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