more 101 dalmatians

14 01 2012









© disney enterprises, inc

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layout

12 02 2016

historic

the layout in traditional animation is the ‘blueprint’ of a scene, the line and tonal version of a background including camera instructions and field sizes, as well as rough sketched key poses of the animation. in the past the dark and light values were drawn with blue or black soft pencils, in the forties ( BAMBI ) the layout was ‘painted’ with graphite dust and gasoline, highlights erased with eraser-pens. all that was done on vellum what made it easier to trace the lines onto background cardboard. a lot of those layouts from the old days are masterpieces, they look like painted in graphite. in the archives they were not treated as well as most backgrounds, folded several times, a lot of them torn because of the vellum thin quality. following I want to show you a few layouts from some of the older disney animated shorts and feature films. they are treasures of a lost art…

1937 clock cleaners
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1961 101 dalmatians
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1939 the practical pig
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1942 bambi
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1939 donald’s lucky day
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1940 fantasia
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1948 melody time – once upon a wintertime
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1938 mickey’s trailer
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1940 pinocchio
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1938 the moth and the flame
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1959 sleeping beauty
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1947 fun and fancy free – bongo
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1940 fantasia
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

1967 the jungle book
15jungle book 664

1955 lady and the tramp
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

2002 lilo and stitch
17lilo+stitch 722

1999 tarzan
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

© disney enterprises, inc





master-designs

4 07 2015

the following scenes from one of my favorite disney classic 101 DALMATIANS from 1961 show how far the artists in the studio had developed. not only in animation, especially MILT KAHL and MARC DAVIS at the peak of their art, – every single ingredient shows the same level of perfection. starting with a unique storyboard completely finished by one of the best – BILL PEET. the overall very stylized design of the film by KEN ANDERSON and an amazing layout and BG-department. all that combined in a new technology, the XEROX-process, that made it possible to bring 101 animated dogs to the screen, and – eliminated the ink and paint step in production, allowing us to see the original drawings of the animators.
the scenes that I selected are not in order of the story. they might show you the beauty of every single composition and color combination in those scenes. a true masterpiece.

101 dal comp 2
101 dal comp 8
101 dal comp 5
101 dal comp 3
101 Dal comp 1
101 dal comp 4
101 dal comp 6
101 dal comp 7

© disney enterprises, inc





down the drain

24 09 2013

fraidy 1

ANDREAS DEJA just posted his beautiful designs for the main characters on a project that was called FRAIDY CAT, and that was eventually shelved after the story had been systematically destroyed. when the story research group presented the rough 3 page treatment to me and aked me for my opinion, I thought first it was a continuation of 101 DALMATIANS. it was a charming crime story taking place in london of the sixties, a bit of HITCHCOCK’S ‘REAR WINDOW’ with animals. I told them it was the best treatment I read for a very long time and we should start immediately to develop it. what I did, andreas joined later. it was planned for CG, so I designed everything very stylized, a bit still remembering the look of another shelved project only a few months prior to that – WILD LIFE. the original author was apparently not good enough, another one was hired, and more followed – it went more and more down the drain. my interest followed, the charme was gone. well, I did not experience this for the first time – too bad. I still hear myself screaming in meetings, until I finally left. below some of my designs for the environment.

fraidy 2
fraidy 3
fraidy 5
fraidy 6
fraidy 7
fraidy 8
fraidy 9
friday 10
friday 11
fraidy 12

© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 7

1 01 2012

here we go – another year. hopefully a good one, – I doubt it – too many dark clouds on the horizon! anyway, I want to start the BLOG-year with some beautiful artwork, already over fifty years old but for me better than most of the film-design artwork I see today. the disney animated feature film 101 DALMATIANS was released january 25, 1961, the first of the disney films that had a very different style. the animation was xeroxed and showed for the first time most of the original drawings of the animators. the corresponding backgrounds matched the loose lines of the animation perfect, the background details in line were xeroxed as well and the cels placed over the slightly offset gouache colored backgrounds. stylistically a masterpiece. following are a few layout drawings with the recreated backgrounds.








© disney enterprises, inc





masterdrawings 1

18 07 2011

three stylistically very different disney animated feature films and three layout-drawings created by masters. THE BLACK CAULDRON is not necessarily one of my favorite films, but it had some interesting preproduction artwork and some amazing layouts, like the first one below from around 1983, drawn by MIKE HODGSON. the next pan, drawn by the head of layout himself – DON GRIFFITH -, is from 101 DALMATIANS, around 1960. I wrote before about the RONALD SEARLE influenced style that KEN ANDERSEN had developed. and the last stunning pencil-‘painting’ was created by TOM CODRICK for BAMBI, around 1941/42. it is the 2.level of a multiplane set-up with another foreground and a BG-level below.



© disney enterprises, inc





a cat and a bird

11 12 2010

the last project I worked on at disney was FRAIDY CAT. similar to 101 DALMATIONS it was a crime story around a cat and a bird taking place all over london. I was the first artist in visual development who was given the outline and a few pages of the script to read, and they even asked me about my opinion! I loved the idea and the script pages were promising as well. it had a lot of atmosphere, the same what I liked about the 101 DALMATIANS so much. well, as usual the executives in charge ordered re-writes of the script, ‘to improve’ it and it was systematically destroyed. finally, after several years the whole project was shelved, I had already left the company then.

anyway – during visual development I did just for fun some poster-designs to introduce the new concept to the rest of the crew. the story had some HITCHCOCK ingredients, so I chose some of the master’s well known older films and modified their advertising posters ( a lot of them had been designed by SAUL BASS ). my spoof versions were supposed to create interest among the crew, at the same time I worked with a very small team on the designs, the characters and the locations.

© disney enterprises, inc
© universal pictures / saul bass





rowland hilder

10 09 2010

he was described as THE TURNER OF HIS GENERATION, – ROWLAND HILDER, 1905 – 1993. you probably see the similarity between HILDER’S landscapes and the backgrounds in disney’s 101 DALMATIANS, together with RONALD SEARLE his artwork was used for inspiration. HILDER was born in long island in the US, but returned with his parents in 1915 to england, where he lived most of his life in a kentish country village. he illustrated numerous books and was a professor at goldsmith’s college school of art. someone described his style and technique as so recognisable that there are parts of England which, in tribute to his skill, seem to have grown physically like his paintings. he shares with JOHN CONSTABLE the distinction of having seen an entire region of England identified with his name and art. The description ROWLAND HILDER COUNTRY evokes a landscape as distinctive as CONSTABLE’S COUNTRY along the Suffolk Stour. That is as generous a tribute as any man could wish.









© rowland hilder





hell hall

9 09 2010

from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS some more recreated backgrounds, cruella de vil’s castle ‘hell hall’.






© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 5

14 08 2010

some more layouts and the recreated corresponding backgrounds from disney’s BAMBI and 101 DALMATIANS.







© disney enterprises, inc





comparison 3

17 07 2010

here are some more layouts and final backgrounds to compare, from the disney animated feature films – BAMBI ( 1942 ), MELODY TIME – ONCE UPON A WINTERTIME ( 1948 ) and 101 DALMATIANS ( 1961 ). as usual it is very interesting to compare the changing styles as well, in layout and in 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





Nr.444

21 02 2010

as everything else the color is perfect in disney’s 101 DALMATIANS as well. responsible for the overall look and the production design, as well as the art direction of the film was KEN ANDERSON. but he relied on one exceptional artist for the right color choices in every single sequence – WALT PEREGOY. in hundreds of small mostly abstract color sketches he defined the right color combination of the characters and the backgrounds. see below some of his work compared to the final result in the film.




© disney enterprises, inc





suffolk

5 11 2009

more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS

101Dal116
101Dal111 PAN
101Dal101
101Dal103.PAN
6101Dal040pan
101 dal.003PAN

© disney enterprises, inc





the de vil mansion

16 10 2009

some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS

101Dal061pan
101Dal080PAN
101Dal065a
101Dal081PAN

© disney enterprises, inc





countryside

20 09 2009

some more recreated backgrounds and corresponding layouts from disney’s 1961 101 DALMATIANS

1 101Dal044pan

2 101 dalm.pan1

3 101 dalm.pan1mix

4 101Dal0022pan

5 101 dalm.pan2

101Dal033PAN

7 101Dal056

© disney enterprises, inc





1962

6 09 2009

just found that very old german movie program I treasured for so many years, memories of how it all started.
101DAL0001

disney released 101 DALMATIANS feb.1961. I saw it in summer 1962 when I was 13 years old, in a very small provincial movie theatre in southern germany. in those days, in germany, there was only one book about animation available, the art of walt disney. too expensive for my parents. I went nearly every day to the bookstore where it was displayed, got it finally many years later. there was nothing on TV, except some amateurish looking german tv-animation. no video yet, you could buy some short very expensive disney clips on 8mm. what really bothered me though, no other kid in my neighborhood had that same funny interest, animation. I thought I was an outsider because I wanted to see ‘kids’ – stuff in the movies and was drawing all the time.

101 D 1038a

101 D 1037a

anyway, coming back to 101 DALMATIANS, there was a display window outside that movietheatre next to the train station where I took the train ( still steam-engines, beautiful – and stinky ) to the close city, where my school was. every day, for the time they showed the film, I was in front of that window and copied on my schoolpaper the main characters shown on these beautiful black/white publicity photographs. a camera would have been easier, unfortunately nobody ever bought me one. at home I did ‘clean-up’ drawings of those rough sketches. still have’em. horrible. but that’s how it started. when I saw that film, I knew what I wanted to do later, when I was older. I had no idea where to start. the dream was more important.

101 dal 2222

much later I learned more about this film, about the artists who worked on it. and I was lucky to even get to know some of them. here is some of their work – KEN ANDERSON’S and DON GRIFFITH’S architectural sketches and floorplans, as well as WALT PEREGOY’S amazing color keys.

101 lay 1

101 lay 2a

peregoy 101-a

© disney enterprises, inc





regents park

25 08 2009

going back to the sixties – here are a few recreated pan backgrounds from the opening of disney’s 1961 released 101 DALMATIANS.

101 D 1003a

101 D 1009a

101 D 1015a

101 D 1018a

101 D 1019a

© disney enterprises, inc





london

27 06 2009

some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s 101 DALMATIANS

101Dal090

101Dal019PAN

101Dal003

101Dal091

© disney enterprises, inc





style 1

18 06 2009

as I mentioned in one of the last posts, WALT DISNEY did not hide the fact that he hated the look of 101 DALMATIANS. well, I think he should have known from day one in visual development how the film might look like. as head of the studio he would have had the power to change the style of the film very early. but I am sure he knew that this look was the only way to combine the new animation-XEROX-technology, that made it possible to show 101 black-spotted characters, with a more modern non-fairytale environment, and – for a very low budget! a MARY BLAIR-style fifties-london would not have worked. even a LADY AND THE TRAMP-like more realistic BG-style would have been too soft and probably even more expensive. I admire the solution these artist, especially KEN ANDERSEN, came up with.

ken98

ken099

ken097

when I met KEN ANDERSEN in 1991 he talked about the first test screening of a part of the film. walt disney was with his back towards him and said to someone ‘I hate this stuff, KEN did!’ for ken andersen that was like a shock. he worked for another year to finish the film and during that time walt disney never talked to him anymore. ken remembered, walt always wanted to have nearly 3-dimensional animated characters, like in live action films, so the audience would forget they watched animation. that’s why he hated clear contours, especially the ‘inches-thick’ xeroxed outlines blown up on the big screen. ken said, walt disney was not willing to finance more films for over $ 8 million after SLEEPING BEAUTY. that’s why he, ken, had pushed the development of that very complicated and revolutionary technique,that made it possible to produce the DALMATIANS for only $ 3.5 million. he recalled the moment when he saw walt disney returning from the hospital after his lung-surgery. ken saw him shortly on the stretcher, walt did not look very good but he was happy to see ken. so, said ken, finally 2 weeks before his death he did forgive him.

ken91

ken92

ken093

© disney enterprises, inc