Saturday, February 28, 2009

JUNGLE BOOK... another look...

A few weeks ago I posted the JUNGLE BOOK background below.

Tonight, I realized after Baloo smashes through the doorway, we get an expanded view not only through the opened doorway, but also a significant pan to the left. (The door is obviously an animated cel overlay.)

Here's the terrific new digitally re-assembled result!


I was without internet service for several days, and my laptop imploded. Geez!

So, with my laptop in the shop, and no internet, I had plenty of time to sit with my desktop computer, and digitally re-assemble some background art. I never get tired of Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK. Here are five "new" B/G pieces.

Finally, today (with a different service provider) I once again have digital internet access. Yay!

Glad to be back!

A wonderful reconstructed pan B/G

So you can savor the details and texture, its left side...

and right side...

and some more...

Monday, February 16, 2009


This 1942 cartoon was Tex Avery's second at MGM after leaving Warner Bros. It opens with a send-up of Disney's THREE LITTLE PIGS. Here's is a splendid (digitally recreated) pan background. As usual, I've added right and left halves so you can enjoy a closer look at the details.

This digitally recreated vertical pan has some interesting gags - including the play on the MGM logo at the top and the "sausage swastica" near the bottom. Remember, political correctness was unheard of in the early 40s...

Here is another lavish digitally recreated pan B/G. This time I have broken it into three parts for detail.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Here, two new digitally recreated backgrounds from the "I Wanna Be Like You" sequence.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Introducing PETER MOEHRLE!

I am truly delighted to share a sampling of animation background art, provided directly by artist Peter Moehrle! He is a truly masterful animation background artist, with a dazzling style and resume to match. He trained all the background artists on Disney Studio's LILO AND STITCH in the fine art of watercolor backgrounds.

In addition to LILO AND STITCH and MULAN, Peter has worked on a variety of non-Disney projects. He is incredibly talented. His background art is expressive and marked by great nuance, texture and style.

Here is a sampling from Peter's brilliant portfolio:

ROCK AND RULE (1983, from Canadian animation studio Nelvana)

These, from MULAN:

These, from LILO AND STITCH:

More of Peter's art can be seen at:

Thank you Peter, for sharing your work with us!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

JOURNEY BACK TO OZ (Filmation, 1974)

Thought I'd share an interesting find. I don't own many original production backgrounds. My animation art collection is primarily Disney cels.

But this week I acquired an original hand-painted master background from Filmation's JOURNEY BACK TO OZ. And of course my first thought was to share it with you.

I have scanned it, so what you are seeing here is not a digital recreation, but a scan of the actual artwork!

Below, I have included a screen grab of this background in a single frame of the film. Interesting to see how various video production monkeys get their hands on films and ruin the integrity of the color palettes. I have seen this time and time again. Perhaps the most distressing is early animated classics with the color intensities so ramped up they look like a different film. who thinks this is really necessary to sell DVDs?

While not an animation classic, this production took nearly a decade for Filmation to complete. This particular B/G definitely has a kinship to Eyvind Earle's work... even if it is a distant cousin.


Monday, February 2, 2009

A Tragic but True Story

The following is a very difficult story to share. It has nothing to do with animation art… but there is an important reason for sharing it. If you are a pet owner, or simply love animals, please read on…

Last Thursday, I dropped off our three year old dog Lulu at the vet. A chihuahua mix, she was in perfect health. As good pet parents, we had scheduled her spaying. She came home Friday morning. The vet gave us no indication anything was unusual.

She seemed uncomfortable and disoriented. She was also not eating, and was drinking very little water. And occasionally vomiting a little.

My wife Rebecca was up around the clock for most of 48 hours nurturing Lulu. She also called the vet’s office several times, of course, and the staff casually responded that it was not unusual for these symptoms to persist for up to three days.

Sunday morning Rebecca took Lulu out at dawn. I was still asleep. Lulu actually wagged her tail a bit, which Rebecca took for a good sign. They came in and went back to sleep around 7 am. My alarm went off at 7:45. As soon as I saw Lulu I could tell immediately that she had died, cuddled close to Rebecca.

We took Lulu’s little body to another animal hospital for an autopsy. We received a phone call at midnight with the results. The vet who did the surgery left a surgical sponge in Lulu. This resulted in a massive abdominal cavity infection. Our dear little pet didn’t have a chance. As she stayed overnight after the surgery, the sponge and infection had already had 24 hours. Even if we’d had a clue what was going on, there was little chance she’d have survived a second surgery.

The secondary vet who inspected the body said the vet who did the surgery should never have even released her if she wasn't hungry and thirsty Friday morning. Further, it is standard operating procedure to take a post-surgical x-ray to make sure nothing is left inside the animal. This step was skipped with Lulu. And she had no post-surgical antibiotics (even though these are often considered prophylactic).

To think that we entrusted our little friend to this vet, and his reprehensible negligence brutalized Lulu enough to kill her... it's agonizing.

My wife Rebecca is completely and utterly devastated. She actually delivered Lulu three years ago. She wasn't breathing and Rebecca coaxed her into life. My nickname for Lulu was "umbilical" because they were so completely attached to one another.

There have been so many tears since Sunday morning our whole family is feeling completely empty.

Losing a pet that's lived a full life is hard enough. But to have one so young, taken this way... you can imagine how deep our grief is.

Why share this sad story here?

To prevent anyone else from going through this.

When you spay or neuter your dogs, insist on a post-surgical x-ray. If your dog isn’t back to near normal in 24 hours, insist on the vet examining the dog right away. Don’t be dissuaded. Your pet’s life depends on it.

Finally, take time tonight to give your animals a little extra love. These dear little creatures live only to love.

Please pass this on to all pet owners you know. That way, hopefully, we may prevent this tragic and unnecessary loss from happening to anyone else.

In memory of Lulu, “Ludeedoo,” 2005-2009.

Rest in peace, little one.