Sunday, August 9, 2015

World Lion Day

August 10 is World Lion Day.
In light of the recent horrific events surrounding Zimbabwe's lion Cecil, it is important to reflect on these magnificent animals...and their dwindling numbers in the wild. If you want to help, here are links to a couple of reputable organizations who are making a difference in preserving precious wildlife:

Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than having your own art show and donating the proceeds to animal conservation efforts. I have done it, I highly recommend it.

Which brings me back to The Lion King. I remember animating this scene during Scar's introduction.
"Life's not fair, is it? You see I...well I shall never be king. And you...shall never see the light of another day!"
This wasn't my first scene with Scar, I had done a few walks and very short dialogue scenes. But when animating this moment I started to feel the potential for the character. The mouse was beautifully animated by Brian Ferguson.

But my very first scene for The Lion King was this one. A Black Rhino rising early in the morning. I remember it like yesterday, the directors told me: "Now Andreas, this is the very first animation in the film. People will judge - is this going to be a good film or not?" Talking about pressure.
I ended up animating the scene about seven or eight different ways. Nothing seemed right to the directors.
I had the rhino lift up the head in perspective, in profile, different types of timing...etc. The final verdict was: "Well, I guess this will do."
Oh brother...I thought. Am I going to have fun animating on this movie?
Did I ever. Those were just early jitters. Scar remains one of my favorite animation assignments.


  1. Such beautiful creatures, thank you so much for everything you do for them. It's oo interesting to hear that you animated the rhino! I LOVE the accentuated upper lip clearly showing that it's a black rhino, not a white. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Thank you, for sharing this, I love lions and don't worry your Rhino shot is a beautifull introduction for Lion King ! happy lion day

  3. Andreas, did you do any other animation in the opening '' The Circle of Life '' beyond the rhino?

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  5. Now we know who did that epic rhino in the beginning! It truly shaped the film, first 10 seconds give the atmosphere! Just think how many hundreds of million, or even how many billion of people have watched or will watch that rhino lifting his head!
    Thank you for sharing your experience!

  6. Ah, didn't know until now that you did the rhino too.

  7. Agreed, Scar is a great character. He certainly looks like one of the more enjoyable characters to animate. Thanks!

  8. Interesting, the style of the rhino made me think it was animated by Aaron Blaise.
    It is truly inspiring to understand all the effort and skill put into every detail of these movies.

  9. Scar is, by far, my favorite villain. He is slick and oily, and animated so beautifully. I studied his animation in school, and dreamed of one day animating a character with as much of a presence. Love it!

  10. You animated that rhino? That was a great opening sequence to the Lion King. The lines on the rhino's face is really good. It brings the aging just right to the animal.
    Say Andreas, do you come across any sequences of where Tigger was looking at himself in the mirror and then scares himself. I always wanted to see how the sequence looked in a rough pencil test.

  11. Hi - I just read the wonderful article about you in today's LA Times. You are such an incredible artist!! Ever have exhibits at private galleries? Best, Lawrence

  12. Congratulations Andreas, on becoming one of the newest Disney Legends. An huge honor for such an amazingly talented animator.