Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mama Odie Maquette

As supervising animators at Disney we got to keep our character's maquettes.
They were produced by very talented sculptors and were meant to help with drawing problems and to keep the character on model throughout the film. 
Sometimes though these mini sculptures arrived somewhat late in production, but even then It was always fun to see your character in three dimensions.
Over the years I accumulated quite a few of these, the only one that's missing is King Triton.
Ruben Procopio sculpted the cast of The Little Mermaid way back, and his beautiful sculpt of Triton just turned out to be very large. It was decided that at that size he would be too complicated to cast for reproduction.

Mama Odie along with all the characters from Princess & the Frog were sculpted by the gifted  Raffaello Vecchione. It was amazing to see how close Raffaello got to my drawings I gave him for reference. I did have some input after he showed me a rough sculpt, but he really is a master at interpreting animators' two dimensional drawings.

While on the topic of Mama Odie, this is a sheet I drew that shows different hand positions.  I do this for all my characters, since their hands need to be distinctive to fit the personality.
You often get away with only one joint for each finger, except in close ups when you need two.

Making Mama Odie talk with all her loose facial flesh was too much fun.
I did do some research before I started animation. Studying different films featuring American comedienne Moms Mabley and British character actress Margaret Rutherford was very useful and inspiring.
But in the end her face needed to work with Jennifer Lewis' wonderful vocal performance.