Friday, December 14, 2018

More Early Black Cauldron Work

A few of my early Black Cauldron exploratory sketches were recently auctioned off at Heritage Auctions. They come from the film's producer's Joe Hale estate.
I made the drawing above while I was still in Germany before joining Disney in August of 1980.
I had read Lloyd Alexander's books after finding out that Disney was going to produce an animated feature based on his story material.
I still think Alexander's books are fantastic, and would make for a terrific live action film. Or a Netflix series.
I mentioned this before, that when trying to design the oracular pig Hen Wen, a big sow came to mind because she was supposed to have magical visions.
But instead I was asked to come up with a cute piglet type for whatever reason.

If I remember correctly this witches sketch was also done way back in Germany.

This rough design of Taran was based on something Tim Burton had drawn. The idea being to somehow "disneyfy" Tim's character concepts. Well...that just didn't work.

Whoever ended up with these pieces needs to know that the medium used was felt pen and Magic Markers. When framed it is essential to use UV glass, otherwise the colors will fade drastically.


  1. It was not very heard back then wen you start it at Disney with Tim Burton in the early 80s have you worked together ?.

  2. That must have been a heady and exciting experience at the time!
    To get things straight- when you first got to the studio, you were working on character concepts like this, while also doing test animation and animation training? is that right?

    1. I did the training program first, then character design with Tim, then animation.

    2. Have you heard about the live action of Dumbo, Tim Burton is working on it just like Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the looking Glass.

    3. Thanks Andreas. Did you do these drawings without being asked?

  3. Hey, this is off topic, Andreas, but I noticed that there is a scene in Alice in wonderland that Milt Kahl shared with Cliff Nordberg when the little king had just smacked the queen on the head with a gavel and he passes the object over to the mad hatter and the March hare and then to Alice. Which animator was doing which, the mad hatter and March hare look as though they were done my Milt, though there’s fat chance of that.