"When I was about 4, I saw my first movie in a theater. It was "The Jungle Book" (on it's first release, no less!). I think that movie changed my life. I had every album, every story book, anything I could get my hands on from that film. I wanted Baloo as my best friend, too. I thought that girl at the end was cute, and my four-year-old mind kinda had the hots for her.
Anyway... I found this link to a gallery of some images from the new DVD release. Go take a look at them. There are some great drawings by (I believe) Vance Gerry and Ken Anderson...possibly Bill Peet. There's a rhino character, Rocky, among the the sketches that didn't make it into the film. I remember that character from one of the books (I still have it). I guess the book was written and well on its way to publication before they edited his scenes from the movie. At any rate, check it out. There are some great sketches to ogle.
If I remember the book right (I'm too lazy to go over and pick it up off the shelf right now), Rocky's missing sequence was a plot tangent where the vultures were having a bit of fun with Mowgli and teased him into confronting the short-tempered, nearsighted rhino. Mowgli eventually tricks Rocky into charging and runs into a huge rock. Dazed, confused and unable to see the man-cub anywhere, he assumes he smashed his prey to smitherines and wanders off. The vultures think Mowgli is a clever lad and a great sport over the whole ordeal, so they invite him to join their group. Then, as you remember, Sher Khan shows up.
It's no surprise really that Rocky didn't survive the cut. Mowgli was already down - he just lost his best friend. We didn't need more characters to make fun of him. It was really a side-track moment. Mowgli would not have been in peril anymore, emotional or physically. It was a break in the real plot too late in the game. The Rocky moment would have merely shifted the danger from the villain we knew and were waiting for a confrontation with, to this innocuous buffoon. As much as I love the sketches and would love to see this old fellow move around, I must admit his omission was a necessary one.
More Ken Anderson drawings here.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Sunday, September 09, 2007
This post is in honor of my good friend Paul Conrad. Paul and I met at Big Idea in 2000. Paul was the head of the Big Idea Design Studio, creating and overseeing everything print related, until he left in '05 to pursue other career choices. He eventually worked for us freelance, designing characters and things for the "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Movie".
But back to my story... When Paul left Big Idea, we decided to give him a little going away gift. Since he is such a comic affectionado (fancy word for geek), we put him on the cover of his own comic adventure.
It started out like this - a simple sketch I did with a brush pen on paper that turned out to be too absorbent, and degraded my already questionable line quality:
Then I took the sketch into Photoshop® and colored it. This was a couple of years ago, so I have forgotten the particulars of whatever techniques I was trying to fake.
For the extremely curious, I took my inspiration from the origin cover of "Ms.Mystic".
Once I got it to this state, I took it to Veggie Design artist, John Trauscht. He put all the finishing touches on it and made it look like a real comic cover.
The reason I bring this whole story up is that Paul is once again leaving us. He recently accepted a position in the Visual Development department of a prestigious animation studio on the West Coast, in a little village known as Emeryville. I give him a hearty congratulations!
P.S. If you watch closely, you will see this cover in an upcoming episode of "3-2-1 Penguins!" this fall on NBC. There are a couple of episodes that call for Jason to be reading a comic book, so I used this art as a texture on one of them. You'll have to keep a sharp eye out though.