31 01 2009

before the short PECOS BILL in disney’s 1948 MELODY TIME starts, there is some inbetween panning over the nightly desert with a country music piece ‘blue shadows’. I am not a big fan of that kind of music, but the backgrounds, all in several multiplane layers, are nice. unfortunately for the DVD filmtransfer they used a very experienced specialist who screwed everything up. the whole part is too dark and again very talented color-corrected. the multi-layered pan itself was pretty complicated to recreate, in some areas I even had to re-paint some bits and pieces, but the wrong colors and the dark transfer made it worse. it really was some w o r k ! I know, it doesn’t show.


© disney enterprises, inc



30 01 2009

HUGO PRATT, 1927 – 1995, is one of my favorite italian comic strip artists next to SERGIO TOPPI who will be in one of the next chapters. PRATT lived a pretty adventurous life all over europe, afrika and southern america, as you can read in his biography. a lot of his experiences and adventures went into his comic strips, CORTO MALTESE probably best known. I love his rough brush strokes and very reduced drawing style.


© hugo pratt


27 01 2009


© bilderfabrik

spring again

27 01 2009

another beautiful pan form disney’s BAMBI. it is a pan from the left to the right. as you can see in the first image, the basic direction lines in the BG-elements start to bend slowly into the moving direction. if the trees or the grass were straight or bent in the opposite direction, a ‘staggering’ effect could occur during the pan. the faster the pan, the more the angle of the elements in the BG has to bend towards a horizontal curved/straight line. whenever you look at a pan BG now you should be aware of these rules, the most beautiful forest paintings were not done accidentally, every little detail is there for a reason.



© disney enterprises, inc


26 01 2009

LUDWIG RICHTER, 1803 – 1884, is probably one of the most popular and charming german artists of the 19. century. he created thousands of drawings to be published by transfering them into woodcuts. DRESDEN, where richter lived, was next to berlin and munic the center of german woodcut-art. mostly english artists, like THOMAS BEWICK and JOHN ALLANSON, living and working there in dresden, where leading in that diffficult craft. early richter delivered his drawings to a publisher who had them cut into wood by the specialized artists. later richter did his drawings directly on the wood, to make it easier for the woodcut artist. that way numerous books could be published, with fairy tales, folk songs, anthologies and reading books. richter was also a very talented painter, I showed in an earlier post some of his work.
his drawings/woodcuts are so rich in detail of the world of his time, the typical southern- and east-german landscape, the rural architecture and plants, that it was always for me some good inspiration for film-designs of stories from that time.



© ludwig richter

more puppets

24 01 2009

I found some production photos from JIRI TRNKA’S animation feature film production A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and some better quality production stills. there is an additional production photo of BAJAJA.







23 01 2009

years ago richard williams gave me a collection of animated commercials from the sixties, all animated by ART BABBITT for JOHN HUBLEY. I love the animation, the character design and different styles. here are some scenes…



22 01 2009


1959 JIRI TRNKA created his ultimate masterpiece, after the shakespeare comedy – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. the puppet animation feature film is in cinemascope and 88 min long. as you can judge yourself in the following images it is the top of his life work, he visualized the pretty complicated story and designed all the characters. the animation as well as the design of a greek inspired phantasy world is beautiful, the wide format used well. in a later post I have some more images…




© KRATKY film praha + jiri trnka


21 01 2009

something about me commenting your comments – I will just add my comment below your comment in the same box. I think it is confusing to go with this blog system and start a new comment entry.
hope that will work…


21 01 2009

a while ago I posted some childrenbook illustrations done by JIRI TRNKA, 1912 – 1969, called by some the poet with the pencil. he is probably better known as a puppet maker and puppet animation filmmaker. in 1950 he produced in his PRAGUE studio PRINCE BAJAJA, a beautiful fairy tale based on a story by BOZENA NEMCOVA. one of the animators who helped trnka to animate the numerous characters in the 81 min film was BRETISLAV POJAR, who later became himself a famous puppet animation filmmaker himself. following I am posting some screen captures of PRINCE BAJAJA. I tried to correct the colors, the video transfer is based on a completely red print. there will be more about trnka and his films in the future.



© LUTKOVI film praha + jiri trnka

more snow

19 01 2009

here are the last three recreated backgrounds/scenes from disney’s PETER AND THE WOLF…




© disney enterprises, inc

a wolf

18 01 2009

SERGEI PROKOFIEV wrote the musical symphony for children PETER AND THE WOLF in 1936. he had left russia after the revolution and toured successfully europe and the US with concerts. in 1936 he returned to his home country, what was not one of his better decisions as it showed some years later. during a visit to the DISNEY studio in 1938 the russian composer offered WALT DISNEY this composition with the words – I have composed this with the hope that I would get to see you and that you would make a cartoon with my music. well, PETER AND THE WOLF was a part of MAKE MINE MUSIC, released august 1946. the characters are very well designed, the animation is flawless – WARD KIMBALL, ERIC LARSON, OLLIE JOHNSTON and JOHN LOUNSBERY are the animators, the bg’s were created by CLAUDE COATS following MARY BLAIR’S styling, beautiful effects animation by GEORGE ROWLEY.
all in all it is a little masterpiece, mainly because of the perfect match of story, music and visuals. below I recreated some of the bg’s, a few of them are fortunately in original in the DISNEY ARCHIVES ARL.




© disney enterprises, inc


17 01 2009


more inspired

16 01 2009

I want to introduce to you four of my favorite illustrators, the list is long, I just start here. one of the reasons is because I know or knew them, and because they are an inspiration for me for so many years.
RENE HAUSMAN, born 1936 in verviers, belgium, started to work early for the comic strip magazine SPIROU. in the 60s and 70s he was well known for his animal fables. today he is illustrating stories about fairies and other phantasy- creatures, like LAIYNA in 1985.


WOLF ERLBRUCH, born 1948 in wuppertal, germany, is one of the most renowned german children book illustrators, with more than 25 books published so far, having received numerous prestigious awards. we studied together at the FOLKWANG ART-SCHOOL, today wolf lives in wuppertal, where he is a professor of illustration at the university. his last book is DUCK, DEATH AND THE TULIP.


CARLOS NINE lives in buenos aires, argentine. born 1944, he works as illustrator, comics author, painter, sculpturer and animation film author. his numerous books were published worldwide and he received several international prestigious awards in N.Y., rome and angouleme. most well known are FANTAGAS and LE CANARD QUI AIMAIT LES POULES.


BILL PEET, 1915 – 2002, probably doesn’t need an introduction. during his 27 years in animation he became disney’s greatest storyman, amongst other films 101 DALMATIANS was boarded completely by himself. but he has as well written and illustrated more than 30 books for children. my favorites are THE CABOOSE WHO GOT LOOSE and JENNIFER AND JOSEPHINE.


© hausman, erlbruch, nine, peet

pecos bill

15 01 2009

PECOS BILL is part of disney’s MELODY TIME as well. I prefer to watch my old vhs version because for the release in the mid-nineties the film has been drastically changed. it must have been a nightmare to remove the cigarette from every shot with pecos bill. and he was animated with it through every scene in the short. I stopped smoking many years ago and I think this action doesn’t hold back any kid from starting that bad habit. besides that the color corrected DVD version is a disaster. why do all these color-‘technicians’ constantly have to add their own color ideas. night is always blue! and in case a sequence is not colorful enough, that can be changed! anyway, I corrected the two recreated pans as well. the way they were planned.



© disney enterprises, inc

more bumble boogie

14 01 2009




there are so many details I only could see after the complete backgrounds were recreated. there is so much faszinating animation happening, the camera moves so fast and everything is so perfect synchronized to the music that you are just stunned watching this short. it is another jewel.

© disney enterprises, inc

a bee

13 01 2009

MELODY TIME was the last one of the musical short compilations and in my opinion it is the best. released aug. 1942 it presented ONCE UPON A WINTERTIME, JOHNNY APPLESEED and PECOS BILL together with TREES, BLAME IT ON THE SAMBA, LITTLE TOOT and – BUMBLE BOOGIE, a jazz interpretation of THE FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLE BEE with FREDDIE MARTIN and his orchestra. the background styling was done by MARY BLAIR. following are two recreated pan-BG’s from that short.



© disney enterprises, inc

a duck

12 01 2009

amazing, it’s already 20 years ago! 1989 a cartoon television series started in the netherlands, later all over europe, THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF THE DUCK ALFRED J.KWAK . it was based on a dutch theatre show by HERMAN VAN VEEN and was produced by telecable benelux. inbetween there had been a comic strip series developed by HARALD SIEPERMANN and myself. we were of course involved in the production of the animated version and the following merchandise circus. apparently the series has been broadcast in many countries and has been dubbed and subtitled in dutch, french, japanese, greek, english, italian, spanish, hebrew, arabic, hungarian, finnish, serbian, polish, german, swedish, danish, icelandic, chinese, and norwegian. our team, herman, harald and me got awarded in 1991 with the GERMAN GOLDEN CAMERA for the creation of the series. it’s all history…


© van veen, siepermann, bacher

nome – alaska

11 01 2009

the problem was the color in BALTO. about 80% of the movie took place in the snow. if you are not careful you end up with a lot of white and some dull blueish colors, the atmosphere becomes cold and the audience starts freezing. that’s what steven spielberg was afraid of – the audience would not be able to develop warm feelings towards the characters.


I had painted my designs like usual in those days with feltpen and a bit of gouache, in a small size, 21 x 11 cm. the final backgrounds were usually painted in gouache. but with the soft blends in the snow areas that seemed to be impossible. so we decided – let’s try to paint it in oil. they had done it in BAMBI, why not try it as well. COLIN STIMPSON, the art director, was a brilliant oil painter, so were a few others in the background team. it took some weeks to train everybody. lots of test paintings were done, some of them little masterpieces.
for the final backgrounds nearly all of the snow scenes were painted in oil, as well as some of the interiors with soft blends. all other less problematic interiors were painted traditionally in gouache. in some of the next posts I will show some of the final backgrounds.



9 01 2009

KAY NIELSEN, 1886 – 1957, is next to ARTHUR RACKHAM and EDMUND DULAC one of the greatest childrenbook illustrators of the late nineteenth century. he was born in denmark and moved later to california, where he worked from 1938 – 1941 in the disney studio. in FANTASIA he designed most of the NIGHT ON BALD MOUNTAIN and AVE MARIA sequence. below I recreated 3 backgrounds from another sequence in fantasia, BEETHOVEN’S PASTORAL SYMPHONY. as you can see in the following three illustrations by nielsen ( created much earlier for a children book ), he even influenced the look of that part of the film.





© disney enterprises, inc
© nielsen

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World is the best place for your personal blog or business site.