nome alaska

30 09 2009

following are a few xeroxed storyboard drawings DAAN JIPPES did for BALTO in 1993. daan used a black prismacolor pencil and the size of each drawing is about A5. they are not in order and not complete. his boards were of such high quality, all the characters absolutely on model, that they could have been used for a comic strip.





© amblimation/universal



31 08 2009

a colorscript page from the dec.1995 released BALTO, directed by SIMON WELLS, produced by STEVEN SPIELBERG’S AMBLIMATION in london. the storyboard drawings for these color sketches were done by simon wells.

balto col.scr.18

© universal/AMBLIN


2 06 2009

some more from universal/amblimation dec.1995 released BALTO. an outlined bear in one color would have looked too cartoony, too much detail in the fur too expensive to animate, too realistic and it would have flickered. this is what I came up with as a solution, just animated highlights in two different colors. the last one is a color continuity sheet with changing light during the sunset. all felt pen and gouache on top of SIMON WELLS xeroxed storyboard drawings.

balto bearfight05

balto bear119

balto col.continuity18


comparison 1

13 04 2009

deep in some drawers I found accidentally a few xeroxed layouts from universal’s/amblin’s 1995 released BALTO. for some of them I had the corresponding reproduced BG’s. there is enough for another later post, here are the first 6 scenes. I added the artist’s name as far as I remember them…




© universal/AMBLIN

london 1993

9 02 2009

SNOWBALLS was the ‘codename’ for the BALTO production. as I explained in some of the earlier posts, BALTO was produced in STEVEN SPIELBERG’S london AMBLIMATION studio. the studio was located in ACTON. most of the artists came from all over europe, a few from the U.S., but mainly from france. it was a very interesting cultural mixture with all the different languages spoken. amazing talents! it was a joy to work with them. preproduction work on BALTO started around 1992, production in 1993. following is a comparative size-sheet with the main characters and a design for a crew-T-shirt, as far as I remember.

© AMBLIN, universal pictures

nome – alaska

11 01 2009

the problem was the color in BALTO. about 80% of the movie took place in the snow. if you are not careful you end up with a lot of white and some dull blueish colors, the atmosphere becomes cold and the audience starts freezing. that’s what steven spielberg was afraid of – the audience would not be able to develop warm feelings towards the characters.


I had painted my designs like usual in those days with feltpen and a bit of gouache, in a small size, 21 x 11 cm. the final backgrounds were usually painted in gouache. but with the soft blends in the snow areas that seemed to be impossible. so we decided – let’s try to paint it in oil. they had done it in BAMBI, why not try it as well. COLIN STIMPSON, the art director, was a brilliant oil painter, so were a few others in the background team. it took some weeks to train everybody. lots of test paintings were done, some of them little masterpieces.
for the final backgrounds nearly all of the snow scenes were painted in oil, as well as some of the interiors with soft blends. all other less problematic interiors were painted traditionally in gouache. in some of the next posts I will show some of the final backgrounds.


snow 2

28 11 2008

in 1992 I started to work on amblimation’s BALTO. the amblimation studio, steven spielberg’s animation studio, was located in acton, not the nicest area of london. several animated features had been done there before, like FIEVEL GOES WEST and WE’RE BACK. BALTO was spielberg’s next choice and it was the studio’s last film. most of the crew moved late in 1994 to L.A. to become a part of DREAMWORKS. here I have a final modelsheet of balto, based on some test-animation jeff varab, the lead animator on the character, had done. and some color suggestions jeff and I developed even earlier.