“Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't "try" to do things. You simply "must" do things.”
- Ray Bradbury

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Lion King Story Sketches

There are many layers to the production process of an animated movie.  It's not as simple as coming up with a story and committing drawings to paper.  It's a well thought out process; a process that involves hundreds of individuals.

One layer of the process is coming up with a solid story.  The story process itself can be broken down into several layers; one being story sketches.  For this post's purpose, let's take story artist, Thom Enriquez.  Enriquez has contributed to story elements on many of our favorite films, such as: The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Mulan (1998), and How to Train Your Dragon (2010); just to name a few.  Mr. Enriquez's impressive conceptual art for Ghostbusters (1984) was prominently presented in Ghostbusters:  The Ultimate Visual History by Daniel Wallace in 2015 (highly recommended!). 

I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Enriquez via phone from his Californian home this past week.  He talked a lot about his story contributions to The Lion King (1994).  A few days later, he followed up with an email to me that included three original story sketches he did for the film.  These sketches preceded the animation of characters.  They represent the visual elements of sequences for The Lion King in their earliest forms.  They are presented below with Enriquez's original captions intact. 


"Simba and Nala heading for the elephant graveyard."


"Scar manipulating Simba into the gorge."


"Hyenas waiting for Scars [sic] signal."



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