during the production of disney’s MULAN I always had an inspiration-folder with me, a collection of illustrations, layouts and backgrounds from all different sources. one major part was from a disney 1938 SILLY SYMPHONY – FARMYARD SYMPHONY. the style of the layout drawings was interesting, the way the wooden posts, the grass and straw, the cottages were translated. thicker, rounded shapes that made them look like woodcut toys and reminded me a bit of the romantic 1900s LUDWIG RICHTER woodcut illustrations. there was no overloaded detail in these layouts, just where it was needed. and the same simplicity was so well copied and even enhanced in the soft watercolor backgrounds. the colors were earthy and subdued, and the light created an early morning mood. just in total a perfect balance with the characters reading clearly on that stage. I am still in awe whenever I look at these masterpieces created over seventy years ago.
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