style 9.1

6 07 2010

EYVIND EARLE explained how he found the style for disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY, a combination of medieval gothic art with persian miniatures mixed with his own vision. it is very interesting to look at the different animated films of the past and analyze their style development. their designers were of course influenced by the different arts of their time, some had their own style and used it for the look of the films they worked on. but a few of these artists wanted to create a style that fit the story and the culture where it took place. naturally they used elements of existing arts from these cultures and mixed them with interesting other ingredients. it shows that most of them had a good knowledge of art in general, a lot did some extensive research.

the disney studio had for that reason a huge library that still exists, the WDI research library. I spent hours there and found copies of all existing art- and design-magazines from their first edition on from all over the world. tall shelves filled with the swiss GRAPHIS magazines, the english PUNCH, the german NOVUM, all NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC editions, the american old LIFE magazine, specialized magazines about painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, fashion. then in a different room the vast collection of reference books, thousands! there was even a ‘cut-out’-archives, personal collections of artists who gave them to the library. it was like being in heaven! you could spend hours. and going through the books you could find the disney-designers names with the dates when they borrowed the books from the library. when I visited the library I was usually alone, not too many artists used the chance and the offer of all these treasures.

it is easier today to get some of that information through the internet, but – you have to know what you are looking for. to give you some ideas I chose as a start one theme – TREES – and followed their very different styling through the arts. in the compilation below I mixed very different films from different studios and from different years to show the incredible variety of styles. in the next posts I will analyze where some of these looks were borrowed from.


© disney enterprises, inc • richard williams animation • miyazaki • UPA





rose of baghdad

30 06 2010

LA ROSA DI BAGDAD ( THE ROSE OF BAGHDAD ) is a 1949 released italian animated feature film, directed by ANTON GINO DOMENEGHINI, music by RICCARDO PICK MANGIALLI. in the sixties the film was dubbed into english and released as THE SINGING PRINCESS ( still available at amazon ). inspired by the 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS stories there are several interesting movies, like in animation – THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED 1926 lotte reiniger, 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS 1959 UPA, THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER 1995 richard williams and ALADDIN 1992 disney, as well as numerous live action films like THE THIEF OF BAGDAD 1924 douglas fairbanks, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD 1940 michael powell, ARABIAN NIGHTS 1942 maria montez, THE GOLDEN BLADE 1952 rock hudson, THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD 1958 ray harryhausen and LES 1001 NUITS 1990 catherine zeta-jones. below is my recreated opening pan from LA ROSA DI BAGDAD.

© fiorella domeneghini





1993/94

11 04 2010

and the last captured moments from my documentary video during the production of BALTO in the london AMBLIMATION studio.


© AMBLIN / UNIVERSAL pictures





1993

10 04 2010

BALTO went into full production in 1993 in STEVEN SPIELBERG’S london animation studio. and there was a change in leadership, SIMON WELLS became the sole director of the film. below is the second part of the captured moments from my video documentary during that time.




© AMBLIN / UNIVERSAL pictures





trains

10 03 2010

on a sunday afternoon in august 1994 I got a call from ANDREAS DEJA, if I wanted to join him for a visit to OLLIE JOHNSTON’S house and a ride on his train. you bet I wanted. I had arrived in L.A. in june and started to work in the disney-studio. andreas picked me up and we drove up in the hills to la canada / flintridge, where ollie and his wife marie lived. several other guests were invited – STEVE FIOTT, who was the editor of the STORYBOARD-magazine, LEON and JACK JANZEN, the editors of the E-TICKET-magazine and ANDY GASKILL, art director of THE LION KING, who lived not too far away. later FRANCK THOMAS, ollie’s good friend and neighbour, joined us as well. ollie’s miniature railway was built through his two acre backyard and around the house. it was slightly smaller than WALT DISNEY’S old CAROLWOOD PACIFIC RAILWAY. ollie and WARD KIMBALL had started walt disney’s interest in miniature trains and had helped him to design and build his miniature railway. ollie had several cars behind the engine, where we could sit, he blew the whistle and was our engineer running the train. I videotaped the whole event and treasure these memories. the pictures were taken by steve fiott and can be seen in storyboard magazine vol.5/nr.5 sept./oct.1994.


from left to right – OLLIE JOHNSTON, ANDY GASKILL, STEVE FIOTT, me, ANDREAS DEJA

pictures © steve fiott





multiplane camera 2

12 02 2010

in my book – DREAM WORLDS, PRODUCTION DESIGN FOR ANIMATION – the last chapter is about the DISNEY MULTIPLANE CAMERA. I asked the disney archives ARL to help me with some official photographs and learned there were only four left. since that time three years ago I have searched everywhere on the internet, in blogs and old magazine articles for more pictures from the old days, when the disney invented camera was in use for classics like BAMBI, PETER PAN or SLEEPING BEAUTY. following are the pictures I found so far…




© disney enterprises, inc





historic 1958

22 12 2009

a while ago I found this picture in an older publication. it was taken 1958 during the film-festival in CANNES. an amazing document, most of the european ‘all time’ animation legends are there. I identified some of them but a lot are still missing. maybe someone can help me to identify who is left…

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA








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