Saturday, September 9, 2017

Richard Williams animates Frazetta


I remember visiting Richard Williams Animation studio in London for the first time in the late 1970s. It was also my first time in the UK, and my first time traveling by plane (from Duesseldorf/Germany).
Before my trip I had arranged appointments with several animation studios, Williams, Halas & Batchelor and Richard Purdum.
Dick Williams was in the US on business when I set foot at his studio. But I did get a tour of his studio in Soho and a personal screening of their latest animated commercials. Man, was I impressed then, and looking at this kind of work now, decades later, I still am.
One of the spots was for an After Shave called Jovan. It felt revolutionary to me. I had been familiar with Frank Frazetta's work, but here it motion. Dick had animated whole camera moves, character and background. He would tell me later that the spot was corny. Of course it was, but in the most amazing way! It was bold and groundbreaking!
It made me realize that animation can go much further than Disney.

Hans Bacher posted this scene breakdown a while ago on his terrific blog:

In those days London was the hub for animated commercials. There were quite a few studios that all produced high quality work, because most of the talent had been trained at Richard Williams Animation at one time or another.
Here is the youtube link to Jovan Sex Appeal:

Cels, Heritage Auctions.


  1. Nice to see you do a post about Dick's work. You can see in those cel pictures that he drew right on the cels, too!
    It's amazing that he still pushes the limits of animating figures. His recent short 'Prologue' is like nothing else. I've been lucky enough to meet him a few times, and his passion is really infectious

    1. Also I think he said that he animated this whole ad in 6 weeks or something nuts like that

  2. It's not Conan the barbarian in the 80's, gosh I hate the style it looks like a naked comic book, oh deer horrible for my taste okay I'm 23 years-old but I hate that style.

    1. Have you heard about the videogame of The Legend of Zelda.

  3. I wonder if this commercial had paid off good.

  4. Hello Andreas. Sorry to post this on your blog but I have no other means of contacting you. I wanted to ask for your authorisation to publish photos of you on Roger Rabbit in my new book. I believe some belong to you. Please let me know. Great blog BTW! I'm on Facebook.

  5. Also worth checking out is Yoshitaka Amano's work animated. I think I found something like that online. Also a freak-master of art, so his stuff animated just looks mindblowing. And I'm not talking about Angels Egg. I just can't think of what it was it was a one off thing.

    Amano taught me that design trumps EVERYTHING. It's maybe more important than even perspective if you really really know what you're doing. His ability amazes me.

    Anyhoo, just thought I'd check in and send you a post because I haven't for a long while.

    Thanks for all your replies to me in the past, and all your posts about Milt Kahl for people like me who were asking you about him, etc.

    Much love Mr. Deja. :)

    Your christian fan, and aspiring artist,


  6. I think I found it, the animation with Amano's art is called 1001 Arabian Nights. Pretty sure that's it.

  7. Is there somewhere I can watch the commercial in high resolution?