5 04 2010

the layouts and final backgrounds below are from disney’s PINOCCHIO.

© disney enterprises, inc


17 08 2009

some more recreated streetscenes from disney’s PINOCCHIO




© disney enterprises, inc


31 07 2009

some more recreated backgrounds from disney’s PINOCCHIO, showing the environment on the ocean floor where pinocchio is searching for monstro the whale. the atmosphere is dark and realistic, very different from the underwaterworld of a later production, THE LITTLE MERMAID.

pino 1009-609

pino 1014-609


© disney enterprises, inc


9 07 2009

two more recreated backgrounds from disney’s PINOCCHIO. I know that GUSTAF TENGGREN used a lot of reference in his designs for pinocchio’s village from the german city of ROTHENBURG. but it looks like there was some more inspiration from another part of europe and not too far away from rothenburg – compare the photo reference below. there are lots of similarities in the architecture of these beautiful villages along the ROUTE DU VIN in ALSACE, FRANCE. it is one of my favorite areas in europe, famous for its wine.




© disney enterprises, inc


28 06 2009

this is the first of several recreated backgrounds from disney’s PINOCCHIO. fortunately I have seen what is left of these masterpieces in the disney archives ARL. they were painted with probably several dozens of layers of watercolor, more dirty water than color. that technique I guess is the most complicated way to paint and these artists in the forties mastered it with incredible skills. for me the PINOCCHIO BG’s create so much atmosphere in their style, like a short time later the oil-painted backgrounds in BAMBI as well.
this first longer pan was extremely difficult to recreate, because the 3 BG-layers move in different speeds, – so, eliminating the characters in foreground and background was some challenge. but it was worth the time, it is such a beautiful piece…


© disney enterprises, inc

# 200

27 04 2009


for the 200. post I have selected some of GUSTAF TENGGREN’S beautiful designs for disney’s PINOCCHIO. he got the inspiration for the village from the german town of ROTHENBURG.






© disney enterprises, inc


5 01 2009

the 19. century is called THE ROMANTIC ERA, in music, literature and visual art. ROMANTICISM started with the french revolution and lasted until about 1900. artists like MOZART, HAYDN, BEETHOVEN, WEBER, BERLIOZ, SCHUBERT, CHOPIN, WAGNER and LISZT in music, GOETHE, HEGEL, SCHILLER, HOELDERLIN, VON EICHENDORFF and BRENTANO in literature, and DELACROIX, FRIEDRICH, BIERSTADT, COLE, WATERHOUSE and RICHTER in visual art are the most famous representatives of that movement. In germany the BROTHERS GRIMM collected popular fairy tales like SNOW WHITE, CINDERELLA and HAENSEL AND GRETEL.




GUSTAF TENGGREN, born 1896 in sweden, was influenced by scandinavian romantic folklore, and painters like JOHN BAUER with his elves and troll world.


tenggren brought that ‘old world’ look into the DISNEY films he worked on. you can see his influence in SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS and PINOCCHIO, as well as in the SILLY SYMPHONIES – THE UGLY DUCKLING and THE OLD MILL. even BAMBI had a tenggren look in the very early stages with a detail rich illustration-style forest.





but the disney artists realized early enough that this look wouldn’t work for bambi. all the detail with foliage, trees and grass was working against a clear readability of the characters. and besides that it would have been a nightmare to finish over 1.000 workintensive backgrounds on time.



TYRUS WONG and his chinese art influenced soft style was the solution. he gave the backgrounds the feeling of a forest, with only a few leaves and grass painted. it was impossible to paint his stylized backgrounds in the traditional watercolor technique. to achieve the softnes the disney artists had to start painting the BG’s in oil, painted direct on different glass levels. to create depth the separation into different layers for the MULTIPLANE CAMERA made that necessary.


gustaf tenggren and KAY NIELSEN, a danish artist, who had designed parts of FANTASIA, left the studio during the strike in 1941. it is interesting to compare the styles of the later feature films without their influence. there were other very talented artists like MARY BLAIR, EYVIND EARLE and KEN ANDERSEN who took over and created the worlds of PETER PAN, SLEEPING BEAUTY and 101 DALMATIANS.

© disney enterprises, inc
© waterhouse, richter, bauer


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 789 other followers