Sunday, November 13, 2011

Early "Jungle Book"

Here are a few "Jungle Book" pre production images I want to share with you.
The first painting is a background study by Walt Peregoy. Walt had been in charge of color and some layouts for "101 Dalmatians" and "Sword in the Stone".
He brought a great sense of experimentation to these projects with unusual colors and strong graphic design.
By the time the style of  "Jungle Book" was being developed, Walt Disney opted for a softer, more painterly look for the backgrounds. Peregoy disagreed with that approach and left the studio.
Personally I love the final art direction, but a jungle influenced by Peregoy's abstractions would have been stunning, too.

This is a simple Peregoy jungle backdrop with a character cel overlay.
The drawing is by Milt Kahl, and I love the rough quality in it.

Here we have another early Milt Kahl drawing, made into a painted cel. It's interesting to see that Milt drew black spots on Bagheera. I think it looks kind of cool as it reflects the appearance of a real black panther. But for economical and perhaps aesthetic reasons they were dropped in the final design.
As far as the background sketch, I am 90% sure it is the work of Vance Gerry.
In any case it's interesting to study these works in progress and to find out what kind of art was produced to get to the final result.


  1. Beautiful!!!!!! Peregoy's paintings are amazing! I love both styles.

  2. Oh my god, that Peregoy image is amazing. So much mood coming off of it. For some reason it is reminding me a bit of Thomas Scholes work.

  3. truly amazing to go thru all this evolution ... thnx Andreas !!

  4. fantastic post!!! thank you Andreas )) and... more please :)

  5. A while back a site I frequent linked over to a Walt Peregoy interview (I hope it wasn't here I read it, that would be redundant of me). The interview takes place shortly after he left Disney and he comes off a little biter about it, a little too sure of his skill. But an interesting conversation to say the least.

    It's here:

  6. Peregoy´s backgrounds HAD to have been in James Cameron´s hands. It´s Avatar!!!! Thanks Mr.Deja for amazing us with your wonderful blog! I insist, this had to transform into an internet show about your art critics.Then you can invite fellow artists as special guests and disscuss more.I would really enjoy watching your show for sure!

  7. Walt Peregoy did a lot more paintings for "The Jungle Book" before Walt decided to go with Al Dempster instead. I love Dempster, but Peregoy was moving animation in a bold new direction, and Walt wasn't going for it. Of course, he didn't like Bill Peet's Kipling adaptation either.

    I initially avoided the film and wanted nothing to do with it. It would appear Walt had other ideas.

  8. The background looks stunning. The style of it really invites you into the world of Jungle Book. The angular look makes it look distinctive. It also uses a lot of blues but the contrast looks great since the details stand out on their own without overwhelming other details. Though because the characters are so vibrant and lively, the angular style will seem a little out of place. Don't get me wrong, it looks fantastic, but the rounder elements in the background used in the final film is more suitable.

  9. That Peregoy background concept is utterly gorgeous!

  10. Wow, the blue Peregoy painting just made my day! I've never come across it and that's saying a lot since The Jungle Book is one of my favorite films and the one that got me hooked on animation and cinema.

  11. I thought about two other movies when I saw this artworks. The first one was Cinderella: the way Mary Blair used the same combination of whites, blacks, blues and turquoises was stunning, and maybe a source of inspiration for Peregoy. The second one was Lilo & Stitch: expecially the night scenes in the jungle. Robert E. Stanton was able to bring this colors to the screen, while softening the shapes. A turquoise Disney jungle, at last!

  12. Wonderful to see Peregoy jungle rendering.

    I have a cel with what looks like it may have been an early colour-test for Baloo in which he is not grey but brown, have you come across any similar artwork?

  13. Brian,
    I understand they had difficulties finding Baloo's color.
    Walt apparently said :"Do we have to go with yet another brown baer?"
    Yes, I have seen some of those Baloo color model cels.
    I will post another Peregoy jungle setting, and one from "Sword in the Stone" soon.

  14. If you look closely in the last drawing, Bagheera also has colored pupils.