Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Peter Pan & Dalmatians BGs

A few samples of production backgrounds from Peter Pan, painted in gouache. 
To me everything is painted in a dreamlike atmosphere, soft and illusive. Even the sequences outside of Neverland, like the Darling family home. You are in a dream from the get go. 

BG artists were: Ralph Hulett, Ray Huffine, Art Riley, Thelma Witmer, Al Dempster, Dick Anthony, Eyvind Earle, Brice Mack and Art Landy.

A completely different aesthetic for the art direction and backgrounds in 101 Dalmatians.
Intricate thin black lines on top of washes of paint. I understand that they used thinned down cel paint in an effort too create a strengthened unity between BGs and character cels. I am not entirely sure though if this is true. It sounds like this might have been something Ken Anderson experimented with during pre-production.
101 Dalmatians has a modern story line with no magic in it. The backgrounds reflect that modern realism. Its graphic 'bite" originates from illustrations and fine art typical of the late 1950s and early 1960s.

BG artists: Al Dempster, Ralph Hulett, Anthony Rizzo and Bill Layne

Either style stunning in itself!

These background paintings are currently available for purchase at Van Eaton Galleries:


  1. 101 is tied with Aladdin as my favorite Disney film overall aesthetic. I know they weren't Walt Disney's favorite (Dalmatians) but they are so unique and beautiful.

    1. I would have to agree. Aladdin is the most beautiful looking film I have worked on.
      And Dalmatians, after al these years, is still the most modern looking hand drawn animated film.

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  2. Glad you said that about Aladdin. It really holds up beautifully in terms of overall design. Gorgeous. Dalmations is one of a kind as well. BTW, nice to see you and Burny Mattinson over on Inside Disney on Disney+. :)

  3. I am curious why original Disney artwork would be for sale. I thought they stored all of it in the Disney Archives.