Earlier this week we debuted some truly jaw-dropping new prints from Cyclops Print Works, a division of Collectors Editions, publishers of Disney Fine Arts, at this weekend’s D23 Expo. (They’ll be exhibiting in Hall H, Booth 901B.) And we are super thrilled to announce even more exclusive D23 Expo content that Cyclops will be unveiling in the coming days.
The first thing we want to talk about is the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection by Joe Dunn. These are individual handbills that will be passed out throughout the D23 Expo, one for each of the 12 short films included in the new Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection home video release. We already have them and they are awesome. Dunn is an art director at Disney and has recently created some awesome Big Hero 6-inspired prints. But these 5” x 5” handbills are just adorable. And what’s more – the first 23 D23 Expo fans who collect all 12 individual pieces will win a limited edition uncut sheet of them, signed and numbered by Dunn. There are also some wildcard handbills thrown in there (we have a beautiful Beauty and the Beast one). Like we said: awesome.
Another piece that we are extremely excited to reveal is the Beauty and the Beast-inspired print by Mark Englert, “She Really is a Funny Girl.” Just looking at it, you’re struck by the composition, the artistry, the subtle visual in-jokes. It’s just stunning. We actually got to jump on the phone with Mark, to talk about his inspiration for the piece and whether or not he’d like to tackle future Disney projects (he would!) Mark will be signing the piece on Friday at 5 p.m.
How did you come to Beauty and the Beast and how did you come to this style?
I’m a ‘90s Disney kid so I was a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, probably back to Oliver & Company. This was the stuff that got played over and over again on the VCR. I did a Little Mermaid print a while back. And when Disney approached me, I was like, Beauty! Beauty! As for the style, I always like the idea that a Disney character is always looking up, looking towards the next thing. So for Little Mermaid she was literally looking up, out of the ocean. And for Belle, she wants out of her small town, into something bigger and something exciting. It just felt right to me to stick to a vertical orientation and have them both looking up. And then I tried to hide the little stuff that foreshadows what is coming.
Was this always the moment that you wanted to illustrate?
Yes, these are always my favorite parts of the movies, too. I feel like that’s when the best songs are and the parts I connect with in the movies.
You said you have a kid, so is watching these movies still a part of your life?
Oh 100%. I would say even more than having a kid, my dad, who is still a big kid at heart, would always, without being a grump about it, take me to animated movies when I was a kid. He would take me opening weekend, whatever Disney movie was out. So for him it was exciting and it still is for me. So having it on all the time in the background with my kid is fine by me. These days it’s a lot of Wreck-It Ralph.
Would you do another one of these Disney prints?
Oh absolutely. I could do every movie I think. I even pitched a “Little Match Girl.” It was on my copy of The Little Mermaid DVD so I must have seen “Little Match Girl” a million times. I think it’s the short most burned into my brain.
Yet another gem is JC Richard’s print inspired by the Oscar-winning short film “Paperman.” This is another stunner; it might make you get choked up just looking at it. This one won’t be available until Sunday at 4 p.m. but it’s very much worth the wait, especially since Richard will be there signing the print.
Lastly, Disney Fine Arts by Collectors Edition is releasing a batch of Eric Goldberg prints. If you’re a fan of animation, then you’ll immediately recognize Goldberg’s name. He is perhaps most famous for animating Robin Williams’ Genie in Aladdin, but has done exemplary work before and since (he worked on the recent short film “Get a Horse!” and did all of the Mickey Mouse animation for Disney California Adventure’s nighttime spectacular World of Color: Celebrate!) There are a couple of insanely awesome D23-exclusive prints (pictured below) and several prints based on drawings Goldberg did for the upcoming book An Animator’s Gallery: Eric Goldberg Draws the Disney Characters (out in September but available early at the D23 Expo), which itself is a collection of drawings done for the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland resort. Owning one of these pieces is like owning a part of your own childhood.
And you can even have the chance to tell Goldberg yourself – he’ll be appearing in the Disney Fine Art booth (Hall B, booth 901) on Friday from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. And on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.