Disney+ invites viewers to a one-of-a-kind drawing experience in the all-new, six-part Original Series Sketchbook with Walt Disney Animation Studios, streaming April 27.
From Supper Club (Chef’s Table) and in partnership with WDAS, audiences will be given an insider’s look into the animation process as some of the Studios’ talented artists teach them how to draw beloved Disney characters, including Kuzco from The Emperor’s New Groove, Olaf from Frozen, Genie from Aladdin, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Mirabel from Encanto and young Simba from The Lion King.
An intimate, instructional documentary series, Sketchbook takes audiences onto the desks and into the lives of talented artists and animators as they explain how to draw a single iconic character from a Disney 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. Along with the steps to drawing these characters, the artists each share a unique story about how they made their way to Disney and their chosen character.
“This series is an unprecedented look at what it takes to bring these beloved characters to life,” says Jason Sterman, director & executive producer, Supper Club. “We are honored to feature this incredible group of artists who trusted us not only with presenting their skillset, but with sharing their personal, and often emotional, stories with the world. We’re looking forward to audiences becoming inspired to hopefully pick up a pencil and put it to paper themselves.”
“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, SVP Publicity/Communications, Creative Legacy & Brand Strategy, WDAS.
“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.”
The characters and artists featured in the series include:
- The 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.
- Frozen “Olaf” — 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.
- Encanto “Mirabel” — 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.
- The Lion King “Simba” — Storied 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.
Sketchbook with Walt Disney Animation Studios is produced by Supper Club in partnership with Disney Animation. For Supper Club, Jason Sterman, David Gelb and Brian McGinn are executive producers. For Walt Disney Animation Studios, Amy Astley is executive producer. Sterman, Leanne Dare and Andrew McAllister serve as directors.