Friday, January 30, 2015

Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson


Way back my art school (Folkwang Schule, Essen, Germany) didn't offer any animation classes. As a student I decided to give myself various assignments in order to explore my potential as a future animation artist. I would create model sheets a la Disney, animate walk cycles and try to explore character concepts for an imaginary movie project.
Early in 1980 (still at art school) I wondered what the cast of Sherlock Holmes might look like, if depicted as animal characters, similar to Disney's Robin Hood. 
It was a way for me to practice the Disney style in rough form (I had just found out that Disney designers and animators worked pretty loosely). So I practiced staging, expressions and a little bit of color exploration with Magic Markers. I never showed these sketches to my art teachers at school, knowing how much they disliked the Disney approach to animation. The one person I did show them to was my friend Hans Bacher, who had graduated from the same art school and was at that time in business as a designer, storyboard artist and animator for several German agencies and TV stations.
Without Hans' constructive criticism and input I would have been completely lost.

So here I figured Sherlock Holmes as some kind of bloodhound, Dr. Watson as a duck, the inspector as a fox, and a policeman as a lion.
When I look as these sketches now after so many years, I still sense my unstoppable passion for Walt Disney's Animation, so many years ago. (A passion that is even stronger today).











21 comments:

  1. Dear Mr. Deja, your example shows exactly that with determination great things can be achieved. Who would have ever though that a "non-Calarts" young (but strongly talented) artist from Essen, 10.000 km away from California, in 1980, could make it to the Disney Studios? Beyond your fantastic art and dedication, I respect you as well for this great achievement of getting to Disney in 1980. Back then this was like mission impossible, but you achieved it, and lucky all of us who grew up in the 1990's that you worked there!
    Gut gemacht! Dank für immer!

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    1. P.S.: maybe the 1986 "The great mouse detective" should have been "The great hound detective", using young characters. They have a far better appeal.

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  2. Hi Mr. Andreas, I recently read an enterview that you made to a Disney blog and on the last question, that ask you what were the fims that introduced you to Disney and made you want to be an animator, you responde that was and stil be the Disney movie "The Jungle Book", wich you whach it with 11 years old and since that moment you felt that you should at leat try to work at Disney on the future, and you made it, and you with only 12 years, send a letter to the studio asking for what did you needed to do to get there. Well, for me, the movie that make me realise that i should be working there was "The Princess and the Frog", wich I love and I know you had creat Mama Oddie; and now I want to send a letter to Disney too, but I dont know what to say, or ask, and I have affraid that they do not answer me back, and should i send a paper letter or a mail?
    Thank you for everything you have done to me and I wish you luck in your works
    P.S. its also kind of hard to me to work at Disney because so as you did, I live in Europe and everyones saiyng that I should be realistic and forget that a bit, but so as you saied, I know that I should at least try because this is the kind of passion that only get stonger.

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  3. ach ja, good old days...
    you still have all the pictures from the KYBER story? if not, let me know

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  4. This is great stuff! It's always nice to see early work from someone who went on to become a master.

    Did you ever give any though to which sort of critter Moriarty would be?

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  5. How old were you when you made these?

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  6. Wonderful! I love the poses you gave to Watson. This is a fantastic blog!

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  7. Wonderful! I love the poses you gave to Watson. This is a fantastic blog!

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  8. These are a beautiful example of your love and drive for the medium. So glad you took it all the way!

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  9. Hi Andreas. Great post as usual. I have a question as an illustrator. These remind me of Marc Davis' colored illustrations he did for WDW/Disneyland and Chanticleer. I'm curious of this process - Is it pencil to sketch the concept, then ink directly on top, and THEN marker/watercolour/guache, or is it color on top of the pencil, and then the final black ink on top? I've noticed smearing or covering of the black ink if I do the inking first...Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers - Mike

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    1. The way I worked:
      Thin black felt pen first (sometimes on top of rough color pencil sketch), then Magic Markers on top. I avoided felt pens that would bleed into the marker color.
      I believe Marc D. used waterproof ink, then watercolor on top.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. Hello, Andreas! Since you were in charge of creating and animating Scar from The Lion King, and probably still have fun sketching him on your notepad or something :P, I'm sure you're going to enjoy this video as much as I did! So without further ado I'd like to introduce you to this AWESOME fan-made video from YouTube that was created by this amazing animator, Eduardo Quintana! He took a bit of the song "The Madness Of King Scar" which was during the chilling scene when Scar tried to convince Nala to be his queen, and created an animated short of what the scene might look like if it was added in the original movie! It took me awhile to notice that it was actually fan made! Eduardo animated Scar and Nala also had a little help with other amazing artists for the background scene in the video taking almost two years to finish this, what patience! Honestly, I can't tell the difference at all! He drew Scar exactly like how you would draw him! The movements and expressions were very impressive! I would forever appreciate if you could take some time to watch this and reply back your opinions about it! Here's the link of he video: http://youtu.be/1kGEz1zDGgY

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    1. I am very impressed with this encore footage of Scar, and was able to tell Eduardo in person, when I met him at CTN last year.

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  12. Did you ever think that Hans would join you at Disney? I am familiar with his book "Dream Worlds".

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    1. I was hoping he would, and finally for Mulan he joined Disney full time.

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  14. Superb. I do wish this was made into an actual movie. Come to think of it, it would be fun to imagine that this actually what the Holmes and Watson of "Great Mouse Detective" look like.

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