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


25 04 2009





© disney enterprises, inc
© amblin/universal


11 04 2009

as I mentioned in some earlier post, the idea at disney was to have the BEAUTY AND THE BEAST story take place in the french LOIRE-area. there were some earlier locations like the black forest in southern germany and the neighbouring french alsace, but – maybe because of the french author CHARLES PERRAULT – everybody seemed to be happy with the loire area with its beautiful castles. that was the reason why a small team spent a few days there to get the right inspiration.
following is my BEAUTY AND THE BEAST castle version. it is based on my favorite castles in the loire area – CHAMBORD, USSE, CHENONCEAU, CHALLAINA and BRISSAC QUINCE. you might notice a big difference to the german castles, especially the often used NEUSCHWANSTEIN.



© disney enterprises, inc

historic 89/90

24 03 2009

these photos are from end 1989 to mid 1990 during the early production of disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. the photos are color slides what explains the pre-digital extremely bad quality…


storyboard images from the very first ‘london’-version drawn by DICK PURDUM, I colored them

my ‘father’ version in london

inbetween working in duesseldorf on the castle design

for a short time the B&B preproduction team worked on the main lot in the historical ink&paint annex next to the animation building. unbelieveable – surrounded by all that history wherever you looked…


…old historic hallways, used since PINOCCHIO…

the directors gary trousdale and kirk wise in their temporary office

brenda chapman in story

some of my designs


storyboard drawings by chris sanders, I added the color

beautiful glen keane story sketch, with my color


I colored tons of story sketches for the HUMAN AGAIN sequence, it didn’t make it into the final film. only later in the re-release of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST a few years ago it was animated and added.

© disney enterprises, inc


19 03 2009

this is from around the end of 1989, beginning of 1990, preproduction work on disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. the first image is an early comparative size sheet of all the characters DAAN JIPPES, ANDREAS DEJA and me developed. as you can see, a lot changed later in the film. beauty had in the old version a little sister, and there was the aunt left from the london story-version. the photo shows daan and me in our flower street 1400 building room.



© disney enterprises, inc

historic CG

25 10 2008

in the upper groupshot you see the very small visual development team that worked in 1989 on disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. the picture below shows jean gilmore, mel shaw, daan jippes and don hahn discussing some designs during the same time.
CG in those ‘ancient’ days was in the very beginning. disney had done some scenes in OLIVER AND COMPANY and THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE in CG, tina price and randy cartright had worked on that. but in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST don hahn, the producer, wanted to go a step further – add textures to the CG-environment and make it look more realistic. in the final version of the film the ballroom sequence is done that way. that came much later. in the beginning a longer scene was planned that showed a pretty complex cameramove starting with beauty entering her room in the castle, following her sitting on the bed and then moving behind her towards the mirror, where she looks at herself and the whole room mirrored in it. the whole camera move was done in wireframe, I remember it looked very impressive. then andreas deja animated the keyposes of beauty for the whole move. I wonder if some of that stuff is left somewhere.
they gave me three key-frames of the camera move, I choose two and painted them with felt pen and gouache. unfortunately the originals have ‘disappeared’, so what you see here are some bad quality xerox copies. the next planned step was to hire someone with a lot of patience and some great painting skills to paint every single surface flat following my color-designs. I remember, that was where the experiment stopped. it might have been a bit too work-intense and costly. times have changed – today it would be a fun job for a weekend.


22 09 2008

similar color but very different times, actually over a period of 30 years. the first one I did in the late seventies, then a BEAUTY AND THE BEAST forest. there is a bit of an eyvind earle influence. the city scene was for CATS in 1991, unfortunately it never happened. but instead BALTO, 1993 in london. nr.5 is from BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH, an early concept for FANTASIA 2000. then we have MY PEOPLES what did not happen, and a design for a CG short I designed in tokyo in 2006. the techniques were very different as well, watercolor, magic marker feltpen, gouache and photoshop.

© disney enterprises, inc
© universal pictures/amblin

castle 2

17 09 2008

the photo shows my workdesk in duesseldorf in germany sometime towards the end of 1989. I was working on disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. below you see the finished design. that was already after the london time where a small group of disney animators and story artists worked together with jill and dick purdum and don hahn on a more european version of the tale. in this design I tried to figure out the interior of the beast castle. unlike in the final film version I wanted it to fit a giant monster-beast with huge dimensions, hallways and walls 20 meters high with paintings in the same dimensions.

© disney enterprises, inc


16 09 2008

talking about dull colors – my ideas about the look of disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST were very different when I started to work on it. I had seen AMADEUS and I loved the atmosphere. the idea of a classical story taking place in the late middle ages was exciting! the sources for the original BEAUTY story were in france, some came from england, all around 1650 – 1780. that was the time of THE PLAGUE in europe, the last SMALL ICE-AGE as well. the temperatures were much lower, lots of snow in winter and during the summertime it rained most of the time, what destroyed the harvest. people were dying from hunger, during the plague millions. I thought all that could be an incredible background for the story. and it would have defined the colors! at that time I didn’t know that it was supposed to be a musical, dramatic fun and laughter, – and dull colors were out! plague and rain as well, short – it was supposed to be a DISNEY movie. one day disney might release the one hour version of the film that a few disney artists storyboarded with jill+dick purdom in london in 1989. it was a lighter story than what I was thinking about, but it was way too european for disney. that’s why they trashed it. and who knows, it might not have been that successful.

© disney enterprises, inc

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The Hidden History of Oz

Discover the Secrets of an Enchanted World is the best place for your personal blog or business site.