beauty and the beast documentary 1989 part 1

24 03 2015


thank you, patrick and mario, for your help. I think it works now and the result shows in this post.
I chose a 6 1/2 min short compilation from my 5 hour video documentary during the DISNEY BEAUTY AND THE BEAST storyreel development time in london and the research trip to the loire in france. it happened during august 1989 in the PURDUM animation studio in london. you might recognize in the order of appearance – myself, MEL SHAW, JEAN GILMORE, DEREK GOGOL, TOM SITO, GLEN+LINDA+CLAIRE KEANE. at the party – DON HAHN, ANDREAS DEJA, DICK+JILL PURDUM, MEL SHAW and wife FLORENCE. I included a short clip of the finished story-reel in color.

beauty+beast london 1989 A from hans bacher on Vimeo.

© disney enterprises, inc

beauty and the beast 1989

24 08 2014

around this time of the year, 25 years ago, a small team of artists from california and europe started to work on their version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. you can read more about the story behind the scenes in several of my earlier posts ( here, here, here ) 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, working in the animation studio of JILL and DICK PURDUM, in london. for a short time veterans MEL SHAW and WALT STANCHFIELD joined the team.

B+B 001
glen keane’s board
B+B 006
michael dudok de witt
B+B 37
derek gogol’s castle version with my colr additions
B+B 009
glen keane
B+B 015
B+B b
glen’s board
B+B 010
the team discussing storyboards
B+B 17
mel shaw and his pastel paintings
B+B 019
mel shaw
B+B 36
glen’s early beast version
B+B 10cc
part of glen’s boards
B+B bb
derek’s castle
B+B 9
glen’s board
B+B 014
derek gogol and jean gilmore
B+B 27
opening sequence by dick purdum
B+B 012
tom sito pitching
B+B 037
andreas deja’s character design and my color
B+B 38
glen’s action scenes
B+B 29
glen’s beauty and the beast

© disney enterprises, inc

beauty nr.4

5 06 2010

you might have noticed that I was very passionate about this film, – at least for a while. maybe it was because I saw an incredible visual potential, maybe because I was involved in it from so early on. but then it all stopped!

one morning during early production I saw the final design of the castle (you can see it below captured from the film) and quit. much later I watched the final film on a VHS cassette. the visuals were worse than what I had imagined! I am not even sure I made it all the way to the end. in this final chapter I show some film-stills, you judge yourself.

anyway – that is just me, everybody else loves the film! so – if you wanna get a lot of information about it, then please check out CHARLES SOLOMON’S – TALE AS OLD AS TIME: THE ART AND MAKING OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, available august 31, 2010.

© disney enterprises, inc

beauty nr.3

4 06 2010

in case someone wants to know some of the technical details of these old-traditional paper produced designs for disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, – yes, they were done on paper, 60 gram offset. most of them in the size 21 x 11.5 cm. basic coloring with MAGIC MARKERS, AD-MARKERS and PANTONE MARKERS. the extreme thin paper was spray-glued then onto thicker cardboard and the coloring continued with small additions of gouache, and some airbrushing with PANTONE-fineliners.

© disney enterprises, inc

beauty nr.2

3 06 2010

CHARLES PERRAULT popularized the fairy tale with his collection ‘contes de ma mere l’oye’ ( tales of mother goose ) in 1697, but the first truly similar tale to the one we know today was published in 1740 by MADAME GABRIELLE-SUZANNE BARBOT DE GALLON DE VILLENEUVE as part of a collection of stories ‘la jeune amériquaine, et les contes marins’ ( told by an old woman during a long sea voyage ). Mme. de villeneuve wrote fairy tale romances drawn from earlier literature and folk tales for the entertainment of her salon friends.

we knew that the most picturesque castles were built in france, in the loire valley. it was decided to have a closer look. mid september 1989 the small group of visual development artists, who had worked in london for a few months on a later shelved version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, took a propeller flight from london to tours. from there our reference trip through the LOIRE VALLEY started. CHAMBORD was the first castle we saw, followed by CHEVERNY, CHAUMONT and BEAUREGARD. then BLOIS, CHENONCEAUX, SAUMUR, AZAY-LE-RIDEAUX and VILLANDRY. a lot of castles for 3 1/2 days. and so many details to study, – the architecture, the furniture, the paintings, the colors, light and the whole atmosphere. I had seen a lot of castles in germany. but the loire castles are special and connected to so much history. I took hundreds of photos and did a video-documentary, afterwards I tried to capture all that in my designs. here is a small selection of them, more tomorrow…

© disney enterprises, inc

beauty nr.1

2 06 2010

christmas 1988 I spent with my wife in california, mostly visiting friends in L.A. ANDREAS DEJA, one of the leading animators in the disney studio, had told me about a new project he was working on – BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. in the studio he showed me some of the visual development work that he and MEL SHAW had done. MEL SHAW, who had worked at MGM and with ORSON WELLES before he joined disney to work on FANTASIA, BAMBI and THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, came after years back to the studio to help with his skills and knowledge on RESCUERS and THE FOX AND THE HOUND, where he created numerous beautiful color-charcoal paintings for the visualization of that film and all the following productions. as production designer he was the first artist in the studio to get involved in new projects, a lot of them were never produced. he showed me hundreds of his masterpieces, for THE FOX AND THE HOUND and THE BLACK CAULDRON, as well as for MUSICANA and THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK. here now for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST he created the first visuals of the eighteenth century fairy tale world. ANDREAS DEJA concentrated first on ‘beauty’. his early version was much closer to the women of PETER PAUL RUBENS and TITIAN, a bit more full-figured than the usual heroines, getting much closer to the real look of that period of time. a beautiful character-design! needless to say – I was excited about the new story and a chance to have the paintings of FRAGONARD and WATTEAU come alive.

I remember the story was a lot different then. DON HAHN, the producer, described to me how he saw beauty’s father riding from the black forest ( in southern germany ), where they lived, to a small harbour town in the normandy ( northern france ), where he was supposed to pick up some goods they were arriving with a ship. well, I tried to explain some minor geographical distance problems. in his typical ‘don-hahn-humor’ he calmed me down, that these little details didn’t really matter, I was just too german accurate. I understood what he meant when I finally saw the film. anyway, during my stay we exchanged a lot of story ideas, like the opening of the film and the ‘magic rose’.

back home in germany I started researching, everything about the art of that time, collected reference photos and books, and did hundreds of photographs myself in the snowy forests of southern germany. paralell I sketched medieval villages, castles, forest scenes. just for fun, for myself, officially I had nothing to do with the disney project. based on the sketches I created several small color designs in my usual technique at that time, feltpen and gouache. I kept them pretty small, 18 x 12 cm, that way I could finish about three a day. the end of february 1989 I sent color xeroxes to andreas in the disney studio. he was excited to see them and showed them to DON HAHN. he called me the next day and asked me to book a flight to L.A. immediately. that’s how it all started…

these were some of the first color designs.

© disney enterprises, inc

tale as old as time

23 02 2010

with the following ‘historic’ photographs from 1989 I want to make reference to the post about disney’s WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY and the release of an upcoming book in august this year. the photos were done in london and L.A. during the preproduction of disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. there is my workdesk with colored storyboard pictures, the 9-picture composition was drawn by DICK PURDUM, who was supposed to direct the film together with his wife JILL. on some of the others is MEL SHAW at work on his beautiful charcoal illustrations. the book I mentioned is TALE AS OLD AS TIME: THE ART AND MAKING OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST written by CHARLES SOLOMON. there will be a lot more pictures in the book from my collection and other sources.

© disney enterprises, inc