The paintings of Michael Summers take us into a crisp and colorful world, alive with nostalgia, splendor, and whimsy. Within each vibrant scene are playful reminders that our everyday lives are filled with wonder, beauty, and magic, if only we allow our eyes to see it.
The meticulously crafted paintings of Michael Summers are firmly rooted in contemporary west coast surrealism with a strong pop sensibility. He uses his Pop Surrealist style as a tool to reflect his inner vision: creating the impossible and more importantly, making the impossible seem plausible.
The artist creates imaginary characters - often alluding to mythical archetypes - in acrylic paint with a keen hyper-attentiveness. His unorthodox use of intense saturation and arbitrary, multi-chromatic hues encourages the viewer to look a little closer, a little longer.
The recognizable subjects of animals, automatons, and humans suddenly become magical and extraordinary. Yet, they somehow still retain the nostalgia of a childhood memory that was once long forgotten.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas' was the first half-hour special, and only because I refused to do it into an hour. Up to that time, a special was always an hour. I refused to do it because people get bored sitting there or their eyes start hurting from watching all these terrible jittery animations. It's short enough so you enjoy it and then it's over."
Bill Melendez was born November 15, 1916, in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico as Jose Cuauthemoc Melendez. After attending Los Angeles City College and Chouinard Art Institute, Melendez was hired by Walt Disney in 1938. While with Disney he worked as an animator on such classics as Dumbo, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Wind in the Willows, and many Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons.
Melendez joined Leon Schlesinger/Warner Brothers in 1941 where he animated Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig. After a brief stint in 1948 with United Productions of America, where he worked on such noted shorts as Madeline and Gerald McBoing-Boing, Melendez joined Playhouse Productions. For the next decade, he directed and animated thousands of industrial and commercial productions, winning international acclaim at Cannes, Edinburgh, and Venice Film Festivals, plus over 150 commercial awards. Between 1957 and 1961 he won three Art Director’s Medals. And, in 1961, 18 of 20 winners at the American TV Commercials Festival were awarded to Bill Melendez.
It was while working on the animation of the very first Charlie Brown commercial for Ford Motor Co. that Melendez met Charles M. Schulz. In 1964 Melendez produced the first Schulz television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas that won both an Emmy and the George Peabody Award for Outstanding Children and Young People’s program. Melendez has been the exclusive animator of Schulz characters ever since, a relationship that has continued to receive critical notice as Peanuts became the longest-running series of specials in television history.
Melendez Studios continued to win acclaim during the 70′s and 80′s with numerous awards and nominations including an Emmy in 1975 for Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus, plus two Emmy’s for The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Bill Melendez Productions was the first to animate Jim Davis’ Garfield the Cat and Cathy Guisewite’s Cathy…both of which won Emmy’s with their debut programs.
As always, the Peanuts Gang is very visible in commercials and specials, and Melendez remained their sole animator until his death in September of 2008. After the first ever animated mini-series for TV, “This Is America, Charlie Brown”, Melendez Productions worked with the American Cancer Society on “Why, Charlie Brown, Why”, a sensitive, award-winning special about a child battling cancer. To read his obituary in the New York Times, click here.
Bob Elias spent his boyhood immersed in the beauty of Carmel by-the-Sea. His aesthetic appetite developed at an early age, as did his artistic ability. He has a memory of being recognized in kindergarten for his ability to draw. His talent was regarded as a gift, and as such, he was afforded every possible opportunity to develop and grow as an artist. Being a true baby-boomer, hours were spent in front of the television, and when he had the choice, cartoons illuminated the screen and his mind.
In 2005, Bob was given the opportunity to submit artwork to the Walt Disney Company, and he began to produce original paintings based on either Park Themes and Attractions or Disney’s Family of Cartoon Characters. His dream had come true. He continues to produce original paintings as one of Disney’s Featured Artists, and his distinctive works are for sale exclusively in Licensed Disney Galleries.
Another dream has been realized, and Bob is allowed to paint these beloved characters that kept him glued to the TV (…and keep him glued to this day.) He especially enjoys working from Chuck’s conceptual drawings, or model sheets, and placing them in his own world of creativity. Furthermore, participating in events such as “The Chuck Jones Big Draw” afford Bob an additional honor of perpetuating Chuck’s legacy.
On October 2, 1950, at the height of the American postwar celebration — an era when being unhappy was an antisocial rather than a personal emotion — a 27-year-old Minnesota cartoonist named Charles M. Schulz introduced to the funny papers a group of children who told one another the truth.
This was something new in the newspaper comic strip. At mid-century, the comics were dominated by action and adventure, vaudeville and melodrama, slapstick and gags. Schulz dared to use his own quirks — a lifelong sense of alienation, insecurity, and inferiority — to draw the real feelings of his life and time. He brought a spare pen line, Jack Benny timing and a subtle sense of humor to taboo themes such as faith, intolerance, depression, loneliness, cruelty, and despair. His characters were contemplative. They spoke with simplicity and force. They made smart observations about literature, art, classical music, theology, medicine, psychiatry, sports and the law.
In a few tiny lines — a circle, a dash, a loop, and two black spots — he could tell anyone in the world what a character was feeling. He was a master at portraying emotion, and took a simple approach to character development, assigning to each figure in the strip one or two memorable traits and problems, often highly comic, which he reprised whenever the character reappeared.
By fusing adult ideas with a world of small children, Schulz reminded us that although childhood wounds remain fresh, we have the power as adults to heal ourselves with humor.
More than 150 million readers followed the daily and Sunday "Peanuts" strips, while in bookstores "Peanuts" collections swamped the best-seller lists, eventually selling more than 300 million copies in 26 languages.
The youngest of four, Daniel’s family originally immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1963. Always feeling like an outsider, he began creating and using his imagination to cope with his own shyness.
As a child, Daniel created creatures and worlds out of clay, cardboard, and any other items lying around the house. His love for creating grew to include illustrating and painting all of which set the course for his life’s goal of being an artist.
His artistic career began creating designs for a t-shirt business, but he was given the opportunity through a Disney artist to produce clean-up line work for Western Publishing on Walt Disney licensed creations.
He studied animation at Roland Animation School in Hacienda, California. Learning the basics of 2D animation principles, Daniel was recruited in mid-1995 by Warner Bros. where he worked in their animation division on Space Jam starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. Trained primarily in visual effects, he fulfilled a lifelong dream on his first professional Hollywood project by getting to work with all of the classic Looney Tunes characters.
Daniel also created concept and prop designs for Warner Bros. The Iron Giant, directed by Brad Bird, where he designed the giant’s visual readout, including the font design used in all scenes where the giant’s viewfinder was shown.
His other movies for Warner Bros. were The Quest for Camelot and Osmosis Jones with Bill Murray. DreamWorks SKG projects included working in the EFX department, on Prince of Egypt, The Road to El Dorado, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. He also did freelance work for Rich Animation’s The King and I.
Daniel now works with the Chuck Jones Gallery bringing to canvas such inspired Warner Bros. properties as The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, The Iron Giant, and the classic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and the Road Runner. Greatly influenced by such artistic giants as Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper, Frank Frazetta, and Chuck Jones, Daniel incorporates sly wit, poetic beauty, and adventurous themes into his work. He brings his whimsical sense of humor, pleasing colors, and clever layout to all his creative endeavors.
Theodore Seuss Geisel was born 2 March 1904 in Springfield, MA. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925 and proceeded on to Oxford University with the intent of acquiring a doctorate in literature. He returned from Europe in 1927 and began working for a magazine called Judge, the leading humor magazine in America at the time, submitting both cartoons and humorous articles for them. Additionally, he was submitting cartoons to Life, Vanity Fair, and Liberty. In some of his works, he’d made reference to an insecticide called Flit.
During WW II, Geisel joined the army and was sent to Hollywood. Captain Geisel would write for Frank Capra’s Signal Corps Unit to do documentaries. He also created a cartoon called Gerald McBoing-Boing which also won him an Oscar. During this stint in Hollywood, he met Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng who were in charge of the animation units that created these films along with others featuring the training film star, Private SNAFU.
In 1954, Life published a report concerning illiteracy among school children. The report said, among other things, that children were having trouble to read because their books were boring. This inspired Geisel’s publisher and prompted him to send Geisel a list of 400 words he felt were important, asked him to cut the list to 250 words (the publisher's idea of how many words at one time a first grader could absorb) and write a book. Nine months later, Geisel, using 220 of the words given to him published The Cat in the Hat, which went on to instant success.
In 1960 Bennett Cerf bet Geisel $50 that he couldn’t write an entire book using only fifty words. The result was Green Eggs and Ham. Cerf never paid the $50.
In 1965 Geisel joined forces with Chuck Jones to create the first two animated films based on his books, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who.
What the heart wants and the heart needs can be found in a Fabio Napoleoni painting. Nostalgia, sorrow, and elation; all are there for the world to see and experience.
His vivid use of color and the captivating characters he has created welcome you to an emotional experience that affects not only your mind but deeply touches your heart.
Napoleoni’s simple landscapes set the stage for dramatic emotional revelations that speak to our common humanity.
Many events influenced Fabio’s artwork but none more than the traumatic events that followed the birth of his second child. His daughter, born with severe heart abnormalities, had to face several surgeries to correct issues that could have prevented her from having a future.
Overwhelmed with his daughter’s poor health and surrounded by an emotional sea of sorrow from other parents in the same situation, Fabio drew. From these thoughts, a new form of creativity was born. The doors to Fabio Napoleoni’s Heart were now opened for the world to experience.
With his vibrant, bold use of color along with the child-like characters he has created, Fabio has managed to imbue his canvases with an emotional value that had been missing before his revelation at his daughter’s bedside.
You will always find a beautiful Heart in every piece of his work. A symbol of his love for his daughter . . . she lives today and will forever in his work.
Isadore ‘Friz’ Freleng was one of the pioneers of modern animation and the creator of more than 300 cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, Tweety Pie and most notably Yosemite Sam among other classic Looney Tunes characters for Warner Bros.
Five of his cartoons were awarded Academy Awards over a twenty-year period (winning the only Oscar for Bugs Bunny-Knighty Knight Bugs.) After leaving Warner Bros. in 1962, Freleng founded his own production company, DePatie-Freleng Enterprises where he created the Pink Panther.
Freleng, along with Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Robert McKimson and Tex Avery, became the driving force of Warner Bros.’
For a self-described iconoclast, Freleng was honored by some very respectable organizations: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonist’s Guild, the British Film Institute and the International Animated Film Society.
In 1980, Mr. Freleng returned to Warner Bros. to direct television specials and compilation features. They are 1981′s Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, 1982′s 1001 Rabbit Tales and 1983′s Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island.
James C Mulligan (born 1978) is an American artist and actor best known for painting large-scale fine art and commercial murals.
Mulligan was attending the University of California, Los Angeles, as a theatre major when he was hired to work in the art department of the Walt Disney Company. His projects there include concept design for both characters and theme park shows and attractions.
Mulligan now spends a great deal of his time creating fine art for icons such as the Elvis Presley estate, Buck Rogers, and Tarzan. He has also been involved with creating a series of fine art pieces for ZORRO, the Broadway Musical, which debuted in 2012.
Mulligan currently lives in California, and spends much of his time along the coast, as well as in Las Vegas.
James Coleman – a name synonymous with sweeping skies, tropical rain forests, rich deep woods and silent deserts. The images created by this talented man continue to delight all that view them.
As a young man, his interest in filmmaking and fine art would mark the beginning of a long, successful career in animated films.
Coleman began his career with Walt Disney Studios in the summer of 1969, when his mother, who had been working as a secretary with Disney since the Hyperion days, got him a job in the studio’s mailroom. His big break came when he entered one of his paintings in the studio art show. Several of the Disney artists viewing his work, saw his potential and realized he had an untapped ability and encouraged him to go into animation background painting.
Walt Disney Productions welcomed his creative energies. His first film, “Winnie, the Pooh and Tigger, too”, sparked his interest not only in painting backgrounds but also in background design and color styling.
While at Disney, James styled and worked on twelve films and over thirty short subjects which included “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”, “The Fox and the Hound”, “The Great Mouse Detective”, “The Black Cauldron”, “The Little Mermaid”, and Academy Award-winning, “Beauty and the Beast”.
Today he continues to illuminate the art world with vibrant colors, gentle moods, powerful design and exquisite detail.
Coleman works in oil, watercolor, gouache, and pastel. His work is impressionistic and luminous. His pieces intrigue the eye and touch the heart. His paintings are warm, inviting and unique. A master of color, light, and design, Coleman has become one of the most collected and sought-after artists around the world.
For over 30 years, sculptor Lawrence Noble has been answering the call of these mysteries through his sculpture. He considers himself an American sculptor, in the mode of the Romantic sculptors of the late 19th century, Augustus Saint Gaudens and Daniel Chester French.
His early artistic career included designing and illustrating motion picture advertising campaigns including “Time After Time”; “Flash Gordon”; “Sharky’s Machine”; “The Empire Strikes Back” (10th Anniversary Poster) and more recently, he has produced sculptures for “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and “The Rock”. Noble designed an Olympic Gold Medal for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and he sculpted the “Daytona 500″ trophy.
Noble was selected by the California Fire Foundation to produce a bronze monument titled Holding the Line. This memorial to California firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty is located in historic Capitol Park in Sacramento, California. Noble Studio was also commissioned to design and sculpt the San Bernardino County Peace Officers’ Memorial, a ten-foot tall bronze monument to Peace Officers killed in the line of duty.
Dynamic. Outrageous. Sensational. These words describe the work of Markus Pierson. His series of coyote images portray a romantic, carefree life that seduces and intrigues the viewer. Though his images are decidedly light-hearted, there is a serious side to his work that goes beyond the up-front humor.
Pierson began the coyote series in June 1986 after the break-up of a romance. “She left me for a more dangerous sort of fellow. Ah, nice guys finish last.” He says. “Anyway, I decided to do a drawing depicting that situation using coyotes and the series was born.”
The Coyotes have come a long way since their start as hopeful little drawings made in a cold, tiny, rundown apartment in Jackson, Michigan, their sole purpose to lift the spirits of their down-on-his-luck author, me. To my great surprise, The Coyote Series has become one of the most widely collected, longest lasting and successful bodies of artwork in history.”
Exhibited internationally in galleries and recently honored with a retrospective at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St. Joseph, Missouri, in the summer of 2005, Marcus Pierson continues to delight and amaze critics and collectors with the adventures (and misadventures) of his iconic Coyotes. The Chuck Jones Gallery is pleased to represent the art of Marcus Pierson.
~ A Fresh Twist on a Classic Era
Redefining the classic Art Deco genre through the use of 21st-century palettes and concepts places the art of Mike Kungl in a category of his own devising. Exhibited internationally, this award-winning illustrator and fine artist bring to bear a dynamic classicism and an exquisite sensibility to the Disney archive of animated characters and films.
Spending nearly two decades creating award-winning logos, package design and illustration for companies such as Panasonic, Johnson & Johnson, Toshiba, and Nissan Motoraward-winning focused on fine art full time.
Kungl currently works in his southern California studio shaping and refining each of his meticulously crafted works of art.
Tom Everhart is the only fine artist educated by Schulz and legally authorized by both Charles Schulz and Iconix to use subject matter from Schulz's Peanuts strip to create fine art.
In 1980, Tom Everhart was introduced to cartoonist Charles M. Schulz at Schulz's studios in Santa Rosa, California. A few weeks prior to their meeting, Everhart, having absolutely no education in cartooning, found himself involved in a freelance project that required him to draw and present Peanuts renderings to Schulz's studios. Preparing as he would the drawings and studies for his large-scale skeleton/nature related paintings; he blew up some of the cartoonist's strips on a twenty-five-foot wall in his studio which eliminated the perimeter lines of the cartoon box, leaving only the marks of the cartoonist.
Schulz's painterly pen stroke, now larger than life, translated into painterly brush strokes and was now a language that overwhelmingly connected to Everhart's own form of expression and communication. Completely impressed with Schulz's line, he was able to reproduce the line art almost exactly, which in turn impressed Schulz at their meeting. It was directly at this time that Everhart confirmed his obsession with Schulz's line art style and their ongoing relationship of friendship and education of his line style.
The paintings using Charles Schulz's comic strip, Peanuts, as subject matter, came to Everhart in Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was undergoing several operations for stage 4 colon/liver cancer in the summer of 1988. Everhart recalls lying in a hospital bed surrounded by enough flowers to open a florist shop, piles of art books and a stack of Peanuts comic strips sent to him by Schulz. The light streaming in from the window almost projected the new images of his future Schulz inspired paintings on the wall. All the images in Everhart's work are in some respect derived from Schulz's Peanuts comic strip.
In January 1990 Everhart's Schulz related work went on to show at the Louvre in Paris and subsequently in Los Angeles at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, Montreal at the Museum of Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan at the Suntory Museum of Art, Osaka, Rome, Venice, Milan, Minneapolis, Baltimore, New York, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, and in Santa Rosa California at the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
In 1991, Charles Schulz and United Media drafted a legal agreement to allow Tom Everhart to use subject matter from Schulz's Peanuts strip in his art for "the term of his life".
An agreement, with Tom Everhart, United Media Feature Syndicate, and Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, was signed, in 1997, to grant to third parties licenses with respect to the Schulz inspired paintings to produce, up-scale museum type products, and continues in effect to present, with Iconix replacing United Media in 2010.
The ongoing trips between French Polynesia and Venice California have had a significant effect on the paintings most easily observed in the luminous color palette. But, most importantly, it offered him a new way of seeing the work that he was dedicated to continuing.
Tom Everhart continues to lecture around the world on the artwork of Charles M Schulz and to communicate the unique collaborative relationship they shared, as a cartoonist and a painter. To this, he has dedicated his life.
Alvin graduated from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles CA, (now of Pasadena) in Advertising Design. After graduation, she immediately began working as an animation layout artist and designer at television commercial film production houses.
She contributed creatively to many national and regional commercials such as Tootsie Roll, Chicken of the Sea, Six Flags, and numerous films for The Children’s' Television Network. She produced and directed three films for the permanent exhibit Electricity at the Los Angeles Museum of Science and Industry. She worked as a layout artist for Hanna Barbera working on the television series Flinstones Comedy Hour, CB Bears, and Superfriends.
Alvin began painting and exhibiting her unique art in various galleries and venues throughout California. In 1989 she joined ranks with her husband, internationally renowned illustrator, John Alvin, creating their own design and illustration studio specializing in key art for movie posters.
Andrea Alvin has contributed to the design and creation of ad campaigns for such movies as Batman Returns andBatman Forever, The Mighty, Innocent Blood, Grumpier Old Men for Warner Bros.; Pinocchio, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan and The Little Mermaid for Disney Studios; Doc Hollywood and Jurassic Park for Universal.
Her work influenced by Pop Art and Photorealism. The subjects are very American – post-war, baby-boomer, middle-class American. It’s not apple pie, but Oreo cookies and Necco Wafers as cultural and historical icons that a 60-year-old and a 20-year-old can reminisce about.
Regardless of the subject matter, and her adherence to realism, these are works of art and must stand on the merits of art. Alvin designs the composition as if it were a study in color and form. She has the ability to combine abstraction and representation. She has a painterly style not expected from one who paints realism. At close range, the paint and brush strokes are very evident but devolve photographically when viewed from a distance. Andrea Alvin’s art eludes categorization in the same moment that it drives home indelible and familiar icons. The final effect is intensely personal to the viewer and yet broadly reminiscent of an era that binds us irrevocably together.
Eric Goldberg joined Disney Studios in 1990 as the supervising animator responsible for the movements, personality, and soul of the Genie in Aladdin. Goldberg’s strong background in animation next earned him his directorial debut on Pocahontas, which he followed up as the supervising animator on Phil, the salty satyr, and trainer of heroes in Hercules. Goldberg also directed the “Carnival of the Animals” and “Rhapsody in Blue” segments of Fantasia 2000, the continuation of Walt Disney’s 1940 masterpiece.
Goldberg has enjoyed a successful career in the United States and Great Britain as an animator and animation director. From 1983 until 1990 he was a founding partner of the London-based commercial animation house, Pizazz Pictures, which received numerous awards for its hilarious and irreverent work.
Fran Lew is a representational artist, trained in classic academic realism. Her work sets the bar for the heights an artist can aspire to. Adhering to the time-tested techniques and training of the Old Masters; this path is less traveled, especially in recent times, as it can be a difficult and arduous path, and it takes spiritual strength, a strong conviction in artistic beliefs, and inspiration by beauty to stay on it.
Fran Lew’s growth as an artist is chiefly attributed to her exposure to the Reilly principles of painting. Everyone seeing her work is at once impressed with the deep respect Fran Lew has for the traditions of the Old Masters presented through her own contemporary vision.
From his childhood here in southern California surrounded by the beauty of nature, along with his youthful studies of Renaissance-era European art and architecture, and a lifetime devoted to the visual arts as the highest form of expression, Glen Tarnowski brings stunning vitality and depth to his paintings of the Chuck Jones Looney Tunes pantheon; a vitality that is, needless to say, seasoned with a droll sense of humor and with more than a passing nod to the history of art.
Immersed at an early age in an intense formal education in art combined with his interest in the works of the old world masters Rembrandt, Reubens, and Chardin has imbued his work with classical chiaroscuro, a robust Renaissance palette, and a refined brushwork. His study of 19th-century realist masters Ilya Repin, Anders Zorn, and Antonio Mancini along with the 20th-century realist master, David Leffel, provide his paintings with a vibrant blending of classical and contemporary realism.
Tarnowski’s talent is recognized by his peers, art associations, and the art press as well as notable private and corporate art collectors.
He was the recipient of the 1996 Angel Award, a finalist in the 1997 Artist Magazine International Competition, the 1998 Oil Painters of America National Show in Washington, D.C., and the 1999 Oil Painters of American Regional Show in Chicago, Illinois.
“I’ve always liked cartoons, animation, hot rods, and drag racing. Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was my first great inspiration to draw,” says DeGrandis, producer, and animator of “Dora the Explorer”, “Go, Diego, Go!” and other animated series for Nickelodeon. Roth and drag-racing were not the only inspirations for this artist; he adds that Charles Schultz, M.C. Escher, and Tex Avery all have contributed to his style and artistic sensibilities.
However, it is to Chuck Jones that he owes his greatest allegiance as a source of inspiration. Jones mentored DeGrandis while he was a student at CalArts in Valencia (formerly Chouinard Art Institute of which Jones was an alumni), and it was Jones who gave him his first job in animation.
In a career spanning several decades, he has worked for Chuck Jones Productions, Spumco, Warner Bros., Walt Disney Studios, Universal Studios, DreamWorks, and FOX Kids Network.
John Alvin has designed and illustrated some of the world’s most widely recognizable movie art.
Of the more than 120 film campaigns he has created, E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial is the most satisfying to Alvin, and appropriately so, as the movie is one of the most successful in cinema history. In addition to receiving the Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards’ grand prize, Alvin’s E.T. was the only movie art ever to be honored with the Saturn Award from The Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Films.
Alvin has produced many special works for Lucasfilm Ltd.’s Star Wars phenomenon. His Star Wars Concert and Star Wars Tenth Anniversary poster are among the most collectible Star Wars art on the market today. Additionally, The Smithsonian Museum, Washington D.C., exhibited Alvin’s The Phantom of the Paradise as one of the best posters of the 20th Century.
The ability to infuse art with feeling was one reason Disney wanted Alvin for The Lion King and the “adult campaigns” for many Disney animated classics. The adult campaign will usually be more elegant, more symbolic, and in Alvin’s masterful hands, imbued with a moody, almost magical aura.
Alvin has developed and maintained a very loyal following among collectors of cinema art, making his original art and signed reproductions much sought after and treasured pieces of movie memorabilia.
Truly, John Alvin belongs to a very special and very short list of cinema art masters whose works have become icons in Hollywood’s rich and colorful history.
Maurice Noble is widely recognized as the premier animation designer in the history of animation. Each new animated film presented Noble an opportunity to explore an unusually distinctive art form, and he consistently strove to develop highly imaginative and interesting settings to support and enhance every production.
He was the co-director of the Academy Award-winning animated short subject, The Dot and the Line, and many other cartoon classics. His unique and innovative use of color and design are apparent in landmark Disney films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, and Dumbo. His work on more than 60 Warner Bros. cartoon featuring characters such as Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner helped created a new look and approach to animation that continues to influence designers today.
During World War II, Noble was a member of the Frank Capra U.S. Army Signal Corp Unit, creating animated films for the Armed Forces; among the most memorable, the “Private Snafu” series.
After the war, Noble entered into a creative partnership with Chuck Jones that would continue, off and on, for nearly 50 years. Some of the more famous animated short subjects he designed include Duck Dodgers in the 24th-and-a-half Century, Bully for Bugs, Duck Amuck and What’s Opera, Doc?.
In the 1960s Maurice Noble collaboration with Chuck Jones continued at MGM where they produced many Dr. Seuss classics including Horton Hears a Who and the original adaptation of How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the full-length film adaptation of Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth.
From his early days creating layouts, to working as the Art Director for Disney´s The Little Mermaid, Mr. Peraza´s amazing talents have shaped the animation world and helped to usher in the fabled Disney Renaissance.
It was while Mr. Peraza was attending Cal Arts that he first met Chuck Jones. Chuck came out to the school to give an inspiring lecture and tell the students that everyone has 10,000 bad drawings in them, so you better get busy filling up your sketchbooks. Mike did just that and after graduation, while returning to his locker to clean out his supplies, Mr. Peraza found a note inviting him to come and work for The Walt Disney Studios, his dream job.
One of his first assignments at Disney was to help in designing the multiplane shots for The Fox and the Hound. This project was only the first in an impressive list of animated features that Mr. Peraza had a hand in shaping. Mike went on to do concept, design and layout work on Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Great Mouse Detective, The Black Cauldron, TRON, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Return to OZ, Aladdin, Beauty, and the Beast.
In addition to working on Disney projects, Mike worked on projects for Warner Brothers, Bluth, and Sony including Dragon´s Lair, Space Ace, Thumbelina, Stuart Little, Ice Age, and art directed Fox´s Anastasia. During Mike’s stay at Warner Brothers, he had the honor of working with Chuck Jones on a Bugs Bunny compilation and directing the Umptee series.