Nicola Sturgeon and Mary Poppins

nicola sturgeon

Here she is sailing into a barnyard inhabited by pig-headed animals and sheep

I think the video below is a copy of the Milt Kahl animation but there is still charm to it and it is interesting to see.

The combination of Nicola and the barnyard scene from Mary Poppins is impossible to ignore.

The original scene in the film was sketched by Don Da Gradi and animated mostly by John Lounsbery and Eric Larson. The pigs in the farmyard are really large sausages with legs. They are absurdly simple and deeply charming.

The design may be simple but the animation is probably the best ever done in the Disney studios, I think. It is fluid, even on 12s and the scenes which suggest beauty with the sun coming through the trees and the butterflies and deer are astonishing. Without this scene, frankly, and the technical advances in process photography/ what we now call “greenscreen”, there would be no “star wars”.

Here is a link to drawings from the fox hunt scene (mostly Milt Kahl):

http://livlily.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/mary-poppins-1964.html

here is a much older page spread from my moleskin. Not the farmyard scene, I know but you can see where I drew inspiration for Nicola’s pose above. Incidentally, it was Julie Andrews who insisted on the turned out feet. Apparently, this was the position in the book illustrations.

julie andrews

cat drawings and what is a “Fat Cat”?

feeding cats

There are plenty of people today barely making ends meet, and there is a huge mass of refugees suddenly penniless on the border of Europe, while at the same time, there is an ever-expanding waistline of “fat cat” executives often controlling the very charities who say they are helping to ease the misery they themselves seem to defy. I hope there is not a whiff of jealousy or envy here (is there a difference?) but while I was sketching our two cats this morning and at the same time, thinking of a couple of lectures I have to write, I found myself wondering about the recent fiasco involving “Save the Children” and the distasteful posting of a scurrilous manga cartoon. The campaign to replace that image and to help is well-underway with the hashtag “Yeswhynot”. I contributed a picture of a cat towards this effort.

I worry that one of my cats is slightly overweight.

It’s cats all round at the moment…

So, I checked the internet, and I was staggered to find that the chief executive, Justin forsyth (an ex-Oxfam man, but also a former labour planner for Tony Blair in No 10) earns £163,000 a year- that is, to put it in persepective, about £20,000 more than David Cameron. Anabel Hoult apparently exceeded her boss in a mix of take-home pay and pensions. I have just started to follow Charlie Elphicke on twitter and he describes this bonus culture as “inappropriate and objectionable.”

Hoult-Anabel1

There is no doubt these executives can defend their exorbitant salaries, and Forsyth in particular took over at a time of crisis for the charity and while it was going through a nasty merger with merlin, and having drawn him quickly, I must add, he has an engaging smile- but still- it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

justin forsyth

As for “fat cats”- the dictionary tells me they would be people with a political bent and lots of money. I do not encourage you to do the maths but, well, miaow!