Some of Claire Keane’s concept art for Tangled. I love the tenebrism reminiscent of Caravaggio. Also the strong jaws in some of them remind me of Rossetti of the Pre-Raphaelites. Yummy stuff. I feel like if they had gone this way, we would have had a much darker but even more gorgeous film.
I also like her costume ideas a lot more than what ended up in the film.
It’s always painful to look at concept art and realize just how disappointing the final product actually is, and this the case with nearly all of Disney’s work. A lot of it unfortunately comes down to the fact that the people at Disney care too much about what the public thinks; they care too much about pleasing everyone, and so they never actually take risks or do anything that’s truly different— they haven’t since Walt’s death. According to those who knew him, Walt always asked “What do kids want to see?” He never asked “What do parents want their kids to see?” and that’s something the company has seriously forgotten. It’s a shame because they have so many gifted artists working for them and all that talent is being wasted on mediocre, unambitious, “safe” projects.
Reblogging for the pretty art, sure, but mostly for the commentary.
Reblogging to add some commentary along with this gorgeous array of art. Here are two quotes from Walt Disney:
“I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether we be six or sixty.”
“I don’t believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn’t treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature.”
It’s impossible to really start insisting “Well Walt obviously meant this by saying that…” so it’s kind of a pointless argument, but I think the problem lies not with modern Disney trying to play up to what parents what their kids to see, or even this argument of kids vs. adult entertainment. All adults were kids once! That might be a sensibility we’ve lost in our age, maybe from overgrown cynicism and close minded thinking that animation has to be a certain way and can only appeal to our preconceived idea of “children’s entertainment.” which isn’t true to animation’s history at all. Animation was never meant to be just for kids, it was meant for everyone.
This concept art really pushes forward the idea of not playing to children, in fact I think it plays to everyone’s perhaps childlike imagination, and childlike sense of awe. I think maybe if we want to explore new forms or presentations of story and art, we would have to reject the idea that there is a distinct line between what is entertaining for children, and what is entertaining for adults. Pixar I think often pushes this line with their storytelling. They focus often on just what is good instead of what is good according to what everyone expects for this age group, for this stereotype etc. I still think one of the most powerful sequences is from UP, where within the span of a few minutes, we’re introduced to this couple and made to fall in love with them and hurt as badly as when they hurt.
I’m not.. sure where I was going with this rant. I think animation will do fine. I don’t think we’re on the decline or animation needs to play more to kids than adults or any nonsense like that. Good art is good art, don’t every try to “play” to anybody. We’ve seen some changes and innovation in style, though not as radical as we’d like. Disney has become a company built around expectations, people expect A of their films, and it’s difficult to break out of that safely. It’s still a business, after all, and with time, hopefully, we’ll start to see an audience that is willing to take risks and appreciate a wider variety of art and styles.
I still have no idea where I was going with this rant, I’m just typing, please don’t pay attention to me when I start talking.
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