Saturday, March 11, 2006
This is a conceptual design I did for Disney's Atlantis in 1997. Wow, nearly ten years ago!
When I was first approached with the Atlantis project I had it described to me as an animated Indiana Jones adventure, done in Mike Mignola's comic book style. I was also told that this particular film would be different than its predecessors in that it would not be a musical or comedy. All in all, I thought this was a fantastic idea!
It didn't take long to see that the graphic Mignola styling for the backgrounds was being abandoned (as is reflected in this drawing). Soon afterwards, the characters also lost the Mignola influence. One of the things I kept being asked of was to create a sense of atmosphere and drama. I tried to create a sense of mystery, drama, and of course atmosphere, but also to add a sense of dignity to the characters. In this particular case I drew Preston Whitmore as a dignified elderly gentleman who was passing the mysterious book to the young Milo.
In the end result, the Mignola comic book influence was all but gone, and the film turned into a comedy. Because much of the original creative vision was abandoned, I think the film was caught inbetween that nowhere land of neither comedy, nor drama.
This drawing was also drawn in Prismacolor on vellum and it is about 15"x24". Start to finish, the drawing took about a week. This is a good example of the type of work I did for Disney while working for them, combining characters, backgrounds and my own conceptualization of themes and ideas. Ultimately, as a freelancer, my job on this project was to create inspiration and innovation, not direction.
Note: There is a caricature of myself as a small Inca clay pot atop Whitmore's desk.