My favorite Disney Villain is Hades mostly because he “rules!” The animated feature “Hercules” has been on my favorite list since its initial release in 1997. I like the art style of the film, and James Woods’ portrayal of the overly sarcastic Hades is spot on! I know I’m not alone in having a favorite villain as seen in articles covering the Wicked Gooey Apple Awards from my fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover. Villains have been popular on one merchandise item in particular this past Fall – a comic book style hoodie. The artwork was created by Disney artists Casey Jones and Dave Keefer from Disney Design Group. I ventured down to their lair to learn more.
“Dave and I worked together about ten years ago on a Disney Villains art program,” explained Casey. “In early 2010, we collaborated again on some comic book style artwork featuring ‘Alice In Wonderland’ characters, Disney Princesses and Disney Villains.”
Casey, a senior character artist with Disney, spent 15 years in the comic book industry. I nearly fell over when he showed me the original pencil sketches of the artwork. We discussed the unique style found in the sketches.
“There are certain comic book dynamics found in the images,” continued Casey. “The characters are presented in comic book like panels, and I used forced perspective and foreshortening to capture key moments from several Disney animated films.”
Casey showed me one trick that illustrators use to fine tune artwork – turning the image over. Casey said that by turning over the image he can see the trouble spots and make corrections. I’m doubtful that same trick will work with my writing but I’m trying it with my photography.
Once the initial sketches were complete, senior graphic designer Dave Keefer then added the finishing touches.
“Originally, the artwork was going to be in color,” said Dave. “Instead, we used a minimal color pallet which fit perfectly with the slightly sinister nature of the villains. I was also responsible for creating the repeating pattern that was used in the art. You may notice a few villains unfortunately didn’t make the final cut.”
The artwork will also be used on a journal and some items coming to the D-Tech electronic accessories line in 2012.
While the hoodie artwork doesn’t feature my favorite villain, a new mystery pin set being released in November at Disney Parks does. The set is the complete opposite of the minimalistic comic book art from Casey and Dave. This set was designed by Adrianne Draude and pairs colorful Disney Villain images with quotes that made them famous. There’s even a pin with Judge Claude Frollo!
I asked Casey about his favorite Disney villain.
“I love Maleficent,” exclaimed Casey. “She was originally drawn by the incomparable Marc Davis. She is beautiful and I think she may be the best character design of all time.”