Aaron Blaise was for 2 decades one of the best animators Disney had on their payroll. He worked on many of Disney’s top animated features of the 1990’s. His credits include “Beauty and the Beast” where he animated Beast, Young Nala on “The Lion King” and the lead character on “Pocahontas” Today he works freelance as an illustrator and is trainer. On his site The Art of Aaron Blaise he gives a demonstration on how Rajah might look like in a painterly fashion drawn digital with Photoshop. Notice that the basic drawing is done in a miniature time and then Aaron spends the rest of the 3,5 minute video fine turning the drawing.
From Cartoon Brew comes the news that former Disney animator Aaron Blaise as part of the animation studio Premise Art re-teamed with a couple of his former Disney colleagues to animate in the traditional pencil and paper way again after almost a decade. In his early career at Disney feature animation Aaron worked as lead character designer of Rajah and animator of Jasmine later he directed Brother Bear one of Disney’s last traditional animated feature films
British department store John Lewis has released an ambitious annual Christmas advertisement, a Â£1 million hand-drawn spot with stop motion backgrounds called The Bear and the Hare. The piece was directed by Yves Geleyn and Elliot Dear through Hornet/Blinkink.
The hand-drawn character animation was created by two veterans of Disneyâ€™s former animation studio in Orlando: Dominic Carola who runs Premise Entertainment and Aaron Blaise who gained plenty of experience drawing bears when he co-directed Brother Bear. Aaron offered some details to Cartoon Brew about the project
Gesture Concept Sketches by Aaron Blaise. I recognize the motion of Jasmine twirling in the scene when fatber visits her in the princess chambers about to announce he’d find her a suitor. The two Aladdin gesture pages don’t look familiar, I can’t place them. The last page is from when Jasmine confronts Aladdin about his true identity.
Mark Henn and some of the other Disney animators of the Golden 90’s worked on this hilarious toon starring Roger Rabbit and Baby Herman from the 1998 live-action/animation film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? To die for! I swear.
Jason Anders talks with people in the animation industy to publish them on Full Circle Productions. This week he published his conversation with Rajah lead animator Aaron Blaise on his career.
On bringing the royal feline to live Aaron said:
During the design process, I did hundreds of tiger designs, trying to achieve the fluid Hershfeld look that the filmâ€™s art direction was trying to achieve. I was struggling until one day I saw the hood ornament on a Jaguar car. The little sculpture had a lot of the qualities I was trying to achieve in my designs. I drew a lot of inspiration from that little piece of metal on the hood of a car! My designs were soon approved!