Sunday, August 10, 2014


Working on short films has always been a fun but brief experience, and “The Ballad of Nessie” from 2011 was no exception. (For some reason it feels like only yesterday that we made the film.)
Each animator gets just a few scenes to animate, and the project is done. Nessie (under six minutes long) was animated by Ruben Aquino, Dale Baer, Randy Haycock, Mark Henn and myself.
Stevie Wermers-Skelton came up with film’s concept, and Kevin Deters joined her to co-direct.
We enjoyed working on simple, cartoony material again that was inspired by some of the Disney shorts from the 1950s. 
The color image above is a still from one of my scenes. 

A few of my exploratory sketches based on Stevie’s design.

This is a pre-production test scene I did which shows Nessie during a sad moment, all alone with her only friend MacQuack, a rubber duck.


  1. Even for a pre-production test, the performance is all there! Just wondering how many scenes were you guys given each? Were they casted depending the scene? And was there a "strict" deadline for each scene?

  2. very interesting , first version and final...awesome

  3. Great post Andreas...Thank you for share this treasure with us!!!

  4. I still consider this one of my favourite "modern day" Disney shorts. Very Bill Peet-ish in the storytelling (as well as the above sketches) with beautiful animation to boot. You guys did amazing work here =)

  5. One of the last film (short) that had the classic Disney magic. She could have been the heroine of a magnificent feature length film (with beautiful Celtic music), Nessie was truly alive for those 5.3 minutes. Personally, the last time I felt the same way was when I was a kid and watched the Disney classics for the first time.

    Thank you for taking part in that project and for sharing Nessie with us now.

  6. The design and poses are great! And your animation is wonderful.
    It would be nice to see something of this caliber in a full length feature.
    Would you be able to post more of your pencil test work from this short?

  7. I had to come back and tell you just how terrific that short is after just watching it on you tube. The design work (characters and BG's ) The color style, direction , pacing even the music (which is always heavy handed) was perfect! I never even knew something this good existed and I don't understand why Disney doesn't do more.

  8. It was an outstanding, real feel good short. It made my feel like I was back in the 90's. :)

  9. Boy haven't watched this one in a while. Thanks for reminding me about Nessie.

  10. I remember when shorts had died out and it seemed like they would never come back. Then I was surprised to hear about Runaway Brain and I went to the theater specifically to see that short. I might not have even stayed for the feature it accompanied. Then there was the Chip 'n Dale short with Meet the Robinsons, a short that had actually been completed in the 50's but not shown theatrically (I believe) until 2005. Then the Goofy short in 2007 was I think the first new one since Runaway Brain. So, it's good that they've made a few since then but I think they could still make them more frequently. But I guess part of it is that box office/theater economics work differently than they used to.

    1. a refreshing and nostalgic piece of art.
      I'm so fed up with CG animation !

  11. Love this one, and your work within it! Long live traditional animation!

  12. I thought you were just an animation enthusiast, but turns out you are actually responsible for part of something I liked!