Sunday, August 9, 2015

World Lion Day

August 10 is World Lion Day.
In light of the recent horrific events surrounding Zimbabwe's lion Cecil, it is important to reflect on these magnificent animals...and their dwindling numbers in the wild. If you want to help, here are links to a couple of reputable organizations who are making a difference in preserving precious wildlife:

Let me tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than having your own art show and donating the proceeds to animal conservation efforts. I have done it, I highly recommend it.

Which brings me back to The Lion King. I remember animating this scene during Scar's introduction.
"Life's not fair, is it? You see I...well I shall never be king. And you...shall never see the light of another day!"
This wasn't my first scene with Scar, I had done a few walks and very short dialogue scenes. But when animating this moment I started to feel the potential for the character. The mouse was beautifully animated by Brian Ferguson.

But my very first scene for The Lion King was this one. A Black Rhino rising early in the morning. I remember it like yesterday, the directors told me: "Now Andreas, this is the very first animation in the film. People will judge - is this going to be a good film or not?" Talking about pressure.
I ended up animating the scene about seven or eight different ways. Nothing seemed right to the directors.
I had the rhino lift up the head in perspective, in profile, different types of timing...etc. The final verdict was: "Well, I guess this will do."
Oh brother...I thought. Am I going to have fun animating on this movie?
Did I ever. Those were just early jitters. Scar remains one of my favorite animation assignments.