Show 012 – Vault – Milt Kahl, Side One

Milt Kahl, Side One

A Milt Kahl lecture at CalArts from 1976, generously donated by John Musker. Milt discusses a rough cut of some of his work on Medusa in “The Rescuers.” Side one of two. The discussion is similar to some of the audio made available at Seward Street. If you haven’t listened to that yet, be sure to check it out.

Get the MP3 here: Show 12: Vault – Milt Kahl, Side One
Animation Podcast Show 12 MP3

(14.1MB, 30:49 minutes)

Or get the enhanced version playable only with Quicktime or iTunes
Get the AAC here: Show 12: Vault – Milt Kahl, Side One
Animation Podcast Show 12 AAC

(15.1MB, 30:49 minutes)

Continue for Show Notes…

  • 0:00:00: The Intro Voice/Vault Access
  • 0:00:11: Theme Song by DJ Sweettooth (Joe Moshier)
  • 0:00:56: Intro
  • 0:02:30: Run in on “The Rescuers”
  • 0:03:17: “The Rescuers” clip
  • 0:11:44: Medusa taking off her eyelashes
  • 0:14:36: Punching the dialog
  • 0:16:37: Animating the thought
  • 0:18:25: Exploring and planning a scene
  • 0:20:30: The voice of Geraldine Paige
  • 0:23:27: Relying on voice talent
  • 0:24:48: Conclusion of Side One
  • 0:24:59: Feedback info
  • 0:25:24: Phone calls (206) 666-2668
  • 0:30:14: Please give feedback
  • 0:30:29: Conclusion/Closing the Vault

16 Comments on “Show 012 – Vault – Milt Kahl, Side One

  1. Thank you for posting these Milt Kahl interviews tapes. Esspecially because they are allways full of true animation. He ALLWAYS (when he speaks) goes down to the pure essence of what animation is. Keep em comming… Btw i hope youll interview more people from the class John Musker was in.

    Kind regards,

    Lars, the Netherlands

  2. Thank you for another great show – this time with the added time travel bonus. I especially enjoyed (and wholeheartedly agree with) the section where Milt Kahl talks about the combination of voice-acting and animation performance – how one informs the other. When a feature selects actors for their names to promote the production sometimes their performance lacks. It shows when the animator has little to work with – and in the end there’s too much of the actor’s shtick on the screen.

    Do you think using video footage of a voice recording session too much can create the same problem even when you have a great (voice) actor to work with?

    Like many of your listeners, I’d really like to hear somebody interview you. Why don’t you get together with Andrew Gordon (the splinedoctor) and you guysinterview each other. That way both podcast sites get new material in one take (and the listeners jump with joy). Just an idea.

  3. I don’t know how long Side Two is, but a nice solution to the Rescuers problem could be to release separate audio files. The first could be the soundtrack, that people could play along side the movie. The second could be Milt’s commentary. It’s hard to glean anything out of the soundtrack when you are driving up the 101. =)

    Nice snag though. It’ll be interesting to he Side Two. =)

  4. Awesome. I love hearing the masters talk about their work and that fact that he was showing stuff before the film came out is crazy. Good find Clay, side tomorrow??? Keep em coming.

  5. Lars – I love hearing Milt speak because what can be so daunting and complicated to the rest of us was so simple to him. Because of this, he can present it in a clear, uncomplicated way that makes it seem not so overwhelming. Obviously he was extremely talented, but it’s clear that he worked as hard as anyone else. I do hope to interview more of those guys.

    Christian – When you get a great voice, the character has already come to life. It’s so nice when half the battle is won. I used to joke that I didn’t care what character I get on this film, as long as the voice is Scarlet Johannsen. Well, she’s not a voice for us (and I don’t think she was ever considered) but it’s probably a good thing. Although I would like to meet her, I think she would be a horrible choice for an animated voice. You have to go with what will make the best performance, and hopefully the people who make those decisions aren’t blinded (like me) by who’s hot right now.
    I think the video of recording sessions can be useful, but mainly for general things like mouth shapes an actor makes, or gestures and attitudes they strike that you may not have considered. Other than that, we don’t look at those tapes too much. It’s our job to come up with all that stuff anyhow!
    Some day, you’ll hear more about me on the show, but I’d rather it happened later than sooner. I’ve told Andrew I’d like to interview him (a long time ago) but we’ll have to see how things work out now that he’s producing shows himself.

    Brenton – I don’t have a way to separate the soundtrack from the discussion since it was all on one tape. You’ll have to try listening at a stop light. A couple interesting things he mentions under the soundtrack are that Snoops was modeled after John Culhane, which most people know, and that the shot with Snoops talking to Penny was the longest shot he ever animated. Side two is all talking, no soundtrack.

    Joel – Those are the benefits of going to a school like CalArts – you get to see all kinds of cool things before anyone else. I can’t imagine how cool that must have been! Side two coming soon.

  6. Couldn’t you split the clip at the transition point? I haven’t played a whole lot with Garage Band, but I know iMovie and QT Pro can handle it. . .

    Thanks again for the great work. =)

  7. Brenton – Sure I could split it, but like I said in the intro I decided to include it rather than not. Believe me, there’s PLENTY of editing going on for every show 🙂 , and I find that GarageBand is very good for that. There are other programs that do far more, but like when I really need to edit some video fast, I skip the Final Cut Pro and go straight for the simplicity of iMovie. I do wish that iPods had a better way of jumping between chapters in AAC files. As far as I know, you just have to scroll until you get to the next one in the audio. Thanks for the feedback.

  8. Clay,
    Thanks a ton for the podcast. I take a show with my coffee every morning. I have learned so much about animation in the past few weeks thanks to your show. Hearing the greats talk so humbly about their art has done wonders for my motivation. Please dont ever stop. If there is anything you need from your community, please dont hesitate to ask. (I’m partial to gang-land style executions. I’m not too sure if you need anyone to “disappear”, but just say the word… 🙂

    Thanks again.

  9. Andy – Since I started this, I’ve asked for a few things – votes on (not so vital anymore, I think), reviews on iTunes (I still like those), and comments and feedback here and on the feedback hotline. I appreciate them all, but my favorite is having comments on the site. The fact that these shows can create a discussion about animation is thrilling to me and, like the shows, it’s right here for anyone to read.

    I’ve had the conversation a few times in the last week about what it costs me to do this and whether making money on it is important. To say it plainly, I love doing this. I love creating something that wasn’t there before, putting it out in the world, and hearing that it makes peoples’ lives more enjoyable via inspiration, motivation, or illumination. So far the results have been well worth the expenses in time and effort.

    So to make a long answer longer, you’re already doing your part by letting me know you appreciate it. And I appreciate that! I don’t want anyone to get the impression that I only do it for the feedback, but that’s the only way I know if the shows are doing their job. It may be interesting to note that judging by the number of downloads each show has, about 0.3% of the audience leaves any form of feedback. That’s 0.3, as in not even 1%. So you and anyone else who takes the time to comment here, give yourself a pat on the back, and know that when it’s 1:00 a.m. and I want to go to sleep, it may be your latest comment that reminds me to keep working on the next show.

    By the way, I’ll keep your “services” in mind if the need should ever arise.


  10. Great stuff Clay. One can never tire of hearing Milt Kahl talk the talk.

  11. Clay,
    haha, awesome. Though, my services as a “cleaner” might be exaggerated.

    It’s very hard to give you any suggestions, because you’ve already asked so many big questions to your guests. I can’t, at the moment, think of any questions that wouldn’t waste anyone’s time. As soon as I do, I’ll be right back here.:)

    Props again on the show. The Milt Khal find was super sweet. I can’t wait for side 2.

  12. Great show, Clay! Can’t wait for side 2.
    And, yeah John Musker! for the tape.

  13. Great podcasts Clay!! Thanks for sharing these.. There’s soo much inspiration in each of them.. Being an animation supervisor I really identified with Eamonn Butler talking about how you aren’t always looking for what you like.. but what you think the director will like.. In fact I have a quote from that show stuck to the side of my monitor at work now “just because you don’t like it… doesn’t mean it’s not good”.

    And the Milt Audio.. priceless… I’ve spent the last few night with my jaw on the floor watching his work in Lady and the tramp.. What a master of this craft he was.. I can’t even imagine being at Cal arts and havign Milt show up.. Inasne!!

    thanks again.. and keep podcasting..!!

  14. The Milt Kahl lecture was great! This is a perfect addition to Seward Street audio lectures and the thumbnails of Medusa that Andrew posted on the Spline Docters blog. Thanks again for putting this together and sharing it with the world. P.S. Hopefully someday you’ll do a video podcast and then everyone can draw caricatures of you 😛 Take care Clay

  15. J – Agreed!

    Andy – I’m always open for questions. You just have to guess who they’re for. 😉

    Barry – Glad you liked it. Side 2 coming soon!

    Jason – It’s great to hear what you’re taking away from these. Thanks for sharing. Yeah, I went and saw Lady and the Tramp in Hollywood a few weeks ago when they had the panel with Andreas. It’s such amazing work – the whole thing. It’s my favorite Disney film. I always get choked up when Trusty – well, you know. Even though it’s simple, it’s a masterpiece!

    Jeremy – When I was putting this together I kept thinking, “Where have I seen those thumbnails?” That’s for jogging my memory! You’re right, a perfect match! If I do any video podcasts, it will be with the same approach as the audio: point the camera at the guests!

  16. Just listened to Part 1, and just downloaded Part 2. Great stuff – imagine how many tapes like these are laying around undiscovered in someone’s garage. Thanks for making this one public Clay. It’s great to have a mix of the new talents and the legends. One for a classical perspective and the other for how that perspective is in use today.

    Before I start waxing more philosophical… see ya! 🙂