Friday, September 30, 2005


....only three feet tall,
Bilbo Baggins,
bravest little hobbit of 'em all



And finally some sketches of an ill-tempered Jim. He was a lot younger in my version of the script, than in the final movie, maybe 13 or 14, and he wasn't a surfer, either.
There's tons more of stuff, I barely scratches the surface of whats in my archives, but frankly I'm kinda scared of digging in there, just posted what's on my harddrive.

Btw, its great to be mentionend so prominently on CARTOONBREW , I'm very proud and happy about that, it's a great site, hi Amid , hope you're doing fine !

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Recidivist said he finds it funny , that even Wyeth's Silver looks a lot like Harry Andrews,- I find it even scarier that Wyeth's Fletcher Christian looks a lot like Marlon Brando ....

Schrott aka Gert Fröbe

I mentionend this in one of the threads and Limbolo aka Neill Ross asked for it, so here it is, a quick sketch of Gert Fröbe as the pedophile killer Schrott in the 60's German/Swiss version of "The Pledge".
Check it out, it's a great movie.



...that's probably why my sketches don't bare any resemblance to him.



Yesterday I mentionend that Ron and John suggested "The Duke" as a rolemodel for Silver. That was fine, but for me he's the archetypal American, and I have a hard time seeing him as an english seaman. Uli Meyer suggested Anthony Hopkins for his movie, but for me this guy above , whom I like so much that I don't know his name, would be the perfect Silver.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005



I always find it very helpfull when designing a character to spend some thoughts concerning which social class the character belongs to . A good cast has characters from all three classes to play against each other with their different approaches to life. ( Look at the Lord Of The Rings for example with it's workingclass Hobbits, the intellectual wizards and aristrocratic elfes ).
The same thing is true for Treasure Island: workingclass pirates, the middleclass Hawkens-family and the the captain and the upperclass Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livsey. Things like that are very interesting when you look for example at the ways the different members of these classes kill. The Pirates do it "hands on", the upper class in more sophisticated ways.
Anyway , Silver clearly is the most sophisticated amongst the pirates, he doesn't act his class. A potential aristrocrat amongst workingclass pirates.

The directors mentionend John Wayne as a reference, which I found very helpfull at the time. Below you see an illustration from Master Wyeth, whose illustrations served as a reference for the whole movie.

Silver, being a pirate, disguised as an inn-keeper, half alien, half pirate, was a bit too much to design in one go, something was always right, other things were always wrong, so I decided to design one thing at a time. I neglected the cyborg-part in the drawings you see here, to concentrate at the warm and fatherlike , yet evil pirate. Pure evil hidden in normality, profanity. Being German,I didn't have to dig very deep for reference for that, when I was a kid, you always had to be prepared more often than not , to discover that the elderly gentlemen next door was an ex-nazi.

Before I could really finish the design, Glen Keane took over and did his wonderful job.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005



If there's one thing I wanted to avoid on this picture and it's animal/aliens, it was ending up with humans with animal heads. Funny enough, it's exactly what happend most of the time.
Also in this case with Amelia, the captain. I tried many ways to incorporate the catlike attitude , I looked at egyptian art and lots of other things but eventually she turned out to have a cat's head on a human body.



Mr. Arrows is a mineral-lifeform, a stone. I was hoping to come up with something really special. I didn't want to do just a human with a skin-problem, to avoid the human form as much as possible. The problem with a stone is , as soon as you move it, bent it, squash it, stretch it, it looses it's "stoneyness" and becomes soft. I thought , maybe it should stay firm and float , or stand in the corner on the bridge, like a real stone, his voice coming from a chasm in his "face",if it had any, why not.
What would you do, with a talking stone, if you had one ?

He could also have had a robot-arm or walking device,that would help him to move, but that was too close to Silver and his cyborg-arm.

Anyway , there's always that one drawing , that you do to illustrate, what you don't want, and in Arrow's case, it was "The Thing". I wanted to avoid that solution by all means, unfortunetly it was what Ron and John liked the most, so there you are, a stonething in a uniform....

Saturday, September 24, 2005



Israel Hands is the most brutal of the pirates.
I wanted him to be a cockroach, with all his knifes and daggers being part of his actual anatomy, like the clamps ob a lobster.
This is the only drawing left of my designs, I was way behind, had to send the stuff over in a hurry and with Fedex knocking at the door, I only had the time to copy my favorite one on the faxmachine. Here it is...


Billy Bones

Silver is a gentleman-pirate. A working-class , down-to earth, next door friendly neighbour buccaneer, whom you wouldn't suspect to be the worst pirate that ever sailed the seven seas. In fact, Jim chooses him as his surrogate father. In contrast to that I wanted BILLY BONES to be the pirate's pirate, he should look like your typical Hollywood pirate, cliche, romantic , smelling of salt, tar, rum and adventure.

Since Jim Hill is posting some infos about Fraidy Cat on his site, I thought I'd might as well show you some of my stuff , from a time , when the project was still helmed by Piet Kroon and Hans Bacher. Enjoy !

Imagine my surprise, when I saw the first images from "Lorenzo"...


Sunday, September 18, 2005

A couple o' girls and an evil Highpriest

A Snowqueen...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Kwak, getting on his musical timemachine...

Sunday, September 11, 2005


another drawing by Ronald Searle...

Some of you might be interested to know that the German Film School in Berlin, a high-profile CG-school, is offering it's first study-course for Character Design in March 2006. I was asked to put the course together and I was able to talk a.o. Mr. Cheng Yi Chang of "Mulan"-fame into teaching there. More lectures will be held by Christian Schellewald ( ProdDesign-Eldorado, Over The Hedge), ILM's highly talented Arthur McBride ( Creature Design - Pirates o.t. Caribean, Minority Report, MIB... a.o.), Frank Petzold from Tippet Studio, Jacob Schuh and Oscar nominated Johannes Weiland ( Hesse James, Annie and Boo ) and many , many others.I'm still waiting for Passion Pictures' Pierre Coffin's and Kyle"Monsters Inc"Balda's final commitment, but I'm very sure, that they will be with us, too.
I will have one or two things to say myself, and of course the courses will be held in english. If you're interested , check out the school's website under


Drawing by Ronald Searle

Sorry guys, for the long break, in which I havent updated this blog . I'm currently in Munich working on a project and apart from being very busy all through the week, its also very, very complicated to get on the internet in Bavaria. Now I'm home over the weekend so I took some time for updating.

I'm not allowed to tell you anything about the project without getting thrown from the highest window of Neuschwanstein , but this little gem I wanna share with you :
I had dinner the other night in Schwabing "Simpl", a "pub", or rather "Gasthaus" , that was the meeting place oft the guys who created the satirical newspaper "Simplicissimus" a mere 100 years ago.

Wonderful artists and caricaturists, some of you may be familiar with the work of theses geniusses.The Simpl pretty much looks the same as it did a 100 years ago and it was a great feeling, sitting there, having my Rostbratwurst with Sauerkraut and beer, right below some of the portraits and originals. Although I was all by myself, I felt, I was in good company.

Some of their artwork for you to enjoy:

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Totally off topic, but I love it !

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Grim Reaper ....

And "Derrick" , maybe the biggest flop in Germany's cinema history, well, apart from "Dieter Bohlen-the movie"
( I told 'em, but would they listen to me ????????? )