Disney’s “Bambi” – by Pierre Lambert

I probably have most of Pierre Lambert’s art books on Disney animated films (except for the tome on Sleeping Beauty). The most recent book is “Bambi,” which I found at Stuart NG‘s booth while walking through Wonder Con this past weekend with my lovely bride (you can order it HERE). Like Lambert’s other Disney books, this was in French, but Stuart NG included an English translation, which was nice (but honestly, I get these books for the art and rarely read them). From Stuart NG’s blog:

“Like those volumes, this volume is licensed only for France and will never appear in print in English. So the text is in French; however, anyone ordering this book from Stuart Ng Books will receive our exclusive English language translation booklet, illustrated with five unpublished deer movement studies by Rico Lebrun!”

While Bambi isn’t one of my favorite Disney films in terms of story, it’s definitely one of my favorites in terms of art. If you look at the deer in the final segment of Disney’s Fantasia 2000, it doesn’t even begin to approximate the animation quality of the deer (or other animals) in Bambi.

My favorite thing about “art of –” books is seeing the art in development. I really like seeing how characters develop.

But my absolute favorite part of such books are the backgrounds, both in their conceptual stages and their finished stages without any character overlays.

I really enjoyed Ty Wong’s dreamy background designs for this film. I believe Wong did some work for Hallmark’s greeting cards, which makes sense given that his work certainly provokes an emotional response.

I absolutely dig pencil renderings like the one below. I wish I could capture that mysterious sense of mood. It would be fun illustrating an entire story in this kind of style.

One of the workers in Stuart NG’s booth told me that the next book Lambert would be making would be on the art of Peter Pan which I’m really looking forward to seeing. Peter Pan is another favorite of mine. Well, pretty much all of the films Disney produced while Walt was still alive are my favorites. After that, I prefer Pixar’s offerings over anything made by Disney.

For the record, I’m not in any way associated with Stuart NG. However, since I bought my copy from them, and since this book will not be imported and can’t be found on Amazon’s USA website, I though t I’d give Stuart NG a plug, as they provide a service Amazon doesn’t, namely, they take the risk of carrying the book in their inventory for customers to actually handle and review before purchasing. I think that risk deserves my patronage, so I buy from them if I can. I encourage everyone to support your local brick-and-mortar store if you’re financially able, before Amazon puts them all out of business.

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The Magic Kingdom

Yeah, I know, I haven’t posted since Christmas. So sue me…

My average day pretty much consists of waking up at the crack of noon, showering, grabbing a bite and a cup of joe, walking all the way to work (which is about ten steps from my bedroom), going through all the junk-mail in my spam folder, noodling around on my guitar for a few minutes, and then hitting the drawing board (or computer, depending on what the job entails). By the time I end my day, I’ve worn out my interest at being either in front of a drawing board or computer, so attending to the blog drops to the bottom of my to-do list.


Of course, I do try to take some time off on occasion, and last year we managed to set aside enough shekels to purchase annual passes to Disneyland, which, for our family of six, is equivalent to the cost of purchasing a small island. Thus far, we’ve availed ourselves of those passes and attended almost every week. The wife and kids enjoy going because, well, it’s Disneyland. I like going because I find it to be a source of artistic inspiration. My professional work is something I rarely find personally exciting, though on occasion I do get to do something that interests me (my work with Ayars Animation was really great fun, which I miss). So while I have very little time for personal projects, being at Disneyland helps me remain encouraged to keep pursuing my own ideas. So that’s where I’m off to…

Any of you sunny So Cal folk want to meet up and race me at Autopia?

Pooh & Friends Christmas

Since the Christmas season is getting an early start anyway, I figure I may as well share some of the Christmas (and non-Christmas) stuff I did for the giftware industry.

The following are a few designs I did for Disney’s Pooh & Friends giftware line (which included figurines, Christmas ornaments, water-balls, etc.). I had done the illustration for our marketing material. The figurines were porcelain, I think, so they had to be designed rather simply to keep the costs down. Porcelain wasn’t as forgiving as resin when it came to designing, and the product material often determined how complicated we could get with our designs. We often had to scratch designs because they were too detailed for the material used in manufacturing. Having our hands tied by the production process could really stifle our ability to be creative as designers. And it’s not that things can’t be highly complicated when manufactured in porcelain; it’s just that using porcelain would require multiple molds if things got too complicated, which raised the costs significantly, and we had certain price-points we needed to hit, so costs were always a factor to consider when designing. After all, these were not sold at Lladró prices, even if they were considered collectibles.


Incidentally, I designed these while working at Cast Art Industries’ in-house studio in Corona, California. Most of the stuff we produced were our own brands, which we also licensed out to other companies. The Pooh & Friends line was one of the very few licensed brands we produced for another company (in this case, obviously Disney).