In a talk to students in 1976, the year he retired, Milt Kahl was unusually articulate in summing up his thoughts about the art of animation.
“It’s a very difficult medium. Animation necessarily requires a pretty good draftsman because you got to turn things, to be able to draw well enough to turn things at every angle. You have to understand movement, which in itself is quite a study. You have to be an actor. You have to put on a performance, to be a showman, to be able to evaluate how good the entertainment is. You have to know the best way of doing it, and have an appreciation of where it belongs in the picture. You have to be a pretty good story man. To be a really good animator, then, you have to be a jack of all trades. I don’t mean to say that I’m all of these things, but I try hard. I got accused over the years of being a fine draftsman. Actually, I don’t really draw all that well. It’s just that I don’t stop trying as quickly. I keep at it. I happen to have high standards and I try to meet them. I have to struggle like hell to make a drawing look good."
I just received an email from my AM mentor with this quote that I want to share.