Almost exactly 10 years ago my job on Mulan was as good as finished and I was merely waiting for my flight home, when we saw a chinese movie for reference, a very brutal, gorey movie with lots of blood, beheadings and sewered arms and stuff, everything a good movie should have in other words. Just for fun and to kill the time till lunchbreak I made a few over-the-top-sketches to get it out of my system. And also just for fun, I boarded them.
Chris Buck and Kevin Lima, the directors of Tarzan , saw these scribbles and saw something in them, as they later told me, that they were looking for in the gorillas, which had to be designed.
They called me into their office and i think we were the first three pople, to wiork on the project. They just had obtainend the rights from the Burroughs-family and still didn't really know, what to do with the story. So basically, what they did was giving me the novel, telling me to doodle away and explore as many directions as I could think of, concentrating on the gorillas.
I went back to Germany with that brief, doing exactly that : sketching away , doing a lot of quick drawings, exploring the characters and their possibilities.