Friday, May 22, 2020

Background Designs

A handsome article from Sketches Magazine, spring 1994.
Its readership consisted mostly of Disney fans, so the information is basic. But the article does make the point that even though most people believe there is ONE Disney style, beautiful artistic variations can be pointed at from films through the decades.
From early cozy looking watercolors to the gritty, almost avant garde style for 101 Dalmatians.

And yes, I do believe that Aladdin fits right in with these masterpieces of stage sets for the characters.
I remember when I saw the first finished backgrounds for Aladdin, we had just started production animation. I couldn't believe my eyes. It seemed like the studio had hired back Claude Coats, Bill Layne, Al Dempster and all the other old-timers. Aladdin represented a huge artistic leap forward for my generation of animated film makers.
And then there was Eric Goldberg's spectacular animation of the Genie....I knew then that this film was going to be extraordinary!!!


  1. I don't think I will ever get over how gorgeous the art style from "101 Dalmatians" is, these are all beautiful but that one in particular is so unique and it also has a rather nostalgic charm to it in my opinion... and the one from Aladdin holds up amazingly too.
    On a side note, you have probably been asked before, but would you ever consider joining Instagram too to share your art and updates on your projects? Your blog is a must-read in the animation community for those who love the medium and want to learn more, and an Instagram account would perhaps be a nice addition. I'm sure there are a lot of people on there too that would be more than happy to follow you.

  2. oh yeah I completely agree. I can appreciate all of them, but if you were to mix up the characters and BGs between different films, it wouldn't look right because they're designed to fit together. Imagine Lilo & Stitch in Hunchback's version Paris for example!
    I love that they pushed for different styles each time, and I hope to see more CG films do the same