starting in the mid-thirties the disney studio had a CHARACTER MODEL DEPARTMENT. JOE GRANT was in charge of it. some of the artists in that department were – ALBERT HURTER, JAMES BODRERO, MARTIN PROVENSEN, KAY NIELSEN and GUSTAF TENGGREN. most of them were internationally well known illustrators. nielsen and tenggren had illustrated numerous books.
joe grant and his ‘think tank’ developed new story ideas, character designs and possible looks for future films. SNOW WHITE AND THE 7 DWARFS as well as PINOCCHIO are stylewise based on gustaf tenggren’s illustrations. kay nielsen was involved in designs for FANTASIA, but did lots of sketches as well for planned projects – like RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES and THE LITTLE MERMAID.
tenggren and the other artists were influenced themselves by some european painters and illustrators like – GRANDVILLE, HEINRICH KLEY, T.S. SULLIVANT, ARTHUR RACKHAM, EDMUND DULAC, CARL SPITZWEG, JOHN BAUER, LUDWIG RICHTER, GUSTAVE DORE and BEATRIX POTTER.
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