Monday, October 22, 2018

More of my Black Cauldron Designs

It's so interesting to see drawings you haven't looked at in decades. Heritage Auctions is again offering concept art from The Black Cauldron (from the film's producer's estate.) These are from another lifetime of mine.
Some were drawn in Germany, when I found out that Disney planned to produce this film. I read the books by Lloyd Alexander and got inspired. I do remember the sketches of Taran above, the witches as well as Taran with "big" Hen Wen were sketched out in my little cubby hole of a student place in Essen/Werden Germany. The others I did when I started at Disney in 1980.

This is an early version of Creeper, the Horned King's sidekick.

More designs for for the monster birds, called the Gwythaints.

And again the three witches. By the way I used the design of the witch on the right for my assignment in the Disney Animation training program. Eric Larson asked me wether I wanted to do some animation on a classic Disney character or on a character designed by my own. So I chose this witch, who is really a mix of Madame Medusa and Madame Mim.
What mattered is that the scenes I animated seemed good enough for employment on actual production.

The L. Alexander books described Hen Wen as a pig having oracular powers. To me this had to be an old pig...sort of a gypsy type,

The "cuter" version of Hen Wen trying to escape the claws of a giant Gwythaint.


  1. Thank you for sharing your work with us! :-)
    I like to see how conscientious you worked!
    In the typical way to transform a original story into a Disney film many, many good ideas get lost...

    The Black Cauldron is a film the words "based on the novel..." would have to be written in large letters.

    I think the books of Llord Alexander wasn't a good choice for a Disney film...

    But you and the other artists did their best!!!!
    By the way: Thanks for Gurgi! :-)

  2. Mr. Andreas ,
    these are incredible, I love your posts, they are always fantastic.

    just a question, who animated all the scene of the battle between Simba and Scar in the Lion King ? You ?

    1. Nope, Ruben Aquino did those scenes (beautifully). I remember helping clean up with a few draw-overs to maintain model consistency. But this sequence is all Ruben.
      I picked up Scar at the end of the film, and animated the last few scenes.

  3. Mr. Andreas , I visited The Walt Disney Family Museum in Sanfrosisco with my mom and my little sister and my cousine and we are fans of Disney Animation and Live-Action like Cinderella, Maleficent and of course Mary Poppins, but I was blown away by these concepts artwork of the Nine Old Men and my favorite artwork it's Bambi Adolescent made by Milt Kahl and Maleficent and Aurora by Marc Davis and I was a looking around to find artworks of Glen Kean and your artwork too Andreas beacuse I'm a big fan of your art and it's a wonderful day for me so Thank you for posting those artworks on your blog Andreas it's a big pleasure.

  4. Hi Andreas!
    Do you have the linetest of your scene with the witch you have designed? I would love to see it!

  5. très proches du design définitif.

  6. Oh these sketches are gorgeous - I LOVE The Black Cauldron. It was never released in Denmark, so I never saw it before it was released on VHS. Why this isn't given the proper attention I'll never know.

    1. I own a beautiful cel of Eilonwy. Would have love to have the Gwythaint sketch.