la mancha

8 05 2009

it must have been around 1998 when the idea of DON QUIXOTE came up in the studio. for a while JOE GRANT had discussed with me all different possible stories, like PAUL GALLICO’S MY FRIEND JENNY or with the different title THE ABANDONED. and DON QUIXOTE was another one of them. but not like the original story, more on the level of the animals. I loved the ideas and we were spending some time on them. apparently management heard about it and gave JOHN WATKISS the assignment of more huge paintings, since he was finished with ‘tarzan’ and ’empire of the sun’. I don’t think there was even a treatment at that time and the whole thing looked improvised. but John came up with some very interesting characters and very impressive paintings again. here are some of his sketches for DON QUIXOTE.






© disney enterprises, inc



7 responses

8 05 2009
Luke Farookhi

I’ve always wanted to know more about this project! Very interesting.

8 05 2009
Bill Robinson

Wow, I had no idea this project even existed! I don’t think it’s featured in “The Disney That Never Was” or the newer book on abandoned Disney projects? These pictures are beautiful…

9 05 2009

The last one looks stunning! I believe it would have been a great, great Disney movie. I still hope there’s still some chance to see “The Snow Queen” animated…

10 05 2009

Those drawings are creepy and very unappealing.

The Snow Queen is going into production at Disney soon.

from hans –
that was in preproduction about 10 years ago and did not go anywhere.
but now it might work in the series – queens and princesses. at least the skin color shouldn’t be an issue anymore…

12 05 2009
Jared Shear

These are great Hans!….an as always, thank you for sharing. This looks like it could have evolved into something really nice, at least from where Watkiss is taking it. Would definitely love to see more posts devoted to him if you have the material.

Did he end up producing paintings from it as well? Or did it just stay in the sketch stage?

from hans –
these were the sketches for the paintings. I think he did about 20 or more paintings on don quixote.

29 05 2009

These drawings are amazing, I’ve never seen them before… If the pump guy is Sancho Panza then he looked the same as he did in the early 2000’s Brizzi’s attempt of “Don Quixote” (again at Disney). This is similar to where Quixote brought Sancho up onto the roof of his house to show him that out there was adventure right there waiting for them… of course Quixote had more clothes on than Watkiss’s drawings.

1 07 2009
Steve Worthington

Hello Hans,
I used to LOVE coming over to the pointy hat building every Wednesday to see what John had been up to before heading out for too many beers!
Never been more impressed with anything in my life that a whole floor of wall space devoted to his Tarzan, then Kingdom the Sun paintings.
Simply incredible.
I put a bunch of his work on Sky Captain up on YouTube.
You’ll love it I’m sure.
Thanks for posting,

from hans –
hi steve, amazing boards! too bad it is only in a ‘you tube’ quality. it should be posted in a special storyboard-art blog. there is enough interest out there

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The Hidden History of Oz

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Ellen Li

Illustration & Design is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Hidden History of Oz

Long before Dorothy came to Oz, Glinda and the Wizard changed everything.

Ellen Li

Illustration & Design is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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