Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scar Pencil Tests

It feels good to be part of a hit movie again. Even if the movie is an old one.
"The Lion King" is filling theaters again, this time in 3D. When I saw it like this recently, I thought it looked kind of cool. As a kid I have always loved the old viewmaster 3D slides, it was very magical to me.
So to celebrate the success of "The Lion King" reissue, here are a dozen random  pencil tests of my Scar animation.
Sure brings back memories... when we had real lions at the studio for study.
Working with Jeremy Irons was a joy. The man can read anything, and you'd want to animate it, I swear. What an inspiring voice!  It was a privilege to be assigned to this character.
I remember during production I didn't watch "Jungle Book" once, I tried to do a different type of villain than Shere Khan, as far as design and personality.
I wished I could redo a lot of my scenes, but this is all I could do way back.
At least the personality seems to be coming through.
Scar was evil, but also intelligent. And that's  a dangerous combination.
And he sure enjoyed being bad.


  1. I saw The Lion King in a theater on Friday in 3D, and the high point of the film for me was (as always) watching Scar in action. I am amazed at your work every time I watch it. He's just so full of personality.

  2. Thank you so much for the sharing Andreas. I really love watching that kind of pencils tests. One of my favourite part is at the beginning (at 00:20) when he walks and then sit. It's exactly how a real lion would act and move. And it must be so exciting to draw and watch at real lions in the studio ! I remember seeing a small promotion video at the beggining of my Aladdin VHS, maybe one year before the movie came out and I was sooooo excited (I was 5 years old =) ). Thank you one more time for your work. It's so inspiring.

  3. Epic work Andreas, love his acting. So Sinister!

  4. Haven't seen the 3D version yet... It's amazing to see you bring Scar to life! Very inspiring!

  5. I just cant wait to tomorrow. Hopefully the "Lion King" blue-ray will be in my mailbox.

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  7. It is Great Animation! It Inspires me! Thank you for this beautiful work!

  8. I will never forget how much I was waiting for the film's release in 1994! Thank you, Scar is stunning!!!!

  9. I went to see the film in the theatres last Friday!! Even though I can't see the 3D, everything was as good as I had remembered.

    Your Scar is too, too good. Such wonderful animation!

  10. Scar is one of the greatest Disney villians. I suspect even Shere Khan would meet a ghastly fate if he turned his back on the likes of Scar!

    Andreas, I always get a kick out of one particular shot you did of Scar. It's the one where he's allowing the mouse to slip between the digits of his paw. I just love the animation in that shot. :)

  11. Great stuff, Andreas. I had never seen these pencil tests before and I really enjoy them.
    Lion King at the top of the box office shows how people would still enjoy a good hand drawn animated film today.

  12. Scar is a very solid character. Great voice, elegant and powerfull desing, and great acting.
    Everybody remember Scar.

    You did the desing too?

  13. The great voice of Jeremy Irons was a gift, but you took every breath and every syllable to delineate the character. Scar is one of the clearest characters in the film. You performed every bit as well as Jeremy Irons. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pencil tests.

  14. I love the weight in Scar. Its amazing. This drawings still fresh in my memory since childhood. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I am sure no one is every satisfied with their own work, but this should be an exception. Scar will always be one of my favorite DIsney villains, thanks to your wonderful animation. Thank you so much for posting these, I would love to watch the whole movie in just pencil tests. :)

  16. As always the highlight and best part of every Disney movie is the villain. Scar is one of my favorite movie villains of all time and that is largely due to the combination of your work and Jeremy irons voice.
    Still always amazing to watch and I love the pencil tests.
    This blog is great Mr Deja. Big fan for most of my life.

  17. I LOVE the scene when Scar is like "You know a sorta father sun... thing." Great acting!!
    Thanks for posting!

  18. Your animation with Scar was amazing - a real scene stealer....nothing to "redo". I'm sure it inspired a lot of young animators -I know I was one of them.

  19. Went to see the 3D! I've watched this movie over 100 times but it's so great to see it on the big screen again!
    The audience absolutely loved the movie and it was a great feeling to know that 2D hand drawn animation (even though it was 3D) is still very much appreciated! :)
    Thank you for sharing such amazing pencil tests!!
    There was this special TV show in Japan before the movie came out, and I remember being super excited when you showed the pencil drawings of the scene where Scar shouts "Idiots there will be a king!!"
    Do you remember being interviewed by a Japanese TV show?? :)


  20. All time favorite movie, animation and character. Scar is so cool! To me The lion king is what jungle book to you!

  21. A couple of years ago I saw Jeremy Irons narrating a piece at the New York Philharmonic. I was having trouble placing him and spent a lot of the show wondering where I knew him from and why his voice scared me so much (wasn't a particularly scary story that he was narrating.) When I finally placed him as Scar, it made total sense. Scar had me completely terrified as a kid, and it turns out he still holds a big place in my subconscious.

    Beautiful and inspiring pencil tests! And thank you for posting two drafts of the final test - love learning more about your process.

  22. just as beautifully animated and acted as Shere Khan was in the jungle book. Thanks for sharing these Andreas..


  23. Wonderful Evil! :D Thanks Andreas!
    These tests are your gift to Jeremy, on his birthday. :)

  24. Thank you for posting these. They are magnificent and inspirational!!!

    I love when Scar hits that pose right when he says "to die for" on the last pencil test.

  25. Wonderful stuff Andreas! I have a question though. In the scenes where you have both Scar and Simba interacting, there are rough poses in for Simba. Did you put these in yourself or were they planned with the help of Simba's animator?

    Thanks Andreas?

  26. Peter,
    thanks for the info. Happy birthday, Jeremy!

    I did those rough Simba poses, just to get an idea for the overall staging. Mark Henn took it from there and animated Simba.

  27. Lovely pencil tests Andreas! The Lion King was the movie that inspired me to learn animation. It's my favorite movie. I even bought the Laser Disc special edition set when it first came out. Thanks for contributing to such an inspiring movie.

  28. You mentioned you wish you could redo some of the scenes, I wonder if you would elaborate on what you would improve. There certainly is a great deal of expression in scars eyes and mouth. Plenty of upper body gesture when he's speaking. I wouldn't think full body gesture would be believable since he uses all four limbs to stand on.

    Also, thank you so very much for this blog. Learning from Disney greats like yourself or from books like the Illusion of Life and Drawn to Life is such a benefit to any aspiring animator.

  29. Thanks for posting these. Great to see!
    You're so self-effacing about them: oh, stop. ;)
    The acting-within-acting is perfect: Scar's "accidental" mention of the graveyard is just the kind of performance an adult would use to fool a child.

    One thing that's always intrigued me from a technical standpoint: you clearly animated Scar saying "TO die for", (an "OO" shape to the lips), when Irons' reading is more of an informal "TA". That strikes me as the proper pronunciation being written down on the exposure sheet rather than a literal transcription of the reading. If so, when that happens, what's an animator to do, considering that such a line might be ADRed later? It seems that no matter which choice one made, it would end up the wrong one.

  30. I'll have to wait till 10,November - why does it has to start that late in Germany? -.-

    It's amazing work you've done. One of my favorite characters by my favorite animator :D

  31. Whan I said I'd like to do a bunch of scenes over again, it would mostly be the drawing part. I my early animation
    his facial features look a bit too "sharp and pointy".
    Later scenes have a better organic graphic look to them.

    that "oo" mouth was my choice for that sound, could have been a half open mouth...but I think it still works ok.

    am 10. Nov. gibt's dann wieder Thomas Fritsch als Scar.
    Die Rolle hat er eigentlich ganz gut hingekriegt.

    1. Andreas,I have the absolute exact opposite opinion! I always loved Scar's earlier scenes much more than the latter more organic ones! The design of his facial profile and the extra sharp nose and chin are my favorite part of the "monkey's uncle" scene--- later on when he is prodding Simba to explain who is responsible for Mufasa's death, I always found the rounder features a bit off-putting and not at all as menacing. Just fan preference here, no real weight, no animating background--- but whatever the case, whether you feel you liked the more organic look better or not, overall Scar was and is a wonderful addition to the Disney character cache.

      I know I am a little late to the discussion, but after starting over and reading your blog from the beginning, being an avid Scar fan myself I could just not resist the opportunity.

  32. beautiful! too bad Disney doesn't see the same..... now that Lion King in 3D is out

  33. Beautiful work, Andreas. I enjoy your rough animation even more than the final ink and paint!

  34. Very, very nice animation!!! Thanks Andreas!
    Yeah, it's great to see 2d animation at the top of the box office again. I hoped this will, in a small way, bring back 2d. Fingers crossed.

  35. I haven't been able to go see the lion king in theaters yet, school sucks up all my time like that, but hopefully!

    The pencil tests are awesome, and you make it all look so easy! Thanks also for the rougher staging of the "It's to die for" scene, it's very helpful! I appreciate the insight into the process. The one thing that I find interesting is that I notice more details in the animation in the pencil tests. Maybe it's because there's just less stuff on the screen.

    I'm also curious about the line "It's a sort of those father-son... thing." I know for most stories, there's a lot more to them that never gets to the finished product. Is that a little peek into Scar's background that maybe his father had more father-son moments with Mufusa?

  36. Ich muss gestehen, dass ich den Film noch nie gesehen habe (Schande über mich!) und seine Leistung schwer an den wenigen Ausschnitten die ich kenne ausmachen kann. Aber nachdem, was ich von ihm kenne müsste er stimmlich gut passen... naja, werde ich ja sehen bzw. höre.

  37. So, could you tell us the truth please? Did ANYONE at Disney knew about "Kimba the White lion" before making the Lion King? Was there any inspiration taken from "Kimba"?

  38. I went & saw The Lion King last night at The Arclight. I was only about 10 when it came out the first time, but I can definitively say that movie was probably the biggest factor in my wanting to be a Disney animator "when I grew up." Things change a little.. (I'm a cg lighter), but it was amazing to see it on the big screen again. How great it must be to make a movie that people love so much it's #1 at the box office.. not just once, but 20 years later!

    Thanks for sharing Andreas & congratulations!

  39. Thank you so much for sharing these! You don't even know how much of an inspiration you've been for me. :) Not to mention the Lion King in general.. but I've always admired the look of Scar the best. I'd love to own an original piece of yours, but for now I have my fanart.. I always liked to imagine Scar had his soft, kitty-cat side.. and like to depict him with such;

  40. David,
    that scene was animated by Brian Ferguson. I'll pass the compliment on to him.

    yes, I did design Scar.

    I do remember being interviewed for Japanese TV.

    I guess you could look at it that way. As for myself, I hadn't.

  41. I'm probably just reading too much into it!

    Thank you very much for your responses to my comments.

  42. glad you cut out the bit where simbas cussing and that, like they do with rap records on the radio. its a kids movie after all. ("youre so *bleeep* -ing weird")

  43. The "I'm surrounded by idiots" is probably my favourite! The look and the action fo the paw, human but not too much... brilliant! Thanks for sharing!!!

  44. Such inspiring stuff. I love how clear your acting choices are even in a quick sketch.

  45. thanks so much for sharing, pencils tests seem all the more magical to me than cleanups. You can see that hand that made the lines.

  46. Hello Mr. Andreas, first of all, I thank you for created this blog and share with us, I'm sure for all who pass through here, it's a great joy to interact with you!

    Well, honestly, for me the best animated movie for its great message, warmth, beauty and lively, is undoubtedly The Lion King! and Scar, the evil uncle that you have created is my favorite villain! he really is ruthless, sarcastic and jealous, these are real characteristics of malevolent beings, and all these features are brilliantly expressed in your great work of animation. My sincere congratulations to you!

    By the way, Lilo is adored by my little niece :)

    Greetings from Venezuela!


    P.S. Please Mr. Andreas, with humility, I ask you a minute of your time to take a glance at my blog, and if you like, leave a comment, whatever this is, for me mean a lot! Thanks!

  47. These are great! I've always loved Scar's animation and the way he is stylized expertly while maintaining a lion's weight and rhythm.

    I remember seeing the scene where Scar moves towards Ed chewing on the bone during 'Be Prepared', and he moves from very close to the camera to a distance away.

    That part always reminded me of the scene when Bambi's mother walks over to him after he falls after leaping over the log with the bunnies.

    Did that scene serve as any inspiration/reference to you?

  48. Liked your blog-site, I have to say that I find it very fantastic and I really liked most of the artwork that you have done including your rough animated drawings of Scar. Thanks for what you did Andreas, Scar is definitely the best Disney villain ever and I really loved Jeremy Irons voice of that evil character cause he is so brilliant and he is my second favorite movie actor.

  49. Dear deja, I love your work.
    Lion King inspired me, as a child, to become an animator (I'm 'still studying). Yes, hips have been inspired by a great animation ;) I'd like to talk to you about animation and when you want me you can reply to this e-mail: Least I would like to know you and Glean Keane through the internet. I live in Italy and here the animation is not taken seriously but the passion flows powerful in me :) I would like to send some my pencil-test, how can I do? PS: Could you put the pencil test of the opening scene of The Lion King? Than the rising sun? :)