Sunday, August 14, 2011

Disney Animators Who Sculpt

I've been on the road for the last ten days: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley (second time!) and now Loveland, Colorado. I'm guessing that readers are scratching their heads over the final location, but this weekend was the occasion for two annual shows that attract hundreds of sculptors who display their work. As I've been sculpting for the last two years, I wanted to see what was being done.

Sun Dog by Ellen Woodbury

I knew that I'd see Ellen Woodbury at Sculpture in the Park. I met Ellen a year or so ago when she visited Sheridan College and I learned that she's now living in Loveland and sculpting full time. Ellen works in stone and her subject is animals, not a surprise given her animal animation at Disney on characters like Pegasus in Hercules.

Reviewing the Troops by Mark Henn

I did not expect to see Mark Henn, who participated in the Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show. Mark is still at Disney, having recently completed work on the Winnie the Pooh film, but sculpts subjects from American history as a hobby and casts the work in bronze.

The link between animation and sculpture is a strong one. I know that Bill Tytla, Blaine Gibson, Milt Kahl and Andreas Deja, all associated with Disney, have done both. As Disney-style animation requires drawings that are structured and dimensional, it's only logical that animators can transfer their knowledge into a three-dimensional medium.

1 comment:

Pete Emslie said...

I had no idea that Mark Henn was also a sculptor - thanks for bringing that to our attention. I just took a look at the gallery of his work on the site you linked to, and I'm very impressed, especially by his full size figures of The Wright Brothers. It's really a shame that Disney doesn't do much with audio-animatronics anymore in their theme park attractions, as I could easily see Mark transitioning to the role of Imagineering sculptor as Blaine Gibson did, if he were to grow frustrated with the waning animation at the studio. (For the record, it was also Mark Henn's very faithful animation of Pooh himself that impressed me the most in the recent animated feature.)