9 06 2010

good memories from june 1987, amblin, universal lot L.A., – storyboard-work on TOONTOWN-sequence, part of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, together with HARALD SIEPERMANN.

© disney enterprises, inc / amblin entertainment / universal pictures

remembering Richard Williams 2

26 08 2019

the awards in the soho studio

with art babbitt and emery hawkins on RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY

with ken harris

animating on ROGER RABBIT test

DICK’S SIX sunday brunch in hotel brittannia london

with roy naisbitt and ken harris

brainstorming on NASRUDDIN

with vincent price

in front of his house in hampstead

the soho studio staircase with awards

with ursula andress on CASINO ROYALE

with vincent price

with vincent price, the voice of the grand visier in NASRUDDIN

© bilderfabrik
© key profiles, key press london
© richard williams

Richard Williams (March 19, 1933 – August 16, 2019)

18 08 2019

this is very sad news. RICHARD WILLIAMS died friday, age 86.
he was my mentor and good friend. I will never forget the time with him and his many funny stories. in the eighties he had 2 studios, one in london, 13 soho square, and one in los angeles on cahuenga blvd not too far away from the hanna barbera studio. beginning of the eighties I went together with andreas deja several times to london, visited his studio. but he was unfortunately always in L.A.
then in 1985 I recommended him to an advertising agency in duesseldorf to do the animation for a commercial that I had designed. he came immediately to duesseldorf because he remembered my many unsuccessful visits to his london studio. and from then on our friendship and collaboration started. for a while I worked with him in london on commercials, or he came to duesseldorf where he xeroxed my complete disney animation archives. his wife, mo sutton, came with him. then during work on ROGER RABBIT I attended many times sundays the brunch music sessions in hotel britannia, with his dixieland band DICK’S SIX.
he taught me everything about animation, gave me all his animated commercials to study, and – the most precious gift, copies of his personal notes of the ART BABBITT animation lectures, 1000 pages. he introduced me to ART BABBIT and KEN HARRIS, and to STEVEN SPIELBERG, ROBERT WATTS and DON HAHN, what started my new future in feature animation. I am so grateful to all his help and advice, and that I was able to spend time with one of the greatest animators of our time. I will miss you, dick

John Watkiss 1961 – 2017

9 02 2017


I just sadly learned that JOHN WATKISS passed away at age 55 on jan.20 this year. he died from cancer. so young. what a loss!
Dick Williams introduced us, we met at one of those unforgettable brunches at hotel Britannia in London, where Dick and his ‘Dick’s Six’ played Dixieland Jazz. from the beginning on it was always a very intense exchange of opinions and arguments about art, life and idiots, most of the time during long pub hours and very often ending in hefty arguments. I never forget when he invited me during my london time working on roger rabbit around 1987 to his studio near Regents Park. the little room was filled with his paintings, and what paintings! we talked for hours, he used to explain things in precise sketches, I still have them all in my collection. his knowledge about anatomy was scary, he would never look at a model or other reference and criticized artists who did. like Michelangelo and Da Vinci, he told me, he had studied anatomy the only ‘real way’, joining medicine students, dissecting muscles and bones in opened dead bodies.
his humor was scary as well, and hurt a lot of people with his acid sarcasm. after London we worked together again at Disney in L.A. next to my office he painted probably hundreds of stunning jungle scenes and Inca temples. all those masterpieces disappeared after a while, to be framed behind the desk of some executive.
what a chaotic and unimaginable talent he was, the best I ever had a chance to meet.

no parachute?

29 07 2016

from WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT a sketch HARALD SIEPERMANN created, of eddie valiant falling and in discussion with some good friends, for the storyboard from the TOONTOWN sequence. june 1987.

roger rabbit-Eddie falling



© disney enterprise / amblin / universal


24 02 2014

I recently found the ‘finale’ for the TOONTOWN-sequence in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, a part of a storyboard that HARALD SIEPERMANN and I created in the summer of 1987 in the AMBLIN-studio on the UNIVERSAL-lot. it was never used in the film, – since our boards summed up to about 15 min of film the director, BOB ZEMECKIS, cut the sequence down to 45 seconds.


© amblin entertainment / universal pictures / disney enterprises, inc

more duck findings

7 07 2013

alfred 9

ALFRED as famous archaeologist/adventurer for a calendar as part of the duck-merchandise in 1989. below HARALD and I caricatured each other while we were working on ROGER RABBIT at amblin.

Minolta DSC

© van veen / siepermann / bacher


13 05 2011

in june 1987 I flew with HARALD SIEPERMANN to L.A. to do the storyboard for the TOONTOWN-sequence in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. we stayed as far as I remember five weeks, worked in a trailer right behind the AMBLIN ‘WHILE YOU WAIT’ – building on the universal lot, and created probably a thousand or more sketches. the final sequence was about 15 min long, what was with changes cut down to 45 sec in the final film. I remember one of the first assignments we got from DON HAHN, the assoc.producer, was to create a walk of eddie valiant through a part of toontown. we had to come up with all different light situations. harald did the sketch, that I colored from memory below, I painted then in 1987 the whole pan without the character and ILM used the whole set-up to create the light effects and the combination with the actor BOB HOSKINS as a test.

© disney enterprises, inc
© universal pictures / AMBLIN entertainment

PERRY No.366

15 11 2009

it is sunday and this is post 366! I thought the following story should fit.


this is about nibs. probably most of you are younger readers, and I am not sure if you know what I am talking about. nibs are made out of steel, very sharp and pretty small. you dip the sharp end in ink and in case you have a good day, you can do some damn good sketches with them. some of my favourite artists like ronald searle, ralph steadman, sullivant, heinrich kley and a lot more used them. they call the result – a PEN AND INK DRAWING.

nibs 1.06.0

since I started my studies I got kind of hooked on these little things. with the right chinese ink you could create some really interesting drawings, with splatters all over the sheet – what gave it a real expensive ‘art’ look. the good steel nibs were hard to
find. the cheaper brass or tin ones broke very fast, and the drawings did not look good either. at least that’s what I was convinced of.

madeira aa4.0

in 1985 my late wife and I spent our first christmas vacation in a non-snowy area, in MADEIRA, a beautiful portugiese island in the southern atlantic ocean. we had enough of the cold german winter, and madeira was like early summer. anyway, it was a shocking experience as well, to be confronted with so much poverty, hopefully that has changed in the last 24 years.
in funchal, the capital of the island, there was the only major store, like we had seen them in germany in the early fifties. the store was not too big but it sold everything. and in one corner I saw a glass case with some boxes of nibs, they looked like a 100 years old, together with some english ‘parker’ ink. I was hypnotized. finally I asked one of the sales ladies how much the nibs were. she misunderstood and told me after a long search the price for a single nib. I forgot, but it was about 2 or 3 cents. my god, I could not believe my luck. I said to her, I buy all 4 boxes. maybe about 800 nibs. she just stared at me. like we might stare at an alien. after a while she said she could not sell them all. why? well, someone else might need some. I was really surprised. I had not heard something so human in a while. I tried to convince her – but they are in that glass-case for a 100 years and probably you did not sell too many of them, at least you don’t have to worry about future sales. she had to ask her boss. to make it short, I bought them all. took me 2 hours. but it was worth it. and I bought some of the very old ink bottles as well. there were 2 or 3 where the ink was a solid block in the beautiful glass. they did not want to sell those – why? told them, I love the bottles. – but the ink is dry! I don’t care, just want the bottles -it went on and on. had to come back. and I got the bottles as well. still have all that stuff. today – after 24 years. and use it. gave a lot of the nibs away to friends. but I keep most of them as a treasure.

nib shop int.1987.0

now the 2.part of the story continues in london in 1987, when I worked there on ROGER RABBIT. by pure accident I found this tiny shop near covent garden in a side street. it had tons of nibs in its window display, as you can see in the picture. very nicely decorated. nibs hundreds of years old, made from porcellane, nibs in all sizes and materials. the shop owner looked more like a doctor in his white coat, he must have been over 70 years old.

nib shop wind.87.0

and he loved what he had in his shop. boxes and drawers full with nibs and inkbottles. I just stared speechless. after a while we started to talk, and he showed me some very special nibs. most of his clients were some of the most famous drawing artists from all over the world, like ronald searle, ralph steadman and gerald scarfe. of course he showed me ronald searle’s favourite nibs. and I bought 10 of them, hoping that my drawings might improve now. and he explained some of the most precious porcellane pieces and how they were used. it was like being in ali baba’s treasure cave, with the genie showing me around. the nibs I bought were way more expensive than the madeira ones. but they had a magic spell, at least I hoped they had. a few years later I tried to find this magic toy shop again. but it was gone. I wonder what happened to the
genie and his treasures.


P.S. thanks to COLIN STIMPSON and SEAN PHILLIPS there is some more information about the london nib-shop. PHILLIP POOLE was the owner of HIS NIBS in drury lane. phillip died in 1999 at the age of 90. in the late 80s, rising costs had forced phillip to abandon his premises in drury lane, but he ended up renting space at L CORNELISSEN, the art shop, at its new site in Great Russell Street, where he worked for six years.
here is the CORNELISSEN website, where you can order all kinds of art materials.

…more historic photos

17 09 2009

a1989 derek
september 1989 in DEREK GOGOLS house for a weekend visit. the BEAUTY+BEAST london team – GLEN KEANE and his wife, TOM SITO, DEREK GOGOL, JEAN GILMORE and ANDREAS DEJA

b1989 L.A.a

c ambl.luc desmarch.93
1993 london, amblimation studio. LUC DESMARCHELIER working on a ‘monster’-background

d andreas dreams 1979
burbank march 1979. ANDREAS DEJA in front of the disney studios, dreaming his disney dreams, they all came true

e dick 2'87
DICK WILLIAMS still in his soho studio in february 1987 storyboarding on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT

f disney 1998
my room in the burbank disney studio, riverside drive, 1998

g elfriede 1981
ELFRIEDE FISCHINGER in L.A. 1981, showing original artwork of her late husband OSCAR FISCHINGER

h kurtz,angele,frederic87
june 1987, L.A., after the academy presentation of THE MAN WHO PLANTED TREES, with BOB KURTZ, ANGELE WILSON and FREDERIC BACK

h lee mischkin 1981
LEE MISCHKIN 1981 in his L.A. studio

i watkiss 2-97-1
TARZAN production painting of JOHN WATKISS in february 1997

j steven, simon, phil 1992
STEVEN SPIELBERG in his london AMBLIMATION studio in 1992 together with the directors SIMON WELLS and PHIL NIBBELINK

k ring,hurtz,woolery91
annecy animation festival 1991, with BORGE RING, BILL HURTZ, and ANGELE and JERRY WOOLERY

historic 80s

16 09 2009

here are some more historic pictures digitally transferred from color-slides. the RICHARD WILLIAMS ANIMATION studio was for years in LONDON, 13 soho square, until the production of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT started sometime early 1987. following are some memories from the old days…

williams 86 b

williams 86c

williams 86

williams 1981a


williams 1986

during a stay in los angeles in 1981 I visited the HANNA BARBERA STUDIO at cahuenga in studio city and they showed me the whole studio. now there is a gym in that historic building

HB 1981 2

HB 1981 3

HB 1981 6

HB 1981 7

more tomorrow…

creative workspaces 2

14 05 2009

1colin stimpson 1993
1993 at AMBLIMATION in london COLIN STIMPSON at his BG-workdesk painting BG’s for BALTO.

2tom B+B 1989
during the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST preproduction time at the PURDUM studio in london, 1989, TOM SITO and me in the ‘smoking’-corner.

3a.harald 1990

3harald desk 1990
HARALD SIEPERMANN in our studio MAD-T-PARTY in duesseldorf 1990 at his desk surrounded by his cut-out pin-wall.

4uli roger r 1987
1987 in the FORUM in london camdentown, ULI MEYER animating ‘dumbo’ on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

5amblimation studio 1993
the AMBLIMATION studio in london with SIMON WELLS, the director of BALTO sitting in the center.

6daan 1993
DAAN JIPPES in 1993 storyboarding on BALTO at AMBLIMATION.

7dick 2'87

8dick old studio a1

8a.williams studio 80s
RICHARD WILLIAMS at his animation desk early 1987 in his london studio, 13 soho square.

9AJK 1989
myself in 1989 working on the comic strip series ALFRED J.KWAK in the duesseldorf studio.

enjoy – there will be lots more soon…

creative workspaces 1

7 05 2009

TEOH YI CHIE ( online alias – PARKA ), who I met in singapore during a lecture, had this idea to show all different artists workspace. you can see it at his blog. in my never ending archives I found a lot more ‘historic’ workspaces and I wanna show you some.


ANDREAS DEJA, who had started in aug. 1980 at disney, is here animating on THE BLACK CAULDRON in dec. 1980.


in 1981 I met ART BABBITT in the hollywood QUARTETT film studio, where he was animating on THE THIEF for RICHARD WILLIAMS.

BARRIE NELSON, who animated WINDY DAY for JOHN HUBLEY, at his desk in 1981 in his malibu home.

ELFRIEDE FISCHINGER, widow of german abstract filmmaker OSCAR FISCHINGER, in her hollywood hills home in 1981.

myself in summer 1987 at amblin, working on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

and at the same time at amblin in a story-meeting with the director BOB ZEMECKIS and the writers JEFFREY PRICE and PETER SEAMAN.

downshot from the roof of the FORUM in london-camdentown in 1987 with RICHARD WILLIAMS working in his room on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.

RICHARD WILLIAMS playing the trumpet, while I am doing an inbetween test at his desk in his home in hampstead 1986 for ROGER RABBIT.

MEL SHAW in 1989 in the purdum studio in london working on some production designs for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

RUSSELL HALL animating jessica rabbitt in the london FORUM studio in 1988.

in front of one of his layouts for richard williams’ THE THIEF is ROY NESBITT in the williams studio nr.13 soho square london feb. 1987.

1988 ULI MEYER started his first studio in london. here he is animating at his desk.

my room and workdesk in the disney feature animation studio in burbank 1998.


25 03 2009

there seems to be a lot of interest in ‘historical’ pictures. for me it doesn’t really feel historic, more like yesterday. that might be the reason, why there is still so much buried in my archives, – color slides, sketches, video, ‘ancient’ books and magazines. the more students and friends come for a visit and the more they become speechless, the more I believe them – apparently I am sitting in the middle of a museum. me inclusive…
so – I start digging now and will post some more of that HISTORY, here – to start with, is another WALT STANCHFIELD lecture shot, during WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT in london camden-town


london 1989

10 02 2009

in 1989 DISNEY started another ‘london adventure’. probably after the good experience with european artists in london on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT two years earlier, disney choose JILL and DICK PURDUM as the directors for an animated adaptation of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. dick and jill had an animation commercial-studio in the westend. their own work commitments did not allow them to leave london immediately to work on the project in L.A., so they all decided to move some of the disney artists for a few months to london to work on a story-reel of the project. some european artists were added to the team.


there was DON HAHN, the producer. ANDREAS DEJA and GLEN KEANE from animation, TOM SITO story, JEAN GILMORE visual development, DEREK GOGOL from london for production design, MICHAEL DUDOC DE WITT from london as well for storyboard, and me for storyboard, color and design.




we worked all in the purdum studio early fall of 1989. I will always keep these weeks in my memory as one of the best work experiences. to be in such a creative environment with all these high caliber artists and especially with JILL and DICK as the ‘parents’ of the project, and DON HAHN with his unmatched humour. all of us were so committed that we worked 14, 16 hours a day. I remember that I did not get anything of the london sightseeing. we just worked like crazy. and we finished in a very short time a story reel in FULL COLOR, about 50 min. long – the first act. it was not a typical disney movie, more a european version. but we all believed in it.



well, they didn’t in L.A., and probably because they felt so bad to throw all our work in the trash, they decided to send us to the LOIRE-area in france, where BEAUTY AND THE BEAST might have happened in one of those beautiful castles. our trip lasted four days, – maybe twenty castles, lots of driving, even more historic anecdotes from ‘historian’ TOM SITO, and a lot of fun.



good memories from twenty years ago now!

walt stanchfield

18 10 2008

during the production time of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT I met WALT STANCHFIELD for the first time in london. it must have been 1987, don hahn had brought him over from los angeles to conduct drawing classes for the animators, better – ‘gesture drawing classes’. the poses were very short and you were supposed only to draw the most important ‘gesture’ of the pose, no details at all. that was something my german art teachers had never taught me. walts explanations and the classes were pure gold and I learned more than during all my life drawing classes. a bit later in 1989 when I worked on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I joined walt’s classes in L.A, and continued that for many years. he prepared handout notes for every class, with useful instructions and drawing samples from the previous class. apparently walt collected that way about 800 pages of notes. I guess I have most of them, he was so kind and gave me the missing ones when I showed him a thick bound volume. walt died 2000, he was 81 years old. now don hahn is helping walt’s widow dee stanchfield with the publication of all the 800 pages in a book. it should be out later this year or in spring 2009. can’t wait! following are some memories from one class during roger rabbit. the model was more beautiful than walt, but he was the better model!

lucky chance

20 09 2008

that must have been sometime in spring 1986, in duesseldorf, germany. dick williams came over from london for a few days. we were sitting in my office, he was on the phone with someone in london and during that short talk he did this doodle. it was the same afternoon when he told me about a project he had been offered to direct, something about a rabbit and a sexy woman. he was not quite sure if he should do it. well, that changed my whole life. dick took the job and directed the animation in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. I got involved in the storyboard work and then everything else just happened…

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World


WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.