Saturday, October 1, 2011

African Cats

Early this year I was asked by my buddy Don Hahn, if I would be interested in being the featured artist for the DisneyNature film "African Cats". I didn't quite know what that meant at first.
So, this is what it meant:
Producing wildlife illustrations, inspired by the film, which would be showcased and offered for sale within an exhibition at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, when the film opened.
The proceeds would go to the African Wildlife Foundation to help save the big cats.
Sounded like a fun challenge to me, and it did turn out to be a great experience.
I received a rough cut DVD of "African Cats", and started to look for specific scenes that intrigued me. Well...where to start...! This movie is magnificent.
The story follows a family of lions as well as cheetahs, and you are hooked from the first few scenes on. Among favorite moments of mine are one scene where the old lion Fang challenges a crocodile. Another sequence shows a cheetah mother deterring male lions from the hiding place of her cubs. You'll hold your breath, I guarantee.
Amazing photography, mesmerizing storytelling. (Don had a lot to do with that, and he helped with the final edit, too).
This film really picks up from where Walt Disney left off with his "True Life Adventures". 
 "African Cats" was filmed by BBC camera men, the guys who did "Planet Earth"
(which is a series I could watch once a week!)
The movie comes out on DVD/Bluray this week in the US, it will be shown in theaters internationally in a few months.

Below is a selection of my artwork, inspired by DisneyNature's "African Cats".