Animation Artifacts &Bill Peckmann &Rowland B. Wilson &Story & Storyboards 23 Sep 2009 07:37 am

Troll Bd 1

- The animated feature is a funny business. So much work goes into them and so few give back the intended spark that the many creators think they’re investing in the labor. Such a film goes through many incarnations and struggles on its way to the public that it’s a wonder that it even makes it. And when it hits the theaters some jerk like me will dismiss it with a few bad words.

Don Bluth produced and directed as many as 11 feature films between 1982 and 2000. That’s a lot of work, and a lot of talented artists worked with him to get those flms to screens. Not all of them, obviously, were successful. I’ve read about The Pebble and the Penguin, but I don’t remember seeing it though I probably did; and if I don’t remember I may as well not have. Yet how much intensive labor by how many people went into making that film? How many years of work?

A Troll in Central Park is another one of those 11. I’ve seen parts of this film many times over. This is one of those films that I always seem to turn on at exactly the same moment and see the mid-section again and again. I admit that I haven’t seen it to the end. It has a very distinctive look, yet it wasn’t compelling enough for me to stay with it.

I have some of the storyboard sections done by Rowland Wilson, and I want to post them. There’s something to learn from every film fragment and this board offers much. Rowland was such a brilliant artist that it’s worth rummaging through any of his work, and he put a lot into all of it. This board is no exception.

Without further explanation or fanfare, here are 14 pages of board – actually I think they’re thumbnails – which were done by Rowland for A Troll in Central Park. These were given on loan to me by Bill Peckmann. His collection has been a real education for me.

(Click any image to enlarge to a legible size.)


3 4


6 7

8 9


11 12

13 14

Here are a few character models for this sequence:

Can an animator have a better design for a racoon?
There’s enormous personality in this character.

Mice and Rats


A snake

Other reptiles

And here are some BG Layouts for this sequence:




I’ll put up more of these next week. Many thanks, again, to Bill Peckmann for the loan of this art.

6 Responses to “Troll Bd 1”

  1. on 23 Sep 2009 at 10:53 am 1.Teodor Ajduk said …

    A Troll in Central Park is not so bad.
    Europe has many worse movies for children than that.

  2. on 23 Sep 2009 at 12:33 pm 2.Daniel Caylor said …

    I haven’t seen a lot of Bluth’s films, including this one. These designs are a lot of fun. Thanks for introducing me to Rowland’s work. I’ll be sure to check out the film over the next couple of days.

  3. on 23 Sep 2009 at 10:37 pm 3.Charles B. said …

    Wilson’s work is nice, but once again bluth proves he can’t tell a story or create compelling characters. Troll in particular is one of the more incredibly insipid ones–mildly better than nimh, but no where as bad as American Tale. Of course, nothing can come close to the brilliance of Rock-A-Doodle. They show this in psychology classes across the world as an example of mind gone mad. At least it’s useful for something.

  4. on 24 Sep 2009 at 10:03 am 4.Elliot Cowan said …

    I went and saw 9 the other day.
    It very much reminded me of a Bluth film…

  5. on 24 Sep 2009 at 10:10 am 5.Michael said …

    Now THAT‘s an interesting comment. I’ll have to get a look at 9.

  6. on 24 Sep 2009 at 11:34 pm 6.Elliot Cowan said …

    9 isn’t very good unfortunately…

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