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Wolf, sloth bear and a Bengal Tiger villain

May 17, 2012

Rudyard Kipling’s father John Lockwood Kipling was an art teacher, art school director, museum curator and the first artist to illustrate The Jungle Book stories (volumes 1 and 2) that his son wrote.

Then, like good tales often do, The Jungle Book went to Hollywood. Walt Disney saw the potential when his chief story editor and longtime animation artist Bill Peet suggested that the adventures of Mowgli, Akela and Baloo offered some interesting animal characters for the staff to play with.

Disney and Peet later clashed over the direction of the script and storyboards Peet was developing. Peet, who’d go on to become a prolific children’s book author and illustrator, wanted the film to stay true to Kipling’s dark themes of survival challenge and man’s destruction of wild habitat.

Disney wanted music, laughs, sunshine, loveable characters “and a little heart.”

Original edition of The Jungle Book, vol. 1, illustrated by John Lockwood KiplingThis Disney produced documentary smacks in the beginning of hagiography, but it shifts gears to tell a fascinating “process story”, rich with interviews and the artwork in all its stages and permutations. I hope you enjoy this part 1 video.

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Discover a most empowering free secret for making good drawings.

See photos of the 2012 Regional Conference, Something for Everybody put together by the Austin Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Children's book illustrator Bill Peet worked up the first storyboard for the Disney telling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

Children's book illustrator Bill Peet worked up the first storyboard for the Disney telling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book."

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    The baby elephant who helped a cartoon studio to fly

    May 2, 2012

    Walt Disney knew he had much to learn from children’s books and children’s book art (just as children’s book illustrators know they have much to learn from 80 years worth of Disney animators.) Dumbo didn’t come from a children’s book exactly. It came from a little paper toy that carried a little story with pictures […]

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    Trouble in imagination paradise

    April 30, 2012

    Not a kind portrayal of the creator of Mickey Mouse, with a fascinating comparison between Disney with his studio — and J. Edgar Hoover with his F.B.I.  Seething over the strike by most of his animators in the 1940s, he eventually took his revenge as an F.B.I. and House UnAmerican activities committee informant, the show […]

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    A high school dropout and a mediocre cartoonist

    April 25, 2012

    Children’s book illustrators — draw your pets. That’s our message for today. He really did have a pet mouse while working at Laugh-O-Gram, his commercial animation studio in Kansas City. And when Universal Studios, his cartoon film distributor snatched away the rights to the Oswald the Rabbit character, which he’d developed with his animator partner Ubbe Iwerks, […]

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    Stories that move and talk when you touch them

    December 12, 2011

    Children’s book illustrators and aspiring illustrators were among those who tuned in from the U.S. to Portugal, and Australia to South Africa Saturday morning (Texas time) for an online class on the InteractBuilder software. They were learning about a new venue for their narrative art: A new kind of book for iPads, iPhones and other touch […]