a character designer for The Black Cauldron.
In the book The Animator's Survival Kit, the author Richard Williams makes repeated reference and anecdotes relating to Kahl. The centenary of Kahl's birth was honoured by the Academy on April 27, 2009, with a tribute entitled "Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo" and featured Brad Bird as a panelist.
Kahl died, aged 78, in Mill Valley, California.
Characters animated by Kahl
Characters animated by Kahl include the following.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: The Forest Animals
- Pinocchio: Pinocchio, some scenes of Jiminy Cricket
- Bambi: Bambi, Thumper, Deer
- Saludos Amigos: Donald rides a Llama sequence
- Make Mine Music: The Martins and the Coys
- Song of the South: Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear (The Tar Baby sequence)
- Melody Time: Johnny Appleseed, Johnny's Guardian Angel, Pecos Bill, Slue Foot Sue
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: Angus MacBadger, Rat, Mole, angry mob, Brom Bones
- Cinderella: Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, The King, The Grand Duke
- Alice in Wonderland: Alice, The White Rabbit (one scene), The Dodo, Flamingo, Hedgehog
- Peter Pan: Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, John Darling, Michael Darling, Mr. Darling, Mrs. Darling, Nana
- Lady and the Tramp: Lady, Tramp, Beaver, Trusty
- Sleeping Beauty: Prince Philip, King Hubert, King Stefan, Lackey, animals, Samson
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians: Roger and Anita, Pongo, Perdita, Labrador
- Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: Ludwig Von Drake
- The Sword in the Stone: Wart (a.k.a. King Arthur), Merlin, Sir Ector, Kay, Archimedes, Kitchen Woman, Madame Mim, Dogs
- Mary Poppins: Master of hounds, hounds, fox, stewards
- The Jungle Book: Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, King Louie, monkeys, Kaa, the Vultures
- The Aristocats: Thomas O'Malley, Duchess, Madame Bonfamille, Edgar, George
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks: King Leonidas, Secretary Bird, animals
- Robin Hood: Robin Hood, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Little John, Allan-a-Dale (the rooster), Maid Marian, Lady Cluck, Friar Tuck, Skippy, King Richard
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Tigger, Winnie the Pooh (scenes with Tigger), a few scenes of Roo
- The Rescuers: Madame Medusa, Mr. Snoops, Penny, Brutus and Nero, a few scenes of Bernard and Bianca