wild west

31 03 2009

two more recreated backgrounds from PECOS BILL, the last segment of disney’s 1948 MELODY TIME.



© disney enterprises, inc



31 03 2009

this is my very first sketch for the title of disney’s MULAN. the idea was that an invisible brush draws in black bleeding ink some recognizable icons for china, like typical tree-shapes, curly clouds and ending with the chinese wall. I wanted the designs very simple, thick brushstrokes. and inbetween the curvy path the title lettering was supposed to show, in red. so only 3 colors together, the ivory background with black and red.


© disney enterprises, inc

a duck story 1

28 03 2009

sometime in spring 1986 the ALFRED J. KWAK duck adventure began. HARALD SIEPERMANN, who had been a student in my class at the folkwang school/essen university, had joined our studio of 4 crazy artists, the mad t party, in duesseldorf. he had been working for a while on a comic strip concept based on a story by HERMAN VAN VEEN, a dutch entertainer. we were discussing all different stylistic solutions and I did just for fun a first sample page, testing an inking technique and felt-pen coloring. more pages followed…
these fun-stylistic researches about a dutch duck turned very soon into a comic strip, and in feb 1987 we had our first comic published in holland. harald was the writer ( based on herman van veen’s story ) and character design artist, who
came up with the pencil sketches for the strip. I did the ink version, the layout and BG’s, as well as the overall color. what had started just for fun, turned into a major adventure, when a dutch/finnish producer of tv-series, DENNIS LIVSON, saw the comic and decided to create 52 – 25 min tv-episodes. we went to tokyo, where it all was animated and were getting stressed with all the tons of work that was dumped on the 2 of us. the creation of about 500 characters, the stylistic BG-design, and some storyboard examples to get our ideas across to the far-east studio.
everything was happening at the same time, in 1988/89, where I got involved paralell to all that in the disney production of beauty and the beast. after the duck-tv premiere in europe in 1989 the real work started – all the merchandise that came on the market had to be designed and supervised, over 400 articles.
here are some memories…







© van veen, siepermann, bacher

graphite + oil

27 03 2009

as I pointed out in earlier posts, nearly all the backgrounds of disney’s BAMBI don’t exist anymore. what you can still find in the disney ANIMATION RESEARCH LIBRARY ARL are probably all the original layouts. in the old days they were all done in graphite, very soft B2 – B6, on vellum, different from the way layouts were created during my working time in animation, in blue on normal paper. probably the reason for that was – someone took the name blueprint too literal, or the tracing for the BG-artists was easier, because the black pencil tracing lines were clearly visible on top of the blue. during the bambi days the tracing was done different anyway, – they were painting on glass, and a metal stylus was used for the tracing. you can clearly see the deep carved lines in the original vellum layouts.
following I arranged the layouts next to the recreated BG’s to study the work procedure during that project. interesting are the additional tonal sketches and the corrections made by the art director within the original layout.




© disney enterprises, inc


26 03 2009

WALTER NEUGEBAUER, 1921 – 1992, born in yugoslavia, published his first cartoons at the age of 14. with his brother he started in 1951 his own animation studio, but moved in the late fifties to germany, where he worked for many years as comic strip artist and art director for ROLF KAUKA’S comic magazine FIX UND FOXI. the following sample pages show two characters, TOM + KLEIN BIBERHERZ, NEUGEBAUER developed in the early sixties



© neugebauer + kauka


25 03 2009

there seems to be a lot of interest in ‘historical’ pictures. for me it doesn’t really feel historic, more like yesterday. that might be the reason, why there is still so much buried in my archives, – color slides, sketches, video, ‘ancient’ books and magazines. the more students and friends come for a visit and the more they become speechless, the more I believe them – apparently I am sitting in the middle of a museum. me inclusive…
so – I start digging now and will post some more of that HISTORY, here – to start with, is another WALT STANCHFIELD lecture shot, during WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT in london camden-town


nutcracker 2

25 03 2009

this recreated combined pan from disney’s FANTASIA, NUTCRACKER SUITE, was the most time consuming piece I did so far. there was so much animation happening in the background that I had to actually repaint several areas, of course trying to match the original. I really wanted to see it completed, in my opinion one of the most beautiful scenes in the film.


© disney enterprises, inc

historic 89/90

24 03 2009

these photos are from end 1989 to mid 1990 during the early production of disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. the photos are color slides what explains the pre-digital extremely bad quality…


storyboard images from the very first ‘london’-version drawn by DICK PURDUM, I colored them

my ‘father’ version in london

inbetween working in duesseldorf on the castle design

for a short time the B&B preproduction team worked on the main lot in the historical ink&paint annex next to the animation building. unbelieveable – surrounded by all that history wherever you looked…


…old historic hallways, used since PINOCCHIO…

the directors gary trousdale and kirk wise in their temporary office

brenda chapman in story

some of my designs


storyboard drawings by chris sanders, I added the color

beautiful glen keane story sketch, with my color


I colored tons of story sketches for the HUMAN AGAIN sequence, it didn’t make it into the final film. only later in the re-release of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST a few years ago it was animated and added.

© disney enterprises, inc

happy valley

24 03 2009

the following recreated combined pan is from disney’s 1947 FUN AND FANCY FREE, MICKEY AND THE BEANSTALK or THE HAPPY VALLEY. it is one of my favorite shorts, or better – longer shorts. the layouts and the perspective throughout the film is stunning. the background below is a pan combined with a camera truck back from A to B. look at the changing perspectives, the different vanishing points. it is the best example that a felt perspective is usually better than the accurate constructed one. in this example in the ending wide shot no perspective rules are followed, nothing is right – but it looks and feels right.



© disney enterprises, inc


23 03 2009

CANNON FODDER is part of the 1995 produced short compilation MEMORIES by KATSUHIRO OTOMO. the other 2 shorts are MAGNETIC ROSE and STINK BOMB. ‘cannon fodder’ is my favorite, the style of the characters as well as the environment is very unususal. the surrealistic story reminds me of ORWELL’S 1984. it’s a depressing futuristic military world where the only purpose in life is to feed cannons against the invisible enemy. I highly recommend MEMORIES, as well as some others of otomo’s work, like NEO-TOKYO ( 1987 ) and AKIRA ( 1988 ). the long recreated pan below does not exist as such, the original pieces are moving as different levels, overlapping each other, like a multiplane-camera pan.


© anime studio inc


22 03 2009

some silhouette pose studies I did a while ago. I like them that way without any detail, just showing the pure pose. you might recognize a few I used in my book’s composition chapter…


jiri trnka

21 03 2009

besides all his puppet animation- and traditional animated films JIRI TRNKA illustrated numerous children books. I have at least 25 of his publications and they are all masterpieces. following just a few examples…






21 03 2009

probably everybody knows ASTERIX, the comic strip series created by ALBERT UDERZO and RENE GOSCINNY in 1959. several years earlier, in 1952, the same team started a series less known, JEHAN PISTOLET. I saw the first episode of that series in the early sixties when it was published as PITT PISTOL in KAUKA’S german comic magazine FIX UND FOXI. I loved the story about some amateur-pirates and their gag loaded fight with the real ones. below are a few images from that old publication.



nome alaska

20 03 2009

the following layouts were all done for amblimation’s BALTO, around 1993 in steven spielberg’s animation studio in london acton. BOLHEM BOUCHIBA was the layout artist who created them, the best I have ever met. he did all these masterpieces effortless, and more than one a day. after balto he was not happy with the layout job anymore, started with animation and became in paris, his hometown, in the disney-studio there glen keane’s assistant on TARZAN, where he did some amazing animation with the title character.







© UNIVERSAL pictures, amblin


19 03 2009

this is from around the end of 1989, beginning of 1990, preproduction work on disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. the first image is an early comparative size sheet of all the characters DAAN JIPPES, ANDREAS DEJA and me developed. as you can see, a lot changed later in the film. beauty had in the old version a little sister, and there was the aunt left from the london story-version. the photo shows daan and me in our flower street 1400 building room.



© disney enterprises, inc


18 03 2009

my publisher FOCAL PRESS informed me that my book DREAM WORLDS will be translated into chinese and will be published in china before christmas this year.


lady and the tramp

17 03 2009

these recreated backgrounds from disney’s 1955 LADY AND THE TRAMP were not really necessary to do because the originals still exist in the ARL, disney’s ANIMATION RESEARCH LIBRARY. but I did them anyway because the originals are never published in their entire length and – because I just wanted to see them. the background art ( as well as the animation ) in this film is stunning…








© disney enterprises, inc


16 03 2009

this is a real treasure for me. 1959 – 50 years ago!! – the german weekly magazine STERN started a new comic strip series in the attached STERNCHEN magazine for kids. this very unusual addition to a magazine contained 8 pages, usually a continued story for 8 to 14 year olds, some kid news, a 4 image comic strip series and on the last page the continuing comic series JIMMY DAS GUMMIPFERD ( jimmy the rubber-horse ). maybe I will post a bit of that in the future as well. anyway – I was 10 years old and could not wait for the next issue of the magazine to get the following episodes of that new series – TARO. it was drawn very realistic by a german illustrator FRANZ-WERNER RICHTER-JOHNSEN, 1912 – 1993. you can find richter-johnsen’s bio here, thank you, christoph heuer, for the link. for me it was the ultimate boy-adventure, kind of an INDIANA JONES of that time. have a look…





© STERN, richter-johnson


15 03 2009

WILD LIFE was a disaster that happened at disney feature animation starting early 1999 and finally ended with a big BANG in 2001, when ROY DISNEY stopped the production. you can read a bit more about it in my book DREAM WORLDS, and in CHARLES SOLOMON’S book DISNEY LOST AND FOUND. maybe one day I will write some more about it in my memoirs…
here are some of my sketches –



© disney enterprises, inc

composition 1

14 03 2009


The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.