"Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration," an homage to Disney animator Milt Kahl (right), will be presented on Monday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Animator Andreas Deja (creator of characters such as Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, Scar in The Lion King, and Lilo in Lilo & Stitch) will host the evening, which will include a panel discussion moderated by animation critic Charles Solomon.
Among the scheduled panelists are Kathryn Beaumont (the voice artist for Alice in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan), Academy Award-winner Brad Bird (for The Incredibles and Ratatouille), Ron Clements and John Musker (writers and co-directors of The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules and Treasure Planet), and Floyd Norman (Kahl's apprentice on Sleeping Beauty, The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book).
In addition to the panel discussion, the evening will feature an analysis of Kahl's animation drawings, rare filmed interviews with Kahl himself, and clips of his work, including Mickey's Circus, Pinocchio, Bambi, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book and The Rescuers.
Milt Kahl (1909-1987) was one of Walt Disney's "nine old men," those who actually created the Disney magic we see on screen. According to the Academy's press release, he was also the animator "to whom the other eight turned when they had trouble with a character or scene. "
"Throughout the '50s and '60s, when Kahl was responsible for the final design of many characters, he complained of being 'saddled' with the animation of challenging, non-comic human characters such as Alice, Peter Pan, Wendy, and Sleeping Beauty's Prince. But Kahl secretly relished the fact that it was his talent and drive that made these characters come alive. "
"Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration" is the 2009 installment of the Academy's Marc Davis Celebration of Animation.
Tickets for the "Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration" are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. They may be purchased online at www.oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office or by mail. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call (310) 247-3600.
Photos: Courtesy of Disney. The "nine old men" in the photo are (front row) Woolie Reitherman, Les Clark, Ward Kimball, John Lounsbery, (back row) Milt Kahl, Marc Davis, Frank Thomas, Eric Larson, and Ollie Johnston.