Friday, September 23, 2011

Harry Rountree

If you google/picture Harry Rountree you will find a lot of treasures.
He is one of the best illustrators when it comes to anthropomorphic animals.
The way Rountree depicts rabbits, squirrels, foxes and other animals is very unique and appealing. You could take any one of his designs and animate them.
I have a whole bunch of his vintage books, and below you'll find a cross section of his wonderful art.
There are illustrations for the "Uncle Remus Stories", "Alice in Wonderland" and
"Aesop Fables" among others.
Harry Rountree was born in New Zealand in 1878. He moved to London in 1901,
where after early struggles he became a busy and popular illustrator.
He died in 1950.

I hope you'll enjoy (re)discovering this great artist.


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  2. These really are amazing illustrations. I've been saving some of the examples you've been posting from different artists for my own future reference/inspiration.
    Thanks for introducing us to them.

  3. that rabbit rasing the fox is amazing! What a strong composition!

  4. vielen dank andreas! anthropomorphe-hasen-inspirationen fehlten mir grad..
    kannte harry rountree nicht, er hat wirklich schätze geschaffen.

  5. Wow!! Thank you so much for posting this Mr. Deja! I'll definitely be looking up more of his work when I have time! I can't pick a favourite one of the ones you posted, but I must say I really LOVE the way he draws birds. What is your favourite?
    By the way, guess how I found you! Jury duty!


  6. I recall seeing some of these illustrations way back before I was even interested in who was casting the visual spell over me. It's nice to put a name with the imagery. Thanks Andreas.

  7. Love Harry Rountree's work. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for posting these examples and thereby introducing more people to his work.

    I heard something a couple of weeks ago which shocked me: a friend from Disney who is teaching a character design class asked her students to name their favorite illustrators. One of her students said it was a toss-up between Beatrix Potter and Ernest Shepard. (good choices I'd say) But apparently most of the other students in the class had never heard of these two before (!). (and this is at an ART SCHOOL , not some community college class). One of the other students even expressed the opinion : "I don't really get the appeal of this work . It seems so 'old-fashioned'" . I've had the same kind of experience before when I've mentioned Sullivant and gotten blank stares (who?). Or Bill Peet . Bill Peet for goodness sake ! How does someone aspire to work in animation and not know who he is ?

    So I'm glad to see you featuring someone like Harry Rountree, who is probably even more "obscure" than Beatrix Potter or Ernest Shepherd.

  8. Sofia,
    I really like all of Rountree's animals. They are inventive,
    non formulaic, and of course utterly charming.
    I don't know what you mean, when you say you found me because of Jury Duty...?

    I know exactly what you mean. Students today are exposed to different things (than we were), some good, some bad.
    Joe Grant, who watched everything animated on TV and in film, told me once:"It's all graffity now."

  9. Amazing work!!! That color illustration of the little girl talking to the animals reminded me of the Alice Comedies for some reason. I love the short arms on the rabbit in the first illustration.

    Thanks for posting.

  10. Hello again Mr. Deja! There is a very famous case going on right now in America, and some information about the jury members from that case is available onine for the public to see. When I saw that one was a 54 year old male and "professor of animation and art, created characters for motion pictures at Disney" I really thought it might be you! Either way, it is because of that that I entered your name into google (after some time since I've last done so) and was delighted to find this blog, started just a few months ago! I often find great things a few years after they were started, haha... The Lion King was my MOST FAVOURITE animated Disney film when I was a child, I was very very crazy about it and all my friends and family knew me for this, I once even got some Lion King stuff all the way from Canada from an old neighbor! That was a HUGE deal to me when I was a kid haha! We didn't really have Disney toys to buy here back then, very very rarely. Kids today are much luckier :).
    Anyways... I especially knew of you because you animated the amazing character of Scar (I remember my mother once saying "That character is so evil and they've drawn/animated him perfectly!!").
    Oh and I also remember you because you are from Europe like I am!


  11. Me again. I just found this on youtube, it is Andreas Deja at the recent premiere of The Lion King 3D:
    Almost 20 years later, it is really amazing :)... Mr. Deja, were many other animators/people who worked on it there too? Could you please make a Lion King post on your blog and share some stories :D?... I still can't really believe you have a blog - it is so great!!

  12. Did he draw for Punch? He looks very familiar. Thanks for the tip!

  13. Stephen,
    not to my knowledge.
    Here is a little more info on Rountree.

  14. I hate the new cartoons on the Cartoonnetwork now, they are crud. These are really nice illustrations, there is feeling here they capture, I love the English suits on the rabbit and the cigar, so cute, reminds me a little of Beatrix Potter and Arther Rackam.

  15. thank you for these glorious pictures!!