Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Sprite

As I have said before, to animate the Sprite was a big challenge to me. There was no typical model sheet for her. She had different shapes throughout the segment and we had to invent as we went. One scene in particular that I animated, the Sprite takes the shape of a squirrel as she climbs up a tree real fast.
In a few other scenes she had legs so we could see her running from the Firebird.

I remember the very first scene I did with her. I animated it and showed to the supervising animator, Tony DeRosa. He took a look at it and said we should show the directors. Tony had not done a single scene yet up to that time so he was still discovering things.
We showed the scene to the directors, Paul and Gaetan Brizzi. When Paul saw it he was very disappointed and got up and said "this is NOT the Sprite!" Actually, no one knew how to do her and I was upset with myself and thinking that maybe my carrer at Disney would be a short one.
Me and Tony went back and he gave me a few suggestions and I re- did the scene. I showed the scene again and then both directors loved it and said "that NOW is the Sprite".
After that scene, they loved all the other ones I did and I had no problems and my Disney carreer looked more promissing.
But that very first scene.....


  1. Beautiful drawings! The Fire Bird is one of my favorite sequences in Fantasia 2000, I can't imagine how challenging it must have been to animate the Sprite. Wonderful job!


  2. Hi Sandro, your work is truly inspiring. I really appreciate the range of designs you are able to command, and how you still maintain your defining signature. Traces of Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, and Eric Goldberg, with a whole new modern touch uniquely yours of course!

    I am curious, are these firebird frames cleanup traceovers or highly embellished roughs? I would suppose on a project as sophisticated as this those distinctions became blurred! Amazing amount of lines to control.

  3. Ahhhh, curse you and your draftsmanship!!! Very nice

  4. Hello Sandro, It's great to find out that you are blogging ;) Given the lurking release date, I hope that FROG is treating you well. I love what you showed me at the studio and I look forward to see some more on the big screen... Keep up the good work and ... say hello to Raffaello for me. Ciao, Cesare

  5. thanks for sharig all those great drawings and congratulation for your work !

  6. Hi Sandro! I´m constantly checking out your blog! so much nice stuff you have. Indeed very tough assignment, because it is half character, half FX animation, kind of stuff we are not used to do, and you got it as your very first job... The final result looks awesome! Thanks for sharing so much nice stuff! Maibe one day I will steal one of those and get it hanging on my wall! LOL!! Best, Carlos

  7. Fico feliz que sua carreira na Disney não parou por ali, Sandro! Eu realmente gosto dessas histórias pessoais por trás do tabalho do artista.E , outra vez, lindos desenhos vc fez nessa cena. Obrigado por nos mostrar!

  8. Nice animation drawings (it's really quite cool to flip them!) Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more stuff like these :)

  9. Wooow Nice blog.Truly inspiring .....!Thanks for posting it all.

  10. Sandro,

    I am so glad to find that you are blogging now. (I found the link to your blog from Rune's blog). The drawings you are posting are inspirational. I am really glad that you are posting the animation drawings as LARGE full size images so all the detail can be seen.


  11. Thanks for sharing Sandro, I remember being blown away by this short.