Milton Erwin Kahl
March 22, 1909
|Died||April 19, 1987 (aged 78)|
Mill Valley, California, U.S.
|Known for||One of Disney's Nine Old Men|
Milton Erwin "Milt" Kahl (March 22, 1909 – April 19, 1987) was an American animator. He was one of (and often considered the most influential of) Walt Disney's supervisory team of animators, known as Disney's Nine Old Men.
Kahl was born in San Francisco, California, to Erwin, a saloon bartender, and Grace Kahl. He had three younger sisters, Dorothy, Marion and Gladys. 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 honored 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 of pneumonia, aged 78, in Mill Valley, California.
Characters animated by Kahl
Characters animated by Kahl include the following.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: animator: The Prince, the Forest Animals
- Pinocchio: animation director/animator: Pinocchio, some scenes of Jiminy Cricket
- Bambi: supervising animator: Bambi, Thumper, Deer
- Saludos Amigos: animator: rides a Llama sequence
- The Three Caballeros: animator
- Make Mine Music: The Martins and the Coys
- Song of the South: directing animator: Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear (The Tar Baby sequence)
- Fun and Fancy Free: Lulubelle, Lumpjaw, bears (uncredited)
- Melody Time: directing animator: Johnny Appleseed, Johnny's Guardian Angel, Pecos Bill, Widowmaker, Slue Foot Sue
- The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: directing animator: Angus MacBadger, Rat, Mole, angry mob, Brom Bones
- Cinderella: directing animator: Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming, The King, The Grand Duke
- Alice in Wonderland: directing animator: Alice, The White Rabbit (one scene), The Dodo, Flamingo, Hedgehog
- Peter Pan: directing animator: Peter Pan, Wendy Darling, John Darling, Michael Darling, Mr. Darling, Mrs. Darling, Nana
- Lady and the Tramp: directing animator: Lady, Tramp, Beaver, Trusty
- Sleeping Beauty: directing animator: Prince Phillip, King Hubert, King Stefan, Maitre D', animals, Samson
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians:directing animator: Roger and Anita, Pongo, Perdita, Labrador
- Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color: Ludwig Von Drake
- The Sword in the Stone: character design/directing animator: Wart (a.k.a. King Arthur), Merlin, Sir Ector, Kay, Archimedes, Kitchen Woman, Madame Mim, Dogs
- Mary Poppins: animator: Master of hounds, hounds, fox, stewards
- The Jungle Book: directing animator: Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, King Louie, monkeys, Kaa, the Vultures
- The Aristocats: directing animator: Thomas O'Malley, Duchess, Madame Bonfamille, Edgar, George
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks: animator: King Leonidas, Secretary Bird, animals
- Robin Hood: directing animator: Robin Hood, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Little John, Allan-a-Dale (the rooster), Maid Marian, Lady Kluck, Friar Tuck, Skippy, King Richard
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: animator: Tigger, Winnie the Pooh (scenes with Tigger), a few scenes of Roo
- The Rescuers: directing animator: Madame Medusa, Mr. Snoops, Penny, Brutus and Nero, a few scenes of Bernard and Bianca