Concept art by legendary Disney animator Joe Grant
BUILDING A REAL CANDYWORLD
We already established that the creative crew’s intention was to create a mouth-watering world, so it actually looks like an actual world made of candy.
So why not build that candy world…. out of candy?
This came to life when Mike Gabriel asked talented (and one of my personal faves) Disney visual develoment artist Brittney Lee to build models of the Sugar Rush town square and race track out of real, sugary, sweet and teeth-rottening CANDY.
These models helped figure out how to make different textures of the ground. Some areas are covered with frosting, others with crumbled cookies and cocoa powder. She spent a lot of time pulling out white Neco wafers from wax paper sleeves full of assorted colors, just so she could make a candy flagstone path.This certainly established the benchmark, and resulted in a more authentic look the artists were trying to accomplish.
Brittney was more than excited when she received the assignment- “The day that I was painting faces on the popcorn people in King Candy’s grandstand, I was like ‘There s no better job on the planet. Nobody else is doing something as cool and silly as I am right now’”.
Even better, when John Lasseter, executive producer of the film, saw the candy faces in the grandstands, he went crazy. Coudn’t contain the excitement, and knew this film was going to be major.
They even did models of the racecars!
FROM GAUDÍ TO SUGAR RUSH
When the time came to design the virtual world of Sugar Rush, the creative team’s intention was not only to make it appealing, but mouth-watering. It was a candy world after all.
The challenge was in not making it juvenile, so no hansel-and-gretel gingerbread house could be the solution.
It all came together when Lorelay Bove, a spanish visual development artist from the studios, introduced her idea of inspiring in Antoni Gaudi’s, the catalan artist, architectural shapes. When a little girl, she thought that Gaudi’s architecture looked like candy houses. Parts would look like ice-cream swirls or frosting and that there were preztels everywhere. So it was decided, the crew took a research trip to Barcelona, and his curvilinear shapes were the inspiration for Sugar Rush.
“When you go into Sugar Rush, you’ll immediately notice it’s all silky and smooth. If Hero’s Duty is ‘hard’ then Sugar Rush is ‘soft’. You’re going from a metallic, sharp world into a creamy, even values” -Mike Gabriel, art director
CAN YOU FEEL THE SCHOOL SPIRIT?
Some productions take Pixar writers to the Scottish Highlands, others to the sewers of Paris, others under the sea. This time, story supervisor Kelsey Mann and the team found themselves back in school. If Monsters University looks or feels at all like your alma mater, that’s exactly what they were going for.
“We took a lot of trips to different universities and different colleges just to come up with ideas and try to capture the feeling of a place.”- Kelsey Mann
Concept Art for Toy Story 3
by Robert Kondo et Tom Gately
DISNEY FUN FACT- ALICE DAVIS
We all know Marc Davis accomplishments as a Disney legend, but his wife Alice was not gonna be left out of the equation.
She worked alongside top notch artists like Mary Blair (both of them seen in the photo above) in the Disneyland park attraction “It’s a Small World”. Blair did the color and art direction whereas Davis was in charge of the folklore patterns, the research, design and supervision of the manufacturing of the doll’s costumes.
Yay Alice! She couldn’t let Marc get all of the Disney magic.
“When I started designing the candy grandstands, I immediately thought of going to the grocery store and seeing all those candies on display. I tiered shelved naturally look like grandstands. I was inspired to put King Candy in a popcorn box, because it’s the type of food you’d eat at a race. Then I tried to make the box look royal. It’s a royal popcorn box.”
- Victoria Ying, visual development artist (Wreck-it Ralph)
MARC DAVIS, THE ANIMALS MASTER ANIMATOR
Marc Davis achieved human expressions on a realistic fawn.
Frank Thomas has even admitted that the animators couldn’t have come up with he same results if it wasn’t for Marc’s thorough and extremely useful research.
Characters like the ones in Bambi could easily look overly sweet and kitschy, but when you have artists involved with Marc’s caliber, that’s not going to happen. Instead the film’s cast is portrayed with unparalleled elegance and beauty.
Source: Deja View