Thursday, June 19, 2014

Aristocats Development Art

Long ago (like in the late sixties), a Disney artist did some development work for the first feature made after Walt Disney's death ...

Ralph Hulett (my old man) did a number of color studies for The Aristocats.

The feature was set in Paris, and Ralph tried to talk the studio into letting him remain on salary while he flew to Paris (where Aristocats was set) at his own expense. And there he would sketch, draw and paint for a month, doing research and development work for the feature.

Studio brass said "No."

So Mr. Hulett remained in the Animation Building in Burbank, used the studio library, and created the small paintings you see here.

Happily, soon after these sketches were done, Ralph did make it to Paris. The summer of 1969, he flew the family across the Atlantic, picked up a Volkswagen camper van in Frankfurt, and spent a couple of months sketching and painting his way across Germany, Switzerland and France.

And he painted a bit in the City of Light. Only he didn't paint anything for the Aristocats. He was there on his own hook, and painted what he liked.


Floyd Norman said...

Beautiful paintings, Steve.

Just like Disney, however. Cheap bastards.

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