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

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

  • Available for pre-order on June 1, 2023. Item will ship after June 22, 2023
ISBN 9781032104386
June 22, 2023 Forthcoming by CRC Press
264 Pages 103 Color & 452 B/W Illustrations

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USD $49.95

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Book Description

Discover the lessons that helped bring about a new golden age of Disney animation!

Drawn to Life is a two volume collection of the legendary lectures from long-time Disney animator Walt Stanchfield. For over twenty years, Walt helped breathe life into the new golden age of animation with these teachings at the Walt Disney Animation Studios and influenced such talented artists as Tim Burton, Brad Bird, Glen Keane, and John Lasseter. These writings represent the quintessential refresher for fine artists and film professionals, and it is a vital tutorial for students who are now poised to be part of another new generation in the art form.

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

Edited by Academy Award®-nominated producer Don Hahn, who has prduced such classic Disney films as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

Table of Contents




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


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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