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


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

disneyland art 1.1

14 04 2018

disneyland castle – Herb Ryman

diamond horseshow revue mural – jon de cuir 1970

snow white grotto – John Hench

disneyland arieal view – peter ellenshaw 1954

new orleans square – herb ryman 1964

mermaid lagoon – herb ryman 1957

© 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

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