Academy Celebrates Milt Kahl Animation’s Michelangelo
Beverly Hills, CA (March 25, 2009) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Milt Kahl: The Animation Michelangelo, A Centennial Celebration,” on Monday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Animator Andreas Deja will host the evening, which will include a panel discussion, moderated by animation critic Charles Solomon. Scheduled panelists include Kathryn Beaumont, Brad Bird, Ron Clements, John Musker and Floyd Norman. The event serves as the 2009 installment of the Academy’s Marc Davis Celebration of Animation.
The evening will feature an insightful analysis of Kahl’s animation drawings, rare film interviews with Kahl himself, and clips of his work from such Disney favorites as “Mickey’s Circus,” “Pinocchio,” “Bambi,” “Peter Pan,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Rescuers.” The clips will be interspersed with commentary from those who worked beside him and were inspired by him, revealing the rigorous process and fiery personality of a true animation legend.
Renowned for his unparalleled draftsmanship as well as his exacting nature, Milt Kahl (1909-1987), one of the “nine old men” Walt Disney relied upon to bring his creative vision to the screen, was 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.
Deja, one of the top animators of his generation, brought to life characters as diverse as Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast,” Scar in “The Lion King,” and Lilo in “Lilo & Stitch.” Beaumont was the voice artist for Alice in “Alice in Wonderland” and Wendy in “Peter Pan.” Bird has won the Animated Feature Film Oscar® twice, for his work on “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” Clements and Musker served as co-directors and writers on “The Great Mouse Detective,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Hercules” and “Treasure Planet.” Norman preceded his lengthy television animation career with experience as an apprentice/assistant to Milt Kahl on “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Sword in the Stone” and “The Jungle Book.”
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.
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