Saturday, September 9, 2017

Richard Williams animates Frazetta


I remember visiting Richard Williams Animation studio in London for the first time in the late 1970s. It was also my first time in the UK, and my first time traveling by plane (from Duesseldorf/Germany).
Before my trip I had arranged appointments with several animation studios, Williams, Halas & Batchelor and Richard Purdum.
Dick Williams was in the US on business when I set foot at his studio. But I did get a tour of his studio in Soho and a personal screening of their latest animated commercials. Man, was I impressed then, and looking at this kind of work now, decades later, I still am.
One of the spots was for an After Shave called Jovan. It felt revolutionary to me. I had been familiar with Frank Frazetta's work, but here it motion. Dick had animated whole camera moves, character and background. He would tell me later that the spot was corny. Of course it was, but in the most amazing way! It was bold and groundbreaking!
It made me realize that animation can go much further than Disney.

Hans Bacher posted this scene breakdown a while ago on his terrific blog:

In those days London was the hub for animated commercials. There were quite a few studios that all produced high quality work, because most of the talent had been trained at Richard Williams Animation at one time or another.
Here is the youtube link to Jovan Sex Appeal:

Cels, Heritage Auctions.