symphony nr.6

29 04 2010

this extremely long recreated pan is from disney’s 1940 FANTASIA, the PASTORAL SYMPHONY. for my taste it is a bit too colorful. but I am european, and especially northern-europeans prefer more subdued colors. more interesting is the stylized world that was created for the greek mythology inspired gods and fantasy creatures.

© disney enterprises, inc


1956 game

28 04 2010

games were quite different in the ‘ancient’ days! here is one that was published around christmas 1956 in the german tv-magazine HOER ZU. you played it with dice and the theme was around german fairy tales in connection with the magazine’s theme character MECKI. WILHELM PETERSEN was the illustrator, the same artist who illustrated 12 MECKI children books from the early fifties on and who took over the magazine’s comic strip series in 1958 from REINHOLD ESCHER. in a later post I will have a lot more about the MECKI character.

© diehl film / hoer zu

comparison 2

27 04 2010

in case of disney’s BAMBI preproduction work started in 1936, the film was finally released august 1942. that is six years. I worked on MULAN for five years, so I know what it means to be connected to just one film for such a long time. you prepare thousands of sketches, the style has to be developed, what means, the look constantly changes in the first years. the story changes as well, sometimes so drastically that you don’t even recognize the very first ideas. I went through that in WILD LIFE and FRAIDY CAT. it happened in BAMBI’S case as well. but for different reasons. it was a time when the disney studio prepared for the very first animated feature film – SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. nobody knew if it would work, if the audience would accept a hand-drawn film of that length. if the story and the characters were believable enough, if the artists were good enough to do it. training started in the studio, the artists went to school. you can see how much they improved when you look at the shorts they produced during that time. masterpieces! but BAMBI was a challenge. a world had to be created that was believable. a world that could not be cartoony, in big parts the film was too serious for that. but they realized very early that it could not be too realistic as well. it is very interesting when you look at the first designs of the forest-world, especially GUSTAF TENGGREN’S designs. they look beautiful, like his PINOCCHIO-illustrations. in PINOCCHIO it was ok to draw all the details of a european little village, in BAMBI it didn’t work. the thousands of leaves made the background look so busy that the characters got lost. well, as you might know, TYRUS WONG changed that with the chinese-style influenced designs he came up with. beautiful soft watercolor and pastel sketches, where you could feel the forest without every single leaf painted. in the following pages you can compare the early value sketches and layouts with the final look in the film. sometimes the little soft pencil thumbnails look even more convincing than the elaborate oil-painted background.

© disney enterprises, inc

twilight bark

26 04 2010

the two recreated pan backgrounds are from disney’s 1961 101 DALMATIANS, one of my most favorite films.

© disney enterprises, inc

wilhelm m.busch 8

24 04 2010

in 1962 the german ROWOHLT verlag in hamburg published the german translation of HARPER LEE’STO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, WER DIE NACHTIGALL STOERT. the stunning illustrations in the 1963 edition of the DEUTSCHE BUCHGEMEINSCHAFT VERLAG were done by WILHELM M.BUSCH. here is a selection.

© wilhelm m.busch / deutsche buchgemeinschaft verlag

oldies 1

23 04 2010

these captured scenes are from animated commercials on the air in europe during the seventies and eighties. most of them were animated very, very well and the production value was high. you can probably recognize HEINZ EDELMANN’S designs in the ‘fanta’ commercial. the singing tomato was produced by ERIC GOLDBERG’S PIZAZZ-studio in london, the ‘corall’ colored pencil technique came from TVC london and the baby with the milk bottle was animated by the PURDUM-studio. I was involved in the car- and the tomato-designs and storyboards.

chinese art 6

22 04 2010

the stunning artwork below is from the famous chinese landscape painter ZHANG BU. he was born in 1934, started as a newspaper editor and became over the years one of the best known painters of this genre.

© zhang bu


21 04 2010

january 19, 1949, disney released a combined live action/animation feature film – SO DEAR TO MY HEART. probably only a few of you have ever seen this film, I am not even sure if it is available everywhere on DVD. anyway, it is not a major masterpiece, the story is pretty boring, but – it has some beautiful animation. like in SONG OF THE SOUTH the animation sequences come in 3 parts, developing out of a scrap-book that comes to life. following is a recreated combined pan background from the first animation sequence.

© disney enterprises, inc

ollie’s train

20 04 2010

earlier, on march 3, I posted in TRAINS some photographs taken in 1994 at OLLIE JOHNSTON’S house. here now are some captured moments from the video I did during the same afternoon –

ugly duckling 3

19 04 2010

the last of the recreated backgrounds from the disney SILLY SYMPHONY – THE UGLY DUCKLING.

© disney enterprises, inc

moments 9

18 04 2010

the captured images are from commercials and music clips of the eighties. I selected them for interesting composition, motif and color.

alex nino 6

16 04 2010

accidentally I found a lot more copies of inspirational designs ALEX NINO did during the preproduction time of disney’s MULAN around 1995/1996. so, here is the first part.

© disney enterprises, inc / alex nino

eugene galien-laloue 6

15 04 2010

some more paintings from the ‘BELLE EPOQUE’, 1890 – 1900, from two of the PARISIAN PAINTERSEDOUARD-LEON CORTES and EUGENE GALIEN-LALOUE.

© edouard-leon cortes / eugene galien-laloue

wilhelm m.busch 7

13 04 2010

in 1961 WILHELM M.BUSCH illustrated the JACQUES CAZOTTE novel – BIONDETTA, DER VERLIEBTE TEUFEL (le diable amoureux/the devil in love). the book was published by ERICH HOFFMANN VERLAG HEIDENHEIM. below is a selection of the black/white fountain pen drawings.

© wilhelm m.busch/erich hoffmann verlag


11 04 2010

and the last captured moments from my documentary video during the production of BALTO in the london AMBLIMATION studio.



10 04 2010

BALTO went into full production in 1993 in STEVEN SPIELBERG’S london animation studio. and there was a change in leadership, SIMON WELLS became the sole director of the film. below is the second part of the captured moments from my video documentary during that time.



9 04 2010

recently I looked through my historic video archives and found some 16 hours of documentary stuff i had shot on hi-8 video during the years 1992 to 1994 in london, duesseldorf and finland. in a way this is my ‘WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY’ version of DREAMWORKS, what was at that time AMBLIMATION, located in london, acton town. I was allowed to shoot my personal video throughout the whole studio during the production of BALTO, in meetings, fun-events and reference trips ( to finland above the arctic circle, to study huskies and sled racing in deep snow ). nobody has ever seen this footage, so this is really a historic event. there hasn’t been any documentation about these few years of steven spielberg’s animated feature film production in london. for me it was a very good experience to work with incredible artists from all over europe. most of them moved in 1995 to L.A. and became the core group of DREAMWORKS feature animation. the pictures shown here are frame-grabs from the transferred hi-8 footage to digital then to dvd.


ugly duckling 2

7 04 2010

four more recreated backgrounds from disney’s UGLY DUCKLING

© disney enterprises, inc


6 04 2010

in 2006 I collected about 7.500 of the brushes I had designed over a period of eight years, put them into some organized order, so other artists could work with them – and designed a book of about 200 pages. in tokyo I found a publisher and the book came on the market the end of 2006 in japan. besides instructions and worksamples it contained a DVD with all 7.500 brushes for PHOTOSHOP / MAC or PC. the text was in japanese and english language, but somehow there were distribution problems on the markets outside of japan. anyway, I did not stop to develop new bruhes and by now there should be about 15.000 of them. below are some pages of the book and a few sample brushes of the new collection.

in case someone is interested – here are the book details
BORN DIGITAL INC. PUBL., tokyo, japan

© bilderfabrik


5 04 2010

the layouts and final backgrounds below are from disney’s PINOCCHIO.

© disney enterprises, inc

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.