Last week I was lucky enough to be at Disney World for family vacation. On the day we went to Hollywood Studios (the park formally known as MGM Studios), I had to check out the Animation Courtyard area.
I saw the Animation Courtyard as a place where Disney fans young and old can get some good exposure to the art of animation. There were some interesting exhibits including beautiful concept art from old Disney classics and a background/layouts gallery. The gift shop focused more on the needs of the animation fan, featuring original art, hand-painted cels and character models. My wife and I also saw The Magic of Disney Animation, an entry-level presentation on the process of creating animated characters.
In the waiting area for The Magic of Disney Animation was something that the more initiated would find highly interesting: glass cases containing seemingly original pieces of creative work for Pixar’s Monsters University.
At least they looked original to me. As you’ll see in the photos, some of these look like they snagged a bunch of the artists’ sketchbooks and put them in the exhibit. With Disney becoming more and more adept at “masking the illusion” at the parks, I’ll just leave y’all to see for yourselves and draw your own conclusions.
Above you can see how the artists considered every tiny detail in the architecture of Monsters University to make it more “monstrous”.
A concept for some MU architecture.
Here are some character sketches for Don Carlton. Note how in many drawings he looks a lot older and less energetic; you can also see that they played around with giving him six limbs instead of four.
I thought it was interesting how, in the above color study, Claire Wheeler was originally a member of the HSS sorority.
This one I tweeted last week; these are obviously early drawings of Dean Hardscrabble. I was really intrigued by the bird-like sketch on the right. Kind of looks like a black peacock with Asian motifs.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos. There were a few other items that I found interesting. One was an early height chart portraying Hardscrabble as a male; I also saw in a color study of the PNK sorority girls that they all had the same skin color at one point.
Now I don’t know if all of these images are already in the Art of Monsters University book, but I thought it was cool that these were seemingly original pieces. Definitely worth a look next time you’re at Disney World.
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