Errol Le Cain 07 Mar 2007 08:32 am

Le Cain’s Aladdin

– After thinking about Dick WilliamsThief and the Cobbler feature, I can’t help but be brought back to Errol Le Cain. Of course, there isn’t much of his art from the feature available for viewing. The best we can do is to look at his illustration work again. Here, I’m posting several of the images from his adaptation of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp.

(Click any image to enlarge.)

The daring and invention in images like these makes me wonder why animated films are so obvious in their choices. Is it just that we expect the general public not to appreciate good ideas and imagery, or do we actually think the clich├ęs we’re producing are good? Le Cain‘s backgrounds for Dick Williams were just as original, and in a way Le Cain became to Dick what John McGrew was to Chuck Jones.

The Disney Aladdin was about Robin Williams more than it was about telling the story from the Arabian Nights. The final film was a successful amalgam of reworked Warner Bros. and Disneyesque schmaltz. The design was attractive cartoon; they weren’t trying to do more than that, and it worked. The film was successful.

I just would like to see someone reach a bit higher. These illustrations get me excited about the possibilities of animation, yet animation does that so rarely.

5 Responses to “Le Cain’s Aladdin”

  1. on 07 Mar 2007 at 10:34 am 1.R.Dress said …

    I’m hyperventilating over these posts. The layout drawing is absolutely insane.
    Thanks for sharing this indeed.
    Was Thief and the Cobbler shot on a Master Oxberry?

  2. on 07 Mar 2007 at 11:22 am 2.Michael said …

    Yes, I believe the film was shot on an Oxberry which, I believe, had an aerial image projection device built into it. (An add-on you could get from Oxberry.) I assume that they also manipulated the camera for their own needs.

  3. on 10 Nov 2007 at 3:41 pm 3.tom said …

    oh my god, this was one of my very favorite books when i was in kindergarten, i used to sit and gaze at the illustrations for hours. this is probably one of the reasons i’m in art school. thank you so much for posting these and bringing back insane childhood memories.

  4. on 08 Jan 2010 at 1:08 pm 4.Mari said …

    Please don’t ever stop writing about LeCain! There is so little information on him, yours is some of the most complete and certainly some of the most thoughtful.


  5. on 08 Jan 2010 at 4:18 pm 5.Michael said …

    At your instigation, I’m posting another piece on Errol Le Cain, tomorrow – 01/09/10. thanks

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