sábado, 30 de julho de 2011

"Comic Strip Artist's Kit" by the Art Director for Disney's Comic Strips in the 80s

This is a guide made by Carson Van Osten with drawing tips!

He was the writer and artist of Disney Comics. From 1969 to 1976, he created Mickey Mouse and Goofy  comics for the publisher Disney Studio, which produced comics for the European market. Starting in 1976, he was art director for Disney's comic strips  department in the 1980s. After that, it seems that he has sporadically worked on new Disney comics, including some covers and the adaptation of the Atlantis: The Lost Empire film.

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terça-feira, 26 de julho de 2011

Beyond 'Beauty and the Beast'

"Beauty and the Beast" not only changed movie history -- it is the only animated film to receive an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture -- it also changed the lives of those who made it. The tenth anniversary of this "tale as old as time," celebrated with a special edition, seems like the perfect time to catch up with the actors whose voices helped to bring Belle and Beast to life.

Paige O'Hara, the voice of Belle, recalls the 1991 premiere of "Beauty and the Beast." "We had no idea how truly great the film was until we were sitting in the audience at the premiere," says the actress. "We were nervous. Then all of the New York film critics stood up and cheered. It was really something."

O'Hara is excited about the new version of the film. "It's better than ever," she says. "With the enormity of the screen and the new 'Human Again' scene -- which was songwriter Howard Ashman's favorite song -- I had tears rolling down my face. It's so beautiful."

O'Hara has kept busy the past decade, performing onstage in such roles as Nellie Forbush in "South Pacific" and Fantine in "Les Miserables," starring in Las Vegas with the Radio City Rockettes in "The Great Radio City Spectacular," and recording albums. Her latest is a collection of lullabies called "Dream with Me." At the end of the year, she'll tour in "From Belle to Broadway," a musical revue of Disney and Broadway tunes.

"I've been lucky to always work as a Broadway actress, but the magnitude of the people that know your name after something like this ...," says O'Hara. "It has been wonderful to utilize being Belle to help my work with children's charities, such as the Ronald McDonald House."

While kids are delighted to meet O'Hara, they don't always have quite the same reaction when encountering Robby Benson. "Usually when their parents tell them that I'm the Beast, they become afraid," says Benson. "The challenge over the years has become how to make them feel that the Beast is this good guy; he's just a bit confused in his honest and true search for love."

Love is a topic Benson pursues often in his writing of plays, songs, and movies. An admitted "obnoxious romantic," Benson is currently writing a musical, "Open Heart."

"It's a very honest, funny love story. And we are lucky enough to have Peter Schneider [former chairman of The Walt Disney Studios] as our producer. He wanted to go back to his roots in theater, just like I did."

The musical, which opened on Broadway in March 2004, stars Benson and his wife, Karla DeVito. "My wife and I met on Broadway, starring together in 'The Pirates of Penzance,' so it would be really neat to open it together," says Benson.

Benson, who gained fame at a young age as a film star in the movies "One on One," "Ode to Billie Joe," and "Ice Castles," has been behind the camera lately, directing episodes of such television shows as "Friends," "Ellen," and "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," in addition to writing and scoring films.

"What's important to me is putting something down on paper that is eventually on the screen or stage; something that moves you in the audience -- makes you laugh, makes you cry, and you'll think about it ten years from now." 
From Disney Insider

quinta-feira, 21 de julho de 2011

The Art of Robert Olszewski!

The Art Of Robert Olszewski

In this post, the amazing Miniaturist and Sculptor, Robert Olszewski. Over the past decade, Robert has created miniature replicas of popular Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort icons, attractions and buildings including the Main Street, U.S.A. Collection (Click Here to see all the pictures), as well as other figural pieces which include Gallery of Light scenes, Heirloom boxes and the ever-popular Pokitpal series. 

Michelle: You’re very well known for your ability to create miniature masterpieces. What influences or inspirations do you draw on both Disney and non-Disney to create these amazing pieces?

Olszewski: The inspirations I draw upon for my work today began in high school and college art classes. My view of art was solidly planted in painting, until in 1977, I carved a small figurine for my daughter’s dollhouse. This one figure changed everything. I had painted on canvas for 15 years and this tiny sculpture, at 1 inch tall, began my career as a sculptor. In 1979, while under contract, I made it a point to take the time to visit art museums. The museum visits broadened how I looked at all art. So, today, when I begin a new project, I reflect back on the great number of masterpieces I have seen.

The influences I find in Disney work have changed over time. My first Disney commission was in 1987 for the 50th Anniversary of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Years later, I was commissioned to do the Disneyland Resort Main Street U.S.A. program. I was able to have access to the Disney Archives as we did research on the park. At the Disney Archives I was reminded that in order to get just the right look for a film, like “Dumbo;” we all have to study the art of the past.

Today I enjoy walking the Parks and revisiting the Disney films, looking at the details that give you that special feeling that is so hard to describe. So, I’m still learning as I continue to visit museums and as I focus in depth on some new gem of a project I am studying at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort.

Michelle: Can you give us a little insight as to what our guests can expect to see in the coming months and share some details on the process and steps it takes to create things in this scale?

Olszewski: This is hard to answer as I am working on the Disneyland Resort Main Street, U.S.A. collection and attraction sculptures, the Walt Disney World Resort Main Street, U.S.A. collection, PokitPals, Heirloom Boxes and Gallery of Light. The truth is…that when I work on projects, of which there are many, the project in my hand is the only and most important project in the world. 

The work we do here at the studios is not linear – it doesn’t follow a straight line. However, here is the framework I work in for every project, from PokitPals to the Main Street, U.S.A. buildings & attractions:
Research, sketch, gather input, concept approval, build paper model – yes all projects are built in paper first, sculpted in clay, then submitted for approval, we produce a final sample – coloration, lighting, etc., then submit the final sample for approval, manufacture it, and then launch and market the designs to the collectors.
At all steps, I focus on the feeling of the piece. Details should be left out, if they do not support the feeling. As far as what designs are coming, you and the collectors will have to wait and see. I am at the Disneyland Resort, launching new designs 4 times a year and at Walt Disney World Resort, at least 2 times a year. Stay tuned for more announcements.

terça-feira, 19 de julho de 2011

The Art of Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily

Today we got Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, who over the course of the year have created some very nostalgic and classic Disneyland park 55th anniversary pieces.

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily
Michelle: Our Disneyland Resort Guests have gotten to know you through your Disney-inspired art and collectible merchandise. How would you describe your art style for someone who has never seen any of your work?

Jody: We hope that the majority of our collectibles do not reflect our own personal style. We work very hard to keep own “fingerprints” hidden and really showcase the original design of the item we are replicating. If we’re adapting the design into a new medium, like a teapot or a stained-glass lamp, we place the design esthetic into a particular time period, such as Art Noveau, Craftsman, or even Post Modern, that will compliment the original design. More than style, I hope we’re known for aspiring to a high level of authenticity. 

Michelle: Your collaborative partnership has served you well. How long have you been working together and what is the spark that ignites each Disney project?

Kevin: We started working together in 1990 as designers in the Disneyland Entertainment Art department. Since then we’ve created all kinds of things for Disney from illustrating books to designing toys and, of course, Theme Park entertainment. Everything we do starts with a ton of research. The “spark” might come from seeing a beautiful background from an animated film … or a grainy black and white picture of a long lost attraction sign!

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily
Michelle: You bring out the collector in all of us with your anniversary themed merchandise created to celebrate iconic Disneyland park attractions such as The Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean and most recently for the 40th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion in 2009. Your soon-to-be-released collection to celebrate the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland park will debut on July 17. What is it like to work on these milestone projects that bring back fond memories, for both Guests and Cast Members, and also inspire new ones?

Kevin: Well, it’s no secret that we’re big time Disneyland fans. We always start out by asking ourselves what WE would like to own. The Enchanted Tiki Room, for example, is so near and dear to our hearts that naturally we’ve put the spotlight on it quite a lot. The opportunity to research and create a new item within the original design esthetic is enormously fun. It’s the next best thing to traveling back in time to our own childhoods.

Michelle: With so many projects behind you including a one-of-a-kind auction lot of the “Hat Box Ghost” created for the inaugural D23 Expo, what can we look forward to seeing from you next? 

Jody: We’re releasing many exciting 55th Anniversary collectibles throughout this summer, including true replicas of Walt Disney’s personal Main Street vehicle, Harper Goff’s first concept for the Jungle Cruise boats, and the classic Fantasyland Pirate Ship that we all fondly remember. Later this year, look for items commemorating the 55th Anniversary of the Mickey Mouse Club television show. We’ve just begun concepts for Disney California Adventure park’s Buena Vista Street and Cars Land merchandise – and the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort! With both of us growing up in the 1970s, we have many good feelings for the early years of Walt Disney World!

Michelle: Do you have a list of dream projects you would like to develop?

Kevin: Wow, I would love to create more items from my favorite Disneyland attractions that no longer exist, like Adventure Thru Inner Space and America Sings. These attractions made my young imagination soar!

Jody: When you’re a kid, it’s easy to take for granted certain experiences will always be there for you. Since Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade went away, I became very inspired to design a new nighttime parade for Disneyland, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since – it’s something I would really love to do some day!

Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily

domingo, 17 de julho de 2011

The Art of Maggie Parr

posted on July 14th, 2011 by Dara Trujillo, Manager, Merchandise Synergy, Events, and Communication

This last Friday, July 15 at 5 p.m., the Art of Disney Parks at Downtown Disney Marketplace hosted former Walt Disney Imagineer Maggie Parr, who has showcase her exciting collection of Renaissance-inspired Disney character portraits. The collection is a beautiful art series that honors characters in iconic paintings from a few of the world’s most famous and historic artists.

Renaissance-inspired Disney Character Portraits by Former Walt Disney Imagineer Maggie Parr

To help celebrate Maggie’s appearance at Walt Disney World Resort, I want to reintroduce you to Maggie and her artistic styling that makes her artwork so special and enchanting. 

I’ve taken a snippet of Michelle’s interview with Maggie from an earlier article and posted it below, so you can hear from Maggie first hand on what inspired her to create the iconic Disney Renaissance collection and how she chose to depict the characters in the Renaissance style. 

Renaissance-inspired Disney Character Portraits by Former Walt Disney Imagineer Maggie Parr

Minnie as the Mona Lisa

Michelle: Maggie, your work continues to provide a sense of enchantment to our guests. Your ability to capture some of our most notable Disney characters in many film-related scenes and scenarios is just part of the charm and magic that makes them so special. Some of your most recognized pieces have actually had a type of “Renaissance” inspiration. What made you choose to depict the characters in that style?

Maggie: I originally got the idea when Imagineering hired me to paint Disney characters in famous artworks for Tokyo Disney Sea. I really enjoyed imitating classic paintings. But it was also an interesting challenge to figure out subtleties of the characters: how they’d look in costumes, what expressions they’d have, how they’d look rendered in different mediums and techniques. I realized that Goofy, and all of the characters, have their own psychology. In fact, when I painted them, they came alive on the canvas, and I began to appreciate and understand the Disney characters in a whole new way while inserting lighthearted American humor into serious European history. Mickey and Minnie are beloved to the American imagination – so it made sense to paint them as “Queen Minnie” and “King Mickey” after famous royal portraits. It feels fun and irreverent to frame Goofy and Donald as English noblemen in the 1700s. And of course, portraying Minnie as the Mona Lisa is the ultimate parody.
Tip: Several of Maggie’s “Renaissance” inspired pieces, including “Minnie Lisa” and “Duck With A Pearl Earring,” will be available on the Disney Cruise Line in the months ahead.
Michelle: Two of your upcoming pieces will surely capture the imagination of Disney enthusiasts and Railroad historians everywhere. Can you give us some highlights and insights on these pieces and why you chose these subjects to commemorate the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland park?

Maggie: When I got the invitation to develop artwork for the 55th Anniversary, I jumped at the chance to portray scenes from the opening year. I grew up in Ohio, so I didn’t get to visit Disneyland park until my early 20s; but I can feel its history every time I walk through the park. There’s a certain magic that’s unique to Disneyland. It’s something I try to capture in my paintings. And because it’s a place that was born in the imagination, it seems natural to picture the characters walking around as if they secretly live there. That’s why I painted Sleeping Beauty in front of her castle, and Donald as the engineer, and Mickey as the fireman of the train. To me, they’re the living force that animates these places.

I decided to paint the castle because it’s so iconic; but I was surprised to learn that it was originally painted white. I left Aurora’s dress pink (instead of blue) to honor the current coloration of the castle. I also wanted to paint one of the trains because they’re just so fun. I originally considered portraying the No. 1 engine, but after learning that the No. 2 was Walt’s favorite, I had to paint that one. I consulted Jeff Remy – a train enthusiast and one of the engineers on the Disneyland Railroad – and he generously provided advice on the mechanical and historical details. Of course my pieces are never completely realistic – I add characters and fantastic details to make it more magical – but I try to portray the real-life setting as accurately as possible.

Disneyland 55th Anniversary

Click Here to read "The Art of Jim Shore"

Click Here to read "The Art of Randy Noble"

Click Here to read "The Art of Darren Wilson"

Click Here to read "The Art of Larry Nikolai and Chris Crump"