2nd Edition

Drawn to Life: 20 Golden Years of Disney Master Classes Volume 2: The Walt Stanchfield Lectures

By Walt Stanchfield, Don Hahn Copyright 2023
    382 Pages 103 Color & 452 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    382 Pages 103 Color & 452 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    382 Pages 103 Color & 452 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Drawn to Life is a two-volume collection of the legendary lectures of long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. For over 20 years, Walt mentored a new generation of animators at the Walt Disney Studios and influenced such talented artists such as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and Andreas Deja. His writing and drawings have become must-have lessons for fine artists, film professionals, animators, and students looking for inspiration and essential training in drawing and the art of animation.

    Written by Walt Stanchfield (1919–2000), who began work for the Walt Disney Studios in the 1950s. His work can be seen in films such as Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, 101 Dalmatians, and Peter Pan.

    Edited by Disney Legend and Oscar®-nominated producer Don Hahn, whose credits include the classic Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Hunchback of Notre Dame.




    1. Review and New Approach

    2. Artist/Actor

    3. Don’t Be Ordinary

    4. Sketcher

    5. Plus or Minus

    6. Mood Symbols

    7. Breaking the Constraint Barrier

    8. The Agony and the Ecstasy

    9. Making All Parts Work Together to Shape a Gesture

    10. Forces (Energy, Animation, Power, Vim, Vigor, and Vitality)

    11. Pure Performance

    12. Different Concepts

    13. A Time for This and a Time for That

    14. Look to This Day

    15. Entertainment

    16. Follow-Up Department

    17. Entertainment II

    18. Playing to the Balcony


    19. A Sack of Flour

    20. Pantomime (Drawing) Preparation

    21. That Darned Neck

    22. Crayolas?

    23. Hands (Those Darned?)

    24. Plight of a Gesture

    25. Concepts for Drawing

    26. Drawing Appropriate Gestures for Your Characters

    27. Drawings Ain’t Just Drawing

    28. The Importance of Sketching

    29. Getting Emotionally Involved

    30. Gesture Further Pursued

    31. Caricature

    32. Perspective

    33. Have Something to Say and Keep It Simple

    34. Keeping Flexibility in Your Drawing

    35. Seeing and Drawing the Figure in Space

    36. Don’t Let the Facts Get in the Way of a Good Drawing

    37. Hey, Look at Me … Look at Me!

    38. Learn From the Mistakes of Others

    39. Quest and Fulfillment

    40. Getting Adjusted to New Production

    41. More Animal Talk

    42. In Further Praise of Quick Sketching

    43. Impression – Expression = Depression


    44. Drawing a Clear Portrayal of Your Idea

    45. Think Caricature

    46. Going Into That World!

    47. Understanding What You See

    48. An Inspirational Journey

    49. Comic Relief

    50. If It Needs to Lean, Then Lean It

    51. Don’t Tell, But Show!

    52. Mainly Mental

    53. The Shape of a Gesture

    54. Dreams Impossible to Resist

    55. Short Book on Drawing

    56. Encompassing Reality with All Your Senses

    57. Gestures, Moons, and Tangents

    58. Include Your Audience

    59. The Wonders of the Right and Left Hemispheres

    60. Making the Rules of Perspective Come to Life

    61. In Further Praise of the Rules of Perspective

    62. There Is No End to Thinking Overlap

    63. Space is Created

    64. Words and Experience

    65. Look, This Is What I Saw

    66. Breaking Away

    67. The Shape of the Gesture II

    68. A Tribute

    Afterword/Bonus Material



    Don Hahn produced some of the most successful animated films of all time, including Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar®.   Three of his films, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King. are now on the Library of Congress collection as culturally, historically and esthetically significant.  

    Don’s films include Disney’s Maleficent, Frankenweenie, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis, and Emperor’s New Groove. He was a founder and executive producer of the acclaimed Disneynature Films, executive produced the PBS American Masters documentary Tyrus about Disney Legend Tyrus Wong, and has directed the acclaimed documentaries Waking Sleeping Beauty, and Howard featured on Disney+. 

    He has authored many books on animation, guest lectures at Microsoft, Deloitte, Apple, and is on the advisory board of the Walt Disney Family Museum and a former trustee of PBS SoCal. He holds two Academy Award nominations, two Emmy nominations, two Golden Globes for Best Picture, two Honorary Doctorate degrees, and in 2022 he was named a Disney Legend for his extraordinary contributions to The Walt Disney Company.

    For nearly thirty years, the artists that passed through the gates of Disney Animation, and even non-artists like myself, were influenced by the craft, skill, wisdom, writings and sketches of Walt Stanchfield.

    — Roy Disney

    Walt was a kind of Mark Twain for us at Disney. He always taught with humor and skill. You learned to see the world through his eyes. I remember him one day encouraging us to leap into our drawings with boldness and confidence, " Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us so the sooner you get them out the better! " Sitting in Walt’s class was as much a psychology course as it was a drawing class. One couldn’t help walk away with your mind and soul a little more open than when you entered.

    — Glen Keane, Walt Disney Animation Studios

    Walt Stanchfield’s classes and writings were little distillations of the man: quirky, strongly stated in a genial voice, and brimming with a lifetime of sharp observations about story telling and graphic communication. Whether he drew with a ball point pen or painted with a brush dipped in his coffee cup, he got to the essence of things and was eager to share what he learned with his eager disciples, myself among them. He was grizzled and he was great and proof that there was more than one Walt at the Disney Studio that could inspire a legion of artists.

    — John Musker, Walt Disney Animation Studios

    Walt Stanchfield was one of Disney Animation’s national treasures. His classes and notes have inspired countless animation artists, and his approach to drawing of caricature over reality, feeling over rote accuracy, and communication over photographic reproduction gets to the heart of what great animation is all about. Huzzah to Don Hahn for putting it all together for us!

    — Eric Goldberg, Walt Disney Animation Studios

    During the Animation Renaissance of the 1990s, one of the Walt Disney Studio’s best kept secrets was Walt Stanchfield. Once a week after work, this aged but agile figure jumped from drawing board to drawing board, patiently teaching us the principles behind the high baroque style of Walt Disney Animation drawing. Being in a room with Walt made you feel what it must have been like to have been taught by Don Graham. Having one of your life drawings be good enough to be reproduced in one of his little homemade weekly bulletins was akin to getting a Distinguished Service medal! Senior animators vied with trainees for that distinction.

    — Tom Sito, Animator/Filmmaker/Author of Drawing The Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions from Bosko to Bart Simpson

    This exciting collection of master classes by the great teacher Walt Stanchfield is destined to become a classic on the order of Kimon Nicolaides ’ exploration of the drawing process. Stanchfield (1919 – 2000) inspired several generations of Disney animators and those of us outside the studio fortunate enough to happen upon dog-eared copies of his conversational notes, which we passed around like Leonardo’s Codex Leicester. Stanchfield beautifully communicates the essence and joy of expressing ideas through the graphic line and accumulating a visual vocabulary. Drawn to Life is a treasure trove of cogent, valuable information for students, teachers and anyone who loves to draw.

    — John Canemaker, NYU professor and Academy Award ® -winning animation filmmaker

    Walt Stanchfield, in his own unique way, taught so many of us about drawing, caricature, motion, acting, and animation. Most important to me was how Walt made you apply what you had observed in his life drawing class to your animation. Disney Animation is based on real life, and in that regard Walt Stanchfield’s philosophy echoed Walt Disney’s: " We cannot caricature and animate anything convincingly until we study the real thing first. "

    — Andreas Deja, Walt Disney Animation Studios

    Walt Stanchfield’s renewed emphasis on draftsmanship at the Disney Studios transformed the seemingly moribund art of animation. His students were part of a renaissance with The Little Mermaid and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a renaissance that continues with films ranging from The Iron Giant to Lilo and Stitch to Wall-E.

    — Charles Solomon, Animation Historian