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


25 12 2011

a ‘merry christmas’ to everybody who is celebrating the event. for this special occasion I want to show you a selection of designs for several animated feature films created over the past fifteen years by some of the best in their field. PAUL FELIX and a few of his many masterful pencil sketches for disney’s MULAN, as well as some of his paintings and drawings for the shelved SNOW QUEEN project. further MARCELO VIGNALI with his beautiful visuals for MULAN and CHEN-YI CHENG’S ancestor group for the ‘mushu’s awakening’ sequence in MULAN. finally two more stunning jungle action scenes for TARZAN by JOHN WATKISS, and some of the amazing layout work for BALTO created by one of the best layout artists, now animator – BOLHEM BOUCHIBA. I hope you enjoy this very special gallery of the masters – happy holidays.

© disney enterprises, inc
© universal pictures / amblin entertainment

caricatures 1

31 05 2011

the following caricatures were created by NICOLAS MARLET as far as I remember in 1992, at that time STEPHEN SPIELBERG’S animation studio in london ( acton ) – AMBLIMATION – was still busy with the feature film WE’RE BACK. you could hear many different languages, a lot of young animators from all over the world, but mainly europe, were working there on one huge floor divided into small cubicles. we used to caricature each other, just for fun. and NICOLAS was one of the best artists for sure!

© nicolas marlet


25 05 2011

below my production design for a diagonal pan in BALTO from 1993 ( feltpen and gouache ), followed by the final background painted in oil – could not avoid the reflections in the overlay cels.

© universal pictures / amblin entertainment

balto reference

18 01 2011

here is some of the reference for BALTO. I collected hours of TV-reference about alaska and snow landscapes in general, analyzed them all and printed hundreds of color-videoprints. a selection is below, as well as some of my designs for the aurora borealis in wolf-shape for the ending of the film.

© amblin / universal pictures


3 12 2010

the animation thumbnails and character studies of the two bears MUK and LUK were created for BALTO in 1993 by an incredible talent, NICOLAS MARLET, at that time in his early twenties. he has become one of the most creative character-designers in the animation world, as you can see in his work he did for DREAMWORKS over the last fifteen years.



4 11 2010

one of the numerous longer pan-backgrounds for the AMBLIMATION/UNIVERSAL production WE’RE BACK! A DINOSAUR’S STORY, released 1993. DANIEL CACOUAULT, who did hundreds of BG-keys for the macy’s parade, painted this beautiful watercolor piece.

© amblin/universal pictures


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