Monday, February 16, 2009

Disney's Animal Kingdom Original Artwork - Part One

Here is an article that i've promised to you a loooong time ago. It took me some time but this two parts Animal KIngdom original artwork article will show you more WDI renderings you've ever seen about this beautiful park, one of my favorite.

Let's begin with a bird eye view of the whole park. Released at the opening, it's an interesting rendering as we can see the Asia land - not yet build at that time - and most of all, the never built Beastly Kingdom.

let's have a look at the entrance with this first concept-art - a never realised concept.

Here is another early and never realised concept for the entrance by Joe Rhode.

Artist Gerry Dune did also a proposal for the entrance with this rendering.

Here is a Bryan Jowers rendering for the Genesis Gardens.

Joe Rhode did also this Oasis carousel concept, never realised.

Let's move now to the Tree of Life. You have a beautiful rendering at the top and below, a Dan Goozee concept-art.

Another Tree of Life concept by Dave Minichiello.

Here is an early concept for the whole island by Gerry Dunn and Joe Rhode.

Artist Ben Tripp did also this view toward the Tree of Life.

I've also added one or two pictures of models or imagineers at work, and here is one with a WDI imagineer working on the model of the Tree of Life.

Here is a picture of the Discovery Island model.

You may not know it but different concepts were envisioned for the show under the Tree of Life. As we know, the one which was realised is the "It's tough to be a bug" show. Here is a rendering for it.

Artist Bryan Jowers did a concept for a "Wonders of Nature" show...

...And Dave Minichiello did another one for a Lion King character show.

Here is a rendering showing the Creature Comfort shop interior by Karen Conolly Armitage.

On the east of Discovery Island is Camp Mickey, here is two Joe Warren artwork for it.

A Jim Heffron plan for the Pocahontas show theater...

...And a scenic design concept by Joe Warren.

Artist Jim Heffron did this design and elevation for a new bridge.

Let's move to Africa with this view of Harambe by Tom Gilleon.

A great rendering of the Kilimandjaro Safaris savannah by Ben Tripp.

Another view of the savannah and animals by Ned Mueller.

The famous sequence of the suspended bridge.

This Tom Gilleon artwork below is supposed to show Kilimandjaro Safaris, but if you look closer, it shows a raft ride and the temples on the left looks more Asian than African...except if the imagineers did envisioned another raft ride for Africa...

Some artwork for the research station by Mark Shumate.

A great concept-art for the Harambe train station by Zofia Kostyrko.

A rendering of the Wildlife Express train by George McGinnis.

And another one for the Wildlife Express locomotive.

As we know, the train bring the guests to Conservation Station, and here are three renderings showing it.

Always about Conservation Station, another concept-art by Zofia Kostyrko.

Some years after its opening, the Asia land opened at Animal Kingdom. Here is an Asian market concept by Joe Rhode.

A beautiful rendering by Ned Mueller for the tiger overlook.

Also by Ned Mueller, this concept for the grand ballroom.

Kali River Rapids is Animal Kingdom's raft ride, and here is a concept-art by Ned Mueller.

Always by Ned Mueller, this concept-art shows the burning forest sequence of the ride.

Before the Kali River Rapids concept was chosen, other "Asian raft ride" concepts were envisioned. Here are two renderings of these early concepts.

We will end this first part with this Alex Wright artwork for the Kali River Rapids FastPass structure.

Be sure to don't miss the part two of this Animal Kingdom original artwork article next week!

All artwork: copyright Disney - WED Enterprises.

Many thanks to Mark Taft for some of the renderings. I strongly suggest you to have a look on Mark's site Insights and Sounds, it's always interesting with rare pictures or renderings and Mark is posting new articles almost every day!

Some of the renderings are coming from the great "Imagineering Field Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom" where you will learn all the WDI secrets in the making of the park. You can find it on from only $3.87!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting those innovative graphics everyday!

Anonymous said...

Animal Kingdom is my favorite park. Thanks to you and Mark for these great pieces of artwork!

Anonymous said...

I have been to many websites over many years to view and appreciate theme park concept art.

In the past 2 years, disneyandmore has jumped out as THE BEST place to do so. You are always able to dig up artwork I've never seen before. For 2 years, I've been waiting and hoping for the day when you would cover Animal Kingdom, my favorite park and today it finally happened.

And I am not disappointed! I own the Imagineering Field Guides but the illustrations are so small it is difficult to enjoy them, so firstly, thank you for enlarging some of them. Secondly, I've never seen the original overview painting for the park in such a large size before... some interesting details become visible.

Also, the Tom Gilleon piece in the middle is a definitely the cancelled Asian Raft Safari (featuring double yellow rafts that would disconnect for the rapids finale): you can see Indian rhinos in the foreground, Asian temples on the left and chousingha (Asian antelope) on the right. In the background may be the African vehicular safari, but the foreground is Asian... a very rare and beautiful piece.

This may be the greatest post I've seen on WDI concept art, anywhere, ever. I am extraordinarily grateful to you (and Mark Taft). And I cannot wait to see what you have in store for part II (never-before-seen Beastly Kingdomme I hope).

Alain Littaye said...

Randy, Bob and anonymous, thank you so much for your kind comments.
It took always time to find documents and fix everything in an article, but it's always a joy to see that it's making happy every reader. Great artwork to come in the part two next week!

Anonymous said...

dear alian littaye they have nightime show was early plan for animals kingdom ? just wonder to know where is lion king show as early plan was . robert

Alain Littaye said...

The early concept for a Lion King show was supposed to be under the tree, where you have now "it's tough to be a bug".

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was great. This is the first time I've seen a lot of these. The Noah's Ark entrance concept looks amazing. And it's always fun to watch the parks evolve through their art. The 3rd one from the top looks very much like any "zoo" out there, and its fun to watch the entrance concepts evolve gradually towards a more organic, lived-in space.

Anonymous said...

Amazing, Alain. Amazing. :)

Anonymous said...

Alain - as has been mentioned before the last two pictures are of the Asian boat ride that was never built, which was supposed to have been a counterpart to Kilimanjaro Safaris and would have featured real animals. You can see from the concept map (and by comparing to GoogleEarth images from today) that this ride would have been twice the size of Kali River Rapids. More importantly this ride would have given greater credence to Animal Kingdom as an unique park that integrated living animals into it stands today only Kilimanjaro Safaris does this. Obviously the change was primarily for financial reasons. The concept map also shows the unbuilt Excavator roller coaster and of course Beastlie Kingdomme with its three attractions. Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Orlando but these images show how much better it could have been if not for the myopia of the last Eisner decade. Sadly though Eisner is gone many like minded souls are still running the show at WDW. - Tasman

Nicholas Tucker said...

I think it is funny when people say the park could've been so much better, yet it is their favorite park as is. That just proves that they didn't have to spend the extra money for the additional attractions.

Tyler said...

Animal Kingdom is for sure one of the most beautiful and unique parks Disney has ever created!

Anonymous said...

I'm Ben Tripp -- It was a pleasure to see this stuff. Disney had extremely restrictive portfolio policies back when I left, and I ended up with no reproductions of any of the thousand or so images I did while at Imagineering. Nor, of course, any of the stuff I art-directed.

So it's exciting to see this long-forgotten work... Or at least a fraction of it.

Animal Kingdom was definitely budget-constrained by Eisner, especially as Frank Wells had recently died. Frank was a big proponent of the park. I am very happy with the results, though. I was lead designer on Africa with the great John Shields, landscape architect.

The love of the animal world does shine through.

Anonymous said...

Gerry Dunn's name is spelled Dunn... not Dune... they should get the names right at the very least... when giving credit for the artwork. Judith Dunn

Orlando Hotels said...

Amazing artwork! well done for the resemblance and pure beauty. It really gave me to spirit of visiting AK in my Orlando visit :)

Frank Newman said...

Hey, I just thought I'd chime in to say that's me (Frank Newman) in the Tree of Life model picture.

It was a fun project, and I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to sculpt the model.

Anonymous said...

I just happened up on this blog and am so glad I did! I do have a specific question, though. I have fallen in love with the print located just under the title of your blog entry, "Disney's Animal Kingdom Original Artwork - Part One" (Feb 16, 2009). Could you post some information about this print (e.g. name and artist)? Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Alain Littaye said...

Hello, I wish i could help you and tell you the name of the artist but unfortunately i don't know it. sorry about that, and try to see if you can find it on others sites specialized on Animal Kingdom.