Saturday, November 26, 2011

Early "Black Cauldron"

Here is a blast from the past. 
I have been going through my old application portfolio for Disney, and I am taken back to around 1979. There are life drawings, animal sketches and attempts at character designs. (I will post some of that stuff soon.) But even then I was already drawing (potential) Disney characters. I knew the studio was gearing up to produce "The Black Cauldron", based on the books of Lloyd Alexander. So I bought the books, read them, loved them. I started to imagine what characters like Taran , Princess Eilonwy, the Horned King and the witches might look like. 
I had a blast, because I had never done anything like this before.
Later, when I showed my design ideas to Disney, they liked them enough to photograph them and share them with other artists. I was flattered beyond belief.
So this is a small selection of a bunch of art I dreamed up for "Cauldron" before I started at the studio.


















25 comments:

  1. Wow this is awesome. I wanted to ask you about something. I hear most animation is being outsourced now and I want to be a Disney animator but am not sure if I should pursue it because I'm not sure I could get a job there. Are there still opportunities to get into animation at Disney and what are some tips to make a great portfolio and resume. I looked into Cal Arts but it's very expensive. Should I go there? Anyway any response to this would be appreciated and thank you for sharing these concepts and processes of drawing.

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  2. Great job, talk about being one step ahead.

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  4. This is AMAZING. I've read the Chronicles of Prydain as well and I think your representation of the main characters is as faithful to the original novels as it can be. Love your Taran (much more original than the "peterpanish" version from the movie, I notice from these drawings that you were fascinated by Milt Kahl animation already at that time) and your Eilonwy (so unusual for a Disney princess,clumsy and thoughtless). Hen Wen is a saw and not a piglet. Gurgy and the Morva's witches are so typical of the nordic folklore, they should take inspiration from this drawings while animating "King of the Elves". Did you know that Tim Burton was working on the project when you draw this? I notice that you drew only the characters from the final movie and you didn't draw characters as Gwydion, Coll, Arawan, Achren, Medwyn, Morgant, etc. Did you know at the time which characters would be eliminated?

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  5. Great! Just great! Especially the last character... So this drawings were in your portfolio? I hope my will look like that :D

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  6. Hello Andreas! What were you doing before you applied to Disney?

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  7. These are beautiful. Each one of Taran interacting with the sword is just gold, especially. And I adore the gestures, so much life. I look forward to seeing more of your personal work!

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  8. Wonderful stuff, so full of character and personality. I really love your drawings of Taran and Princess Eilonwy together - there's a really nice connection between them both. Would love to see your life/animal drawings from your old portfolio!

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  9. These character concept drawing are nothing short of breath-taking and amazing, and I'm glad that Disney embraced them and did not reject them out of corporate hubrice...I absolutely LOVED this book series growing up, so it was so disappointing as a Disney employee for almost 15 years (I worked from 1990 to 2004 on Digital Imaging and CAPS at Disney Publishing with Dave Pacheco) to see what a negative reputation and era in Disney animation that The Black Cauldron had received...It's sad that Disney is so, so so commercially-driven, that the equivalent of "Waking Sleeping Beauty" for those days could not be seen in a more artistically-evolving positive light, and that The Black Cauldron doesn't occupy a kinder place in the way that internal Disney history has judged it...I used to do Macintosh computer work on the side for Floyd, Burny, and a number of others, and one of the guys I worked with was Hans Bacher, when he lived in Glendale, and he told me the story of both of you coming over from Germany to work at Disney...Now that's fodder for a documentary!...Hope you have a great and blessed holiday season...Tim Lewis timlewis22@gmail.com

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  10. These are wonderful. The Black Cauldron is a movie that deserves serious study but few seem to get past the standard critiques that it was a troubled movie. It may have been but that's perhaps even more reason to study it. I can see why they wanted to share these with everyone!

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  11. Brandon,
    go to the Disney Animation Studios website. They have a lot of infos about different internships. That would be the best way to start, I think. Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Andrea,
    check out my earlier post on Tim Burton.
    When I was drawing these sketches I was still finishing art school in Germany.
    I did noy know yet which characters would not make it into the film.

    Michael,
    I was an art student at the Folkwangschule in the town of Essen, Germany. I graduated in Visual Communication,
    Graphic Design.

    Hans,
    ich weiss, scheint alles gar nicht so lange her zu sein.
    Tolle Zeit damals, auch wegen Deiner Unterstuetzung.
    Danke dafuer...30 Jahre spaeter.

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  12. Wow, these are really neat!

    Seeing as how it was supposed to showcase bolder storytelling, The Black Cauldron could've benefited from these rawer character designs than the sanitized designs they ultimately chose.

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  13. Hello Andreas, thank you for the response. I was going to create a profile on DisneyAnimation.com, but it was asking how I wanted to show my portfolio/demo reel and I don't have one yet. I haven't taken any animation classes, I have only taken art classes and general ed at community college. What should be in the portfolio? Also it says I must attend a college in Fall after the summer internship, is it alright if it's just a community college? It doesn't specify on the website.

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  14. Realy cool stuff you keep showing us Andreas. You truly are an inspiration.

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  15. OhmyGod I thought this was the "official" stuff... you're amazing Andreaaaaaaaaaaaaas!

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  16. WOWWW! ~Hugs the awesome pig before fainting with wonder~

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  17. Great Horned King designs. That guy is awesome.

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  18. Andreas: Those litterally made my day. Beautiful + concept art + directly linked to Disney History. The perfect equation for me, as you know. More, more !!! :-)

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  19. These are incredible!! The Hunter is my favorite, but the Horned King is certifiably badass. Your Taran and Eilonwy are perfectly charming, on a level that the final film's versions weren't. Thanks for sharing!

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  20. I can't find words... i truly love this film! A lot of your works are very close to the final version, you made the basis for one of my fav masterpiece... stunning!!!

    There's some hope to get an original frame of the lovely piggy with the cauldron? I could kill for it!

    Thanks thanks thanks for sharing this!

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  21. THank you thank so much, this film is so mysterious not much is know about, thank so much for posting this.

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  22. OMG that's amazing! I love this saga, i'll share this sketch to all my friends!

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