Sunday, March 19, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
I saw Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast a week ago, and was very happy with Luke Evan's portrayal as Gaston. A role like this one could be overplayed in a cartoony way very easily, but Evan's performance is nuanced and entertaining. Check out the film!
My previous posts on Gaston's 1991 cartoon version:
I had great help from these terrific animators:
Joe Haidar, Ron Husband, Dave Burgess, Alex Kuperschmidt, and Tim Allen.
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
I remember gearing up for my film Mushka. For a while it was all about tigers, and adding to the knowledge I already had about these magnificent cats. The sketch above was done at the LA zoo, at the time they had an exhibit with a tiger mom and two cubs. Lucky me!!
I sketched them as the cubs grew in front of my eyes over a period of a few months. I also took footage to study at home frame by frame. TV nature programs were useful as well. I even studied tiger cub "appearances" on late night shows, David Letterman etc.
They showed me that restless quality of a tiger cub when held by a human. That definitely made it into the film. You find yourself studying your subject wherever you find interesting tiger behavior.
YouTube is wonderful for this. Before animating Mushka yawning, I checked and found five or six extremely useful video clips of a tiger yawn. There is much more to it than the mouth just opening wide and closing. I love studying this stuff.
Below is a sketch I made for a possible poster, announcement or whatever. I might use it later or not.
Monday, March 13, 2017
I didn't grow up in the US, where millions of kids grew up with Walt Disney's regular TV shows.
Walt was still alive when I was a young kid in Germany, and I remember vividly watching him on very rare occasions during German Disney TV programs. Of course Walt spoke German fluently, thanks to his dubbing voice, actor Friedrich Schoenfelder.
Naturally I was particularly fascinated when the show's content was about animation. The world's master magician telling the audience about past achievement or what he was planing to do next.
Here is a magazine article featuring Walt's history with Mickey as shown on TV.
The ultimate program for me was when Disney artists were introduced as they worked on various animated feature films. Here is Milt Kahl animating the introductory scene of Tramp From Lady & the Tramp.
In this TV episode Disney animators study human movement in preparation for Sleeping Beauty.
The model is Helene Stanley, the animators are Marc Davis, John Lounsbery and Milt Kahl.
Ollie Johnston is getting ready for his close up in a mock office, put together on one of the Disney sound stages. The filmed segment starts out with Ollie animating Merryweather and leads to the topic of model trains, a hobby he shared with Walt. See framed photo on top of his desk.
Friday, March 10, 2017
I brought this up before, Joe Rinaldi's story work on Disney features is often mistaken for for Bill Peet's. Both artists show top draughtsmanship, excellent staging and great story continuity.
Here are a few sketches by Rinaldi for Cinderella and one for Peter Pan.
As an animator your work is half done when so much is already worked out by the story artist. Personality-rich poses, character relationships and acting. Story artists like Rinaldi really are unsung heroes, because they provided the ground work, the storytelling and character development.
In many cases the animators used these poses within their animated performances.
For Joe Rinaldi's work on Lady & the Tramp, go here:
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Actors Barbara Luddy and Larry Roberts pose in front of storyboards drawn by Joe Rinaldi. They voiced the title characters in Disney's 1955 CinemaScope film Lady and the Tramp.
Roberts was famous during the 1950s for his TV roles and his performances as a stand-up comic.
Luddy would later provide voices for Disney, including Merryweather in Sleeping Beauty, Kanga in the Winnie the Pooh films and the Church Mouse in Robin Hood.
Singer Peggy Lee had a major influence on the film. She wrote songs and was the voice of Darling, both Siamese Cats and of course the showgirl dog Peg.
Peggy Lee visits the ink & paint department.
A still from a TV program in which Lee explains how she recorded both voices for Si and Am.
That's song co-writer Sonny Burke next to her.
A couple of story sketches from the romance sequence.
A magazine ad featuring Tramp promoting dog food.
Saturday, March 4, 2017
A while ago, when I was looking for artists who might inspire me as far as depicting tigers, I came across Raymond Sheppard. His work is solid, accurate, "no nonsense". Beautiful old fashioned animal drawing in the best sense of the word.
Raymond Sheppard (1913–1958) was a British artist and illustrator of books for children and adults. He wrote books on drawing techniques, but is best known for his illustrations of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea and the works of Jim Corbett.
Here is a sampling of his work.
Much more on Raymond Sheppard on this terrific blog: