disney historic 1.4 part 4

13 06 2020

it’s very interesting to see the style evolve over the months EARLE was working on it. how he comes up with a special technique, the use of a sponge, to give the bark on the forest trees their typical look. and how he repeats the same sponge look on the stone walls in the castle. somehow he needed to bring the look of the forest and the castle interior together, another element was the long stretched cathedral-like pillars in the castle, and similar stretched trees. the cottage interior was easier, since there was a lot of wood and bark, together with repetitive textures, repeating what he used on the forest floor, grass patterns. and that came from the persian miniatures.

the choices of color are amazing as well. very tasteful and moody combinations, especially in the forest where the colors range from fresh springlike to very somber and subdued. today, painting in photoshop, it is easy in the last steps to adjust the color range. that way you don’t really have a problem to make dozens of backgrounds painted by a dozen of background painters look similar, and in the exact same color range. but, imagine in those days – everything had to be painted in acrylics and gouache, with a touch of airbrush once in a while. not just the absolute same colors in a sequence, all the details and textures painted the same way. looking at the backgrounds in SLEEPING BEAUTY, they nearly all look like painted by one artist.

the LAYOUT artists –

and the BACKGROUND artists including EYVIND EARLE

© walt disney enterprises


pure beauty 6

3 01 2020

© disney enterprises, inc

pure beauty 5

30 09 2019

© walt disney enterprises, inc © john hubley storyboard © studio zagreb

pure beauty 4

29 09 2019

© walt disney enterprises, inc © MGM

pure beauty 3

28 09 2019

© walt disney enterprises, inc
© john hubley storyboard © WB
© columbia

pure beauty 2

27 09 2019

some more recreated pan backgrounds from the old traditional animation days. all backgrounds were painted in watercolor, dozens of layers, or in the later years in gouache. most BAMBI backgrounds were painted in oil, to create the soft look that TYRUS WONG had created. nearly all of these BG’s were painted in several layers on glass, to create a feel of depth. after the shots were finished, the glass was scraped clean and reused. that’s why nearly all of the BAMBI backgrounds are destroyed. more reason to recreate their beauty.

© walt disney enterprises, inc
© MGM © studio zagreb

pure beauty 1

26 09 2019

the beauty of traditional painted backgrounds in traditional animation of the past – a lost art!

most of these pan backgrounds have been recreated, I used DVD’s and BlueRay’s. in many cases the originals are lost.

© walt disney enterprises, inc
© columbia/UPA © john hubley storyboard prod.
© MGM © WB

balto backgrounds 2

19 11 2016

some more BG’s from the AMBLIMATION animated feature film BALTO ( 1994 ), painting technique oil and gouache.












© universal / amblin

balto backgrounds

13 11 2016

digging through my photography files I found these beautiful backgrounds from the AMBLIMATION animated feature film BALTO, except the last one all painted in oil by LUC DESMARCHELIER, one of the master-painters. it’s the year 1993, london. we decided to paint most of the BG’s in oil after painted snow tests in gouache were not looking like snow. only some wooden textured house shots and a few interiors were painted in gouache. it was hard for most of the background painters to get more familiar with this unusual painting technique in animation. after disney’s BAMBI BALTO was the second feature film painted in oil.

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

© amblimation / universal pictures

recreated animated treasures 1

2 10 2016

now that I got most of my favorite animated films in blu-ray I realized with pain I probably have to redo most of my recreated backgrounds. they were all done with screen captures from DVD’s. you can see in the recreated BG from disney’s SLEEPING BEAUTY below the big difference, so much more detail and it nearly looks like the original artwork in front of you. blu-ray even reveals sloppy jobs or painting mistakes once in a while. this forest BG might not exist like that in the disney archives, because it was painted in 3 different layers, a masterpiece! I am sure it was painted by EYVIND EARLE himself.


© disney enterprises, inc


24 11 2012

here are a few more recreated backgrounds from FLEISCHER’S SUPERMAN shorts, some pretty impressive city views. all from 1942, ELECTRIC EARTHQUAKE, MAGNETIC TELESCOPE, SHOWDOWN and BULLETEERS.

© fleischer studios

snow white BG’s 3

15 07 2012

a few more recreated backgrounds from disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS

© 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


15 09 2008

again – disney’s BAMBI. every single background in this film is a masterpiece. I guess there are about 1.200. and sometimes the most impressive are the less spectacular ones, like these rocks in the middle of the meadow. look at the reflective color, the grey-violets in the middle of muted yellow-greens. the painter did not copy a reference photograph, he knew how far he could go with the color combinations. just a bit too much violet or yellow and it would have looked horrible, like a lot of the backgrounds I see today. the biggest problem in those days was the transfer to film and the result after the film was developed. in technicolor you had to paint completely different to achieve the desired colors on film. all paint-colors had to be mixed with a certain amount of grey, but too much of it would have made them look dull on film. even when we did MULAN it took a while to create the range of muted colors that were allowed, and to find out how the result on film would look like. it was a nightmare! imagine, half a century after the creation of BAMBI, with all the so called improvements in technology. and still sometimes we thought the guys back then did a better job! they had to paint in oil, consider the different color range through several layers of glass – unbelieveable!

© disney enterprises, inc


13 09 2008

probably about 2 years ago I posted on my TREASURES-blog the whole reconstructed opening of disney’s BAMBI. but recently I worked on it again and noticed that the camera is trucking in way more than I had realized in my first version. this is a very tricky multiplane set, probably 7 or 8 layers are moving in different speeds to give you the feel of depth. that makes it very difficult to assemble frame grabs, especially when the camera additional to the side-move starts to truck in. I am still working on the whole masterpiece-scene, but for now I wanna show what I have finished so far. I wish I could have seen the glass-layers in original!
again, everything is painted in oil on glass. the in the camera visible field-size of the different layers probably varied between 15 field in the very background and 5 field in the closest foreground. you can imagine how difficult it is to plan a multiplane scene like this in its complexity. to figure out the right sizes of the split levels – because in the very early design stage the whole design is planned in one piece, one size. then the layout artist splits the design in different layers, has to draw them again because of the covered areas. after that the layers are reduced in size to fit the viewing angle of the camera lens. and the speed of every single layer has to be determined. imagine, a smaller field closer to the lens will move faster than a background level further away. that and the out of focus and size difference from layer to layer give you the feel of depth.

© disney enterprises, inc

a mouse

12 09 2008

I am sure you remember these 2 BG’s from the opening of disney’s BAMBI. they were painted in oil but on cardboard. unfortunately they are lost as well. look at the color combinations, just beautiful!
I add the color patches for you to see how little primary colors were used.

© disney enterprises, inc


12 09 2008

as far as I remember this amazing pan from disney’s SNOW WHITE still exists in the disney archives in glendale, the ARL. but – during the 90s it got damaged in the upper right corner by water that was dripping from the ceiling in the basement below the animation building in the ‘old’ original disney studios on buena vista. it is a pretty long pan, about 1m long, painted in watercolor. I don’t know the name of the background artist, but it was a MASTER. the overall color choices, the reflective colors, interpretation of the different elements, the stones and foliage, the handling of light and shadow is superb. unfortunately I never had a chance to see the original layout for this BG, but I can imagine how well done it must have been as well. as you might see, the camera is tracking in during the diagonal pan to the right, it gets closer to the window in the center and then goes back to the bigger fieldsize when reaching the balcony.

© disney enterprises, inc

The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World


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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.