Thursday, March 24, 2016

Heinrich Kley and Fantasia

It is no secret that the art of German Illustrator Heinrich Kley had a profound influence on Disney's Fantasia. Before the film went into full production, the head of the character model department, Joe Grant, showed Walt Disney newly published sketchbooks by the German artist. Walt was as exited as Joe about the potential for bringing elephants, alligators and hippos to life inspired by Kley's sensational drawings.

Kley's depiction of anthropomorphic animals is very realistic, yet entirely believable. If elephants could really ice scate or enjoy a day at the beach, it would look like this.
However in preparing models for animation some of the complex realism had to be compromised in order to give animators simplified forms and shapes which could be controlled 24 frames per second.
Disney artists enjoyed this assignment so much, the Dance of the Hours turned out to be one of the best things the studio has ever done - according to Ward Kimball. I couldn't agree more.

This scan of a Kley original from a previous post falls into the Fantasia category:


  1. Beautiful, Andreas, Do you happen to know who's the author of the last three drawings?

    1. I am not entirely sure, but my guess would be James Bodrero.

  2. Hello andreas iam one of many who wanna be animator.i wanna tell you something and i hope you take a few minutes to read very 20 years and at 19 i saw a movie and it shocked haunted me.i loved it.when i was younger i had fakes things.i tell you this because i didnt like alot of professions of job.
    I love animation but i never practiced and im not creative and thats a problem.and i never know how to start and i get frustrated.
    I only wonder if you can give me some advices or a mentally structure. A positive mind.
    Andreas how did you start??you got frustrated to??
    I sent a mail on facebook to glen keane and ruben aquino but they didnt answer.
    Well i hope you can answer me and i hope one day could know you in person.
    Pd. I learn that never have to dream big.that send us to failure.
    I send you greetings andreas.
    If you wanna mail me this is my adress.

    if you dont wanna answer is ok.i'll understand