Friday, September 4, 2020

Disney Publishing, Then & Now


My copy is the one on the left

A few of us were discussing the differences in the publishing tastes over the years regarding the classic Disney children's book illustration.

Sleeping Beauty was brought up as an example so I thought I would share my copy (on the left) with the current version on the right. The original employed an artistic take on the film's style for its cover with the other version decades later using essentially a frame of the film as the guide for its cover. Make no mistake, the interior of the original was loaded with art that was true to the film.

You'll have to excuse the tattered look of my copy as it was given to me by my grandmother in 1957. It's a first edition written by Jane Werner Watson and illustrated by the key stylist of the film- Eyvind Earl along with another huge talent Julius Svendsen. It's well worn by my reading it many times during my childhood (and still enjoyed by me today!). It also showcases many concept paintings by Eyvind which are stunning!
On the right is the 1986 version. Although it is still published as a "Big Golden Book" it only measures 8¼" x 11" whereas the one of the left was 10¼" x 13". Also the number of illustrations in the later release was cut down by a third from the original edition.

The original was much closer to the film with its dynamic interior illustrations and style then the 80s version which is still being sold by Disney. The later/current edition has also removed all of the Eyvind Earl concept pieces that had earlier been displayed so beautifully in the original edition.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Little Man of Disneyland!

Opening Green Screen test
Since it’s difficult for our family to get together during this pandemic as it is for many, Patty and I thought why not adapt some of our favorite picture books into little animatics that we could share via email? “Walt Disney’s Little Man of Disneyland” is one of the lovely Little Golden Books we used to read to our daughters Kimberly and Kristin at bedtime. With Disneyland’s re-opening delayed to help insure the health of guests and cast members, we decided to share that one.

Our adaptations are not animated but more like simple camera moves across the artwork. The credits title card was fun way of sharing the names of the illustrator, author and composer of the music we used.
In some cases we added and repainted the book illustrations a bit to adapt from a book page image to the video format. Some folks were asking what we changed so here are a couple of examples that will help illustrate what we did. Make no mistake though, Dick Kelsey is a legendary Disney artist who did a magnificent job on the original book. Dick Kelsey is one of my favorite artists from the Little Golden Book era of Walt's day and had quite a successful career in feature animation at Disney.

The frame above by the way is from the opening Patty and I created for the adaptations. I modeled the entire set and Patty did textures and animation. I've always wanted to live in the cartoon world so this was my big chance, lol.
This was our first experience using our cheap little homemade green screen and it was a blast! The only thing that is "real" in this shot is me! In case you were wondering, that's Patty's lovely photo over the fireplace.

For those that have been asking, the last shot at the end of the film is INDEED taken from a photograph of the actual tree that Patrick resides within at Disneyland! Yes, it is a real thing so have fun searching it out with the kids!

We hope children (of ALL ages) will enjoy these stories.

Here's the link to the animatic:

Drawing Max as Powerline

A frame grab from the drawing lesson with my little buddy, Max
When I was asked to donate a drawing lesson of Max as Powerline, I had to say yes! After all, he is a charter member of the original series “Goof Troop”, that I had the honor of creating and developing for Disney Television years ago. He’s also the son of one of my favorite “Fab-Five”- Goofy, Gwarsh!

I only had a weekend to do the rough sketch, video and editing so it’s a very simple clip. Hopefully it will entertain kids (of all ages) that enjoy drawing him. It’s an effort to get their minds off what is happening right now across the world with the Coronavirus, and while they are quarantined at home, remind them how much fun drawing can be. I hope you will enjoy it and I’ll do more of these when I can. Patty and I wish everyone the best.

Please take care and stay safe.

Here's the link:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Terrors That Flap in the Night...

This was a very quick little doodle I did for a neighbor's child that is having a rough time with the Coronavirus safety guidelines. His mom was lamenting she had to take him with her to the store to pick up groceries but he refused to wear a mask or use the hand gel. He is a new fan to the original Disney Afternoon. He is binge watching with mom during the quarantine and especially loves the old DuckTales and Darkwing Duck series. I sent this over via email, keeping that 6 foot distance they recommended, and he loved it!

He even washed his hands now!