Walt Disney’s empire started with animation, so it’s fitting that an upcoming Disney+ series focuses on how the animation is created now.
“Sketchbook” is an intimate instructional six-part documentary series coming to the streamer on April 27, 2022.
In it, Walt Disney Animation Studios takes the viewer onto the desks, and into the lives of talented artists and animators, as they teach us how to draw a single iconic character from a Walt Disney Animation Studios film.
Each episode focuses on a single artist illustrating a character that either they helped create, or inspired them to want to be an artist at the Studio.
As viewers learn the steps to drawing these characters, they also discover that the artists each have a unique story to tell about how they made their way to Disney and their chosen character.
The characters and artists featured in the series include the following:
Emperor’s New Groove “Kuzco”
Gabby Capili’s path to Disney Animation began at a young age when she saw her first Disney film in a theater with her father, “The Emperor’s New Groove.” As Gabby teaches us how to draw her favorite character from the film, “Kuzco,” she also shares the importance of following your instincts and being free to let life guide you where you belong.
While teaching us to draw one of Disney Animation’s most beloved characters, “Olaf” from the worldwide hit “Frozen” films, Hyun Min Lee shares the joyful wonder of the character and how she channeled personal loss into being a guiding light in her career in animation.
Aladdin “The Genie”
Legendary Disney animator Eric Goldberg guides us through the steps of drawing his most iconic character creation, “The Genie” from “Aladdin” while learning along the way the levels to which Robin Williams impacted the character and its animation.
Peter Pan “Captain Hook”
Growing up in South Korea, Disney animator and character designer Jin Kim was always fascinated by the villains of Disney’s films. As Jin teaches us to draw “Peter Pan’s” “Captain Hook” we learn that his journey to America and working at Disney almost didn’t happen because of his colorblindness.
The Lion King “Simba”
Disney animator Mark Henn teaches us how to draw one of his favorite character designs, “Young Simba” from “The Lion King.” Through Mark’s story, we learn the importance of never giving up on your dreams, even in the face of rejection.
Disney Animation story artist Samantha Vilfort teaches us how to draw one of the Studio’s newest characters, “Mirabel Madrigal,” from the award-winning hit film “Encanto.” Through her story we learn that her connection to Mirabel’s struggle of being different from everyone else in her family hits close to home.
“Think back to your favorite films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, whether from our earliest days, the films of our 1990s renaissance or the award-winning films of today like ‘Encanto’ and ‘Frozen,’ every film starts with an idea, a pencil and an artist. And within the thousands of artists who have created our 60 films over the last century, every person has a unique and special story,” says series executive producer Amy Astley, senior vice president, Publicity/Communications, Creative Legacy, and Brand Strategy for Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“It was an honor to partner with Supper Club, whose projects such as ‘Chef’s Table’ create beautifully captured, intimate portraits of talented people. With “Sketchbook,” our hope is to demystify the art of drawing, making it accessible for anyone who wants to pick up a pencil and paper while deepening an appreciation for the individuals who contribute to our films.”
Here is the official trailer:
Will you be watching “Sketchbook”? Let us know in the comments.