Monday, December 14, 2015

More Bambi Art

Bambi is one of those films that might have ended up mediocre if it wasn't for the fact that everybody involved in this production was a top notch artist. All that realism Walt Disney called for could have resulted in a boring, stilted movie. Yet it turned out to be one of Disney's most elegant, poetic and best animated films.
Just look at Mar Davis' quick sketches of real deer! That anatomical knowledge enabled him to produce story sketches with the right degree of caricature and personality.

A beautiful study, possibly by Tyrus Wong. Image Heritage Auctions.

Layout and background artists became experts in staging and lighting scenes.

A publicity sketch, possibly by Frank Thomas.

Just like in Jungle Book decades later, the film's story is extremely simple. That meant that art direction and the personality animation needed to be extraordinary to keep audiences involved and spellbound.


  1. Everyone at their artistic peak. So inspiring.
    Thanks, Andreas, for your dedication to passing on this kind of knowledge. I wish you a wonderful Holiday Season, and I hope you get a couple of reams of the pre-punched from that Famous Jolly Elf..(no, not Eric Goldberg, ya silly)...yer New Book is Top of my list this year..I was extra good, and made all of my anim deadlines a day ahead.. so I'm Optimistic... Cheers!

  2. Dang-a-lang. Great point, the visual can transcend a script in some instances, especially in a film about nature, or that “other nature” that's not civilized and where those animals live in a world where it became a novelty to think they have thoughts like us. But Bambi became a film that kept one foot in reality and contrasted with the idea nature is a different world. All of life interacts with a visual narrative, it's one of the special things about life and sight. The beauty of form and the forces of nature are all around us, and often can take precedence over the contrived human narrative.

  3. The design and animation was simply incredible.

    On a side note, we met a couple times at CTN this year. I am from Toon Boom Animation and will be in LA in January. I was wondering if you had any questions regarding the technology or if you needed any assistance on that front. It would be my pleasure to help you.ève-chartrand-61162593