Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down ?
"That's not my department", says Wernher von Braun ....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Almost done

The year is winding down, all presents bought, days are getting less and less busy, and what's left to do for the rest of the year is finishing the designs for the DVD-boxes, which shouldn't be a problem and rather fun. Even the other blogs have gotten quieter. The new Seinfeld and I Spy- Collctor's boxes will take care, that the holidays won't get too long. Some snow would be fun. I was dreaming last night that I was in a meeting with Miyazake and I was angry with myself, that I hadn't brought anything to get an autograph.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Spiegel Online

If you're speaking German and you wish to know more about the recent Universal/DWSKG-deal and the business in general, check out this article in this week's edition of Spiegel-online.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Getting hooked

I was going through old sketchbooks, looking for "the" original kwak-drawing for my other blog.
Haven't found it yet but I came across this fellow. I had completly forgotten about him, he must be from 83 or 84. I was in my early 20's and it was an important drawing, I got hooked on communicating "character" . And without realizing it, I sensed the fun, that others had with it.
It was great seeing him again....

Aloha !

Hey, I just saw , that I have a reader in Hawaii or Kauhai, can't really tell,the maps not very accurate !
I'm glad you found you're way here, tell us who you are,and where you are, exactly, in case you ever come back.
I have no idea, why I am so delighted by this thought, maybe its because temperatures are below 0 here, and I am longing for an exotic beach and a cool drink.Have one for me, please, whoever you are....
So, "Aloha" from freezing Germany, glad to see you and in case we don't see each other before Xmas :

Mele Kaliki Maka !


OK, so I've seen it, Can't say, I wasn't entertaint, the visuals are spectacular, the characterdesign is great, the CG-stuff excellent and the villainess gorgeous,....and yet ....
Can't help but feeling , that there's something missing, can't really put my finger on it, but what I am missing is "depth". Is it just me , or is there no second act ? The kids come to Narnia, are introduced to the problem, meet Aslan, fight a battle and win it-over-the end. Reminds me of Shrek , I'm afraid to say.Coming to Narnia and the first person you meet is the witch, that makes the world rather small, doesn't it, it's like landing a spaceship on earth and the first person you meet is the pope, right ?
I don't get the feeling that it is a world , that's at stake here, I don't get a feeling of space, time and size, feels more like a park, rather than a world. I also miss a sense of history, what's the witches story ? Aslan's history ? They're all just there, somehow.
I would like to know more about that centaur-guy for example, he looked cool, like he had a story to tell .
Nevertheless, it was great evening at the movies, If you haven't yet, go and see it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

RIP Hanns Dieter Hüsch

Also, ich seh ihn ja mit Ditz Atrops , Hagenbuch und dem lieben Gott bei Hein Lindemann an de Thek' stehen und nierderrömisch reden....

Die einen werden sagen:
Er hat zu viel gemacht,
Die anderen werden sagen :
Er hat sich zu wenig bewegt,
Ich aber sage Euch :
Lasst mich in Ruhe.

Wir sehen uns wieder.
N'abend zusammen

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

But then again....

- this looks fantastic....can't wait

Saturday, December 03, 2005

What a horrible, horrible, horrible idea....

Guys, you're not funny.
Nuff said.

Dazu bitte auch Spiegel/Online lesen ---->,1518,385746,00.html


When we started with Tarzan, we were aiming at the impossible, namely not giving away, that Clayton was the villain of our movie, but using Kerchak as a kind of a red herring instead. That of course, couldn't work, but we tried anyway. The idea behind that was, that not too long ago in the history of Hollywood-movies the great white hunters were the heros in these kind of movies. And who would make a better great white hunter than Clark Gable, in fact, he played these kind of roles. So I looked at him a lot. the great surprise of the directors, who were expecting a kind of caricature of Brian Blessed, the wonderful voice of Clayton. I just had a tape with some of his lines but in my ignorance, didn't know , what he looked like, and worked only from what I was hearing.
When I had my first sketches ready I had to board them and run the voicetape to the directors to convince them, that it would work, even if there was no resemblance.

Gable as Clayton was too "American" for my taste, so I looked a lot at J.C.Leyendecker's work to get a feel for the "English Gentleman", well educated, ready to kill, but deciding against it.

I found out, that Leyendecker's favorite model was the actor John Barrymore, grandfather of Drew, so I went directly to the source. You'll find more Barrymore in Clayton than Gable.

It always helps, to look at the contemporary version of whatever it is your drawing. This guy is Southafrica's greatest elefant-killer.Look into his eyes....

I never miss out to look not just at other ( animated ) movies, but at the historical real thing and get familiar with it, doing my reasearch. This is Sir Richard Burton, -not the actor-, the first and only non-muslim, who ever was inside the Kaaba, who first translated the Kamasutra an the "Arabian Nights", who discovered the "Victoria Falls" and the source of the nile. The blueprint of any generic explorer.

As I said before, I wanted Clayton to be "english", so I tried everything I could, using the likes of David Niven as reference, Errol Flynn, even Prince Charles and Prince Phillip, basically everything I could get hold off....

Getting closer...

One of the first modelsheets with the finished design. We took the neck and the chin a little bit back.

Kent Melton's wonderful maquette....

I was having a break from Clayton and all the others in my little cubicle, reading a magazine with my feet on the table, when all of a sudden Joe Grant popped in. " Wanted to have a look at what you're doing..."
I talked him through my stuff , we chatted for quite a while, I asked him everyhing I could think of, being well aware that this was my once-in-a-lifetime-chance to talk face to face with animation history. Of course I had seen and talked to him before, his office was right next to Hans' when I was working there on "Mulan", but we never talked that intimate before and after.
We talked about Dumbo, Fantasia, Walt and Joe's non-Disney-work and lots of other things. He was just the nicest guy. I'm glad to have had that moment and I'll cherish it for ever.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Do you feel lucky, ...punk ?

Don't have much to post, so I randomly picked a drawing from my sketchbook and I give you Dirty Harry.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Saturday, November 26, 2005

New Acquisitions

It wasn't Santa yet, just the guy from UPS, coming by this morning :

I have my problems with the silicon lips of the bride, otherwise a great, wonderful movie and a great book.

Guess what I'll do over the weekend.

Another day- another character

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Present Day

Just so you know, I'm not completly living in the past, this is a quick sketch of some stuff that's on my desk
at this very moment .


In 1993 I got a copy of a chainletter from London, which had been through all of California before. It promised eternal luck if the chain wasn't broken, you know these kind of letters. The list of names included the likes of Whoopie Goldberg, the Zuckers, James Newton Howard, F.F. Coppola, Dinah Shore, Jane Fonda, Art Buchwald etc . It somehow got into the hands of cartoonists and I got it through Daan Jippes and Hans Bacher. Here's my little contribution :

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Tantor and the genius of Sergio Pablos

When I started to work on Tantor, he was to be voiced by the ultimate neurotic, Woody Allen.
So I was looking for some resemblance in my first sketches. I did quite some sketches, but not as much as I did for the other characters. It just wasn't such a complicated character, I kept postponing him, other things were more important.
This was the time of the cold war between Disney and Dreamworks, and one day we were told, that Woody Allen had signed with Dreamworks for something that was to become "Antz". Apparently they had not only offered him a maincharacter, but also an opportunity to produce his comedies at DWSKG. We spoke to Wayne Knight about the role, a very good choice ultimatly.

In the original draft all elephants were neurotics. Just unable to forget anything. They were sitting around the waterhole all day long as if participating in a giant encountergroup. Above are some of the quick sketches for the minor elephants.

While I was still busy with some of the other characters, Sergio Pablos, the absolutly brilliant animator from Spain had taken over developing the character. I remember talking about Tantor to him one cherised afternoon and we spent hours praising the work of Andre Franquin and his red elephants from one of his Spirou-Comics. Sergio is running his own studio now in Spain and from what I 've seen on his website, his projects look amazing. Check out his website at