remembering Richard Williams 1

19 08 2019

all the following pictures are from the 70s and 80s, from my personal photo collection and from the british KEY PROFILES publication in 1972. RICHARD WILLIAMS had received his first academy award for THE CHRISTMAS CAROL and his studio at 13 soho square in london with a staff between 25 and 40 produced hundreds of animated commercials. he had started as well animation on his personal animated feature film, titled NASRUDDIN at that time, later THE COBBLER AND THE THIEF. he had invited the best animators around at that time to his studio to teach and contribute animation to his feature film, like ART BABBIT and KEN HARRIS. even richard williams’ most admired animator, MILT KAHL, visited the studio, as well as GRIM NATWICK. a lot of the animators and ‘students’ in his studio of that time would later have their own very successful studios, like RICHARD PURDUM. the RICHARD WILLIAMS STUDIO became the center for the best animation at that time.

1972 guest lecturer at cal arts

1973 academy award for best animated short subject

art babbitt lectures

1985 animating on a commercial

lectures in 1972

short love me, love me, love me

NY animation film festival 1972 with nick bosustow and raoul servais

work on casino royale titles with writer frank buxton and woody allen

1985 in duesseldorf

work on the return of the pink panther titles

with empress farah pahlavi at the tehran film festival 1975

charge of the light brigade titles

return of the pink panther titles

running through soho square

short the sailor and the devil, all artwork burned in a fire on the top floor of dick’s studio, after the film was finished

the STUDIO – 13 soho square

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


dinosaur lunch

5 09 2018

this is a repost from one of my earliest blogs in 2003 –
during the mid-eighties I had a chance to attend two of the so called ‘dinosaur lunches’. some of the disney old-timers met in a restaurant in toluca lake, as far as I remember it was ‘alphonse’s’. it was a great honour, you could only join if you knew one of the participants. andreas deja arranged that. I never forget that event, because I had a chance to meet one of my biggest idols, KEN ANDERSON. in the photo on the right. on the front-left is COLIN CAMPBELL, one of the top disney layout artists. maybe someone can help me to identify the other attendees. sorry, I forgot over the years…

I got an answer from MARCELO VIGNALI, who I worked with for many years at disney…

…I used to attend the Dinosaur lunch too. As a matter of fact, I think I saw you there on a few occasions along with Andreas Deja. Anyway, a friend of mine got me in and I went for six months or more. Maybe it was closer to a year .. anyway –

The gentleman sitting next to Colin Campbell is Bill Anderson. “The Disney Legend Bill Anderson.” You can IMDB his name to pull up his film credits. If I’m not mistaken, he did Old Yeller and 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. The other gentleman seated next to him is Clem Hall … I’m not exactly sure if he worked on the Disney animated films, but I know he was a professional illustrator before coming to Disney. He and Colin had giant mural like oil paintings on display at EPCOT’s American Adventure. Clem also had his own illustration company during the 60s where he did a lot of the auto ads for GM. I would imagine he came in for EPCOT. And the other gentleman is Ren Wicks … he was 82 in that picture if you can believe it! He looked and acted like a man in his late sixties. He was also an illustrator, and perhaps the best illustrator Disney ever got their hands on. He did work for Colliers and Saturday Evening Post during the golden age of illustration. Around the time the picture was taken, he was not only working, he had just completed an illustration for a postage stamp for the US government and was bragging about it. He was a lot of fun, sharp as a tack, and very friendly. Ren was the comedian of the group.
marcelo vignali

toontown 1987

2 06 2018

see as well here, here, here and here

mother goose

21 05 2018

following some designs created by EYVIND EARLE for the disney special THE TRUTH ABOUT MOTHER GOOSE in 1957. at that time EYVIND EARLE must have been very busy with his production design and backgrounds for SLEEPING BEAUTY, what was released january 1959. it must have been quite challenging even for a genius like EARLE to come up with a style that was supposed to look different from his sleeping beauty look, and that parallel working on both projects. that’s why I am not surprised to see a certain MARY BLAIR and WALT PEREGOY influence in his mother goose work, lots of inspiration from other illustration of that time, like ALICE and MARTIN PROVENSEN, and the simplicity of the tv-commercials of the fifties. it show how much EYVIND EARLE was informed about the artworld and constantly was challenging himself to develop into a new direction.

© disney enterprises

beethoven’s fifth

3 06 2017

a few of the ideas I painted in 1994 for the BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH segment in disney’s FANTASIA 2000

© disney enterprises, inc

tin soldier

27 05 2017

in summer 1994 I started to work at disney, after several years freelancing, with a seven-year contract. my first assignment was the style development and visual research on 5 projects – all at once! HERCULES, TIN SOLDIER and BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH ( both FANTASIA 2000 ), DINOSAUR ( first CG prod.) and FAMULAN. I don’t know what the reason was for that ‘overload’, it was a challenge. I started to work on the single projects one every week, using the weekend as kind of a mental break. but it didn’t really work that way, because the production schedule didn’t follow my schedule. the result though were dozens of color sketches and the complete color-script for HERCULES, until GERALD SCARFE took over in autumn 1994. TIN SOlDIER was first planned as traditional animation, they changed it then into a CG piece, horrible in my opinion. and BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH turned out a bad experience, because I could not work with the director. DINOSAUR was a lot of fun, because it was a new world, they invited specialists, who taught us about the look of dinosaurs and the environment of that time. and then of course FAMULAN, what became MULAN. based on my early designs BARRY COOK, the first director on the project, asked me beginning of december 1994, if I wanted to take the job as production designer.
below you see some of the designs I did for TIN SOLDIER. I had to restaure some of them, the color xerox quality in the nineties was bad.

© disney enterprises, inc

recreated animated treasures 2

24 01 2017

from disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY two more recreated multiplane background pans. note in the second BG the perspective- and subtle color-change



© disney enterprises, inc