amblimation balto documentary 1994 part 1

27 03 2015


the AMBLIMATION studio in london-acton town, jan.1994, shortly after the disaster earthquake in northridge, L.A.

some impressions of the background department, located separate on the 1.floor, because of the better light conditions,

fun after work in the pub next door. most of us were hanging out there after work several times a week.

studio party after successful work, STEVE HICKNER, producer, giving a speech.

more BALTO BG’s, most of them painted in oil. I never understood, why that was never used in the promotion of the film. at least it was the only film next to BAMBI where the backgrounds were nearly entirely painted in oil.

amblimation 1.1994 balto from hans bacher on Vimeo.

© Amblin / Universal



6 responses

28 03 2015

Incredible, loooking forward to part 2!

from hans –
incredible indeed, I got one comment!!! have to open a bottle of champagne…

31 03 2015

If only there were still as many opportunities for 2D animation today! Great video, thanks for sharing.

1 04 2015

I think BALTO ‘s art is superior in many ways to so-called Disney classics of the nineties (Lion King,Beauty & Beast,…) ;The epic BG have a beautiful sense of space ,strong and moving story, and a great musical score by James Horner ( not the slightest song for once!)
one little regret : character design is quite conventional.
this video makes me feel very nostalgic😦

from hans –
thank you, etienne. the character design went through many stages. and – NICOLAS MARLET was involved as well. now, imagine, you have to sell that to mr.spielberg. in the end it is always a compromise.

1 04 2015

Yes ,I can imagine. Anyway,it’s a good movie.
Forgot to mention the dramatic perspectives and framing (dogs point of view)
and the huge snow special effects.

6 04 2015
Alexey Kobelev

Hans, thank you so much for the publication of this video record! BALTO is one of my favorite non-disney animated features and (in my opinion) it is the best of Amblimation’s output. It is a pity that it was overshadowed by TOY STORY. I hope to buy BALTO’s blu-ray someday. Anyway I like your simulation of virtual camera’s moves. Did you make any retakes?🙂
By the way, was it an ordinary practice to celebrate regular week’s results?

from hans –
thank you, alexey. I shot everything straight, no tests or retakes. it was supposed to be my personal ‘diary’. we had a lot of celebrations, not every week though. the pub events were very regular, and a lot of the artists went. it was much more social than anything in L.A., except for some years in the early nineties ‘spaff’s friday nights’.

2 05 2015
Ignacio Ochoa

AMAZING!! The background department broke my head. Terrific works!

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