Walt Disney’s 1940 animated masterpiece Pinocchio is many things: visually ravishing, dynamically visceral, deeply emotional. It’s one of those movies that reveals something new to you each time you watch it. Which is part of what makes Kilian Eng’s new Pinocchio-inspired print so perfect: It’s so rich with detail you keep coming back to it, discovering new things.
We are so thrilled to exclusively debut this new print, released by our dear friends at Cyclops Print Works and illustrated by fan favorite, Kilian Eng. Eng has created a truly stunning work, one that feels so alive and is so beautifully poised that it’s really something you cannot take your eyes off of. In one sense it’s unlike anything he’s ever done, more emotional and somehow softer. In another sense, it never betrays the aesthetic he’s become so well known for (hyper-textured fantasy and sci-fi work). Oh, and it’s totally amazing.
We talked to the Stockholm-based artist via email, about what it was like choosing this specific moment he wanted to focus on from the film, (right before Pinocchio comes to life, the magical sparkles swirling around his wooden body), and what other Disney projects he’d like to get a crack at.
Below, you’ll find all the information about how you can order one of these incredible prints.
Have you always been a fan of Pinocchio? What does the film mean to you?
Pinocchio has been one of my favorite children’s stories as long as I can remember. During a family vacation in Italy as a kid we visited the small town of Collodi, which is where the story originated. There I got a small wooden Pinocchio figure that still hangs in my workspace.
Disney did an amazing job with their interpretation. Besides the unbelievable animation, it’s such a great adventure with interesting characters and story development. It’s not afraid of the darker aspects of the story either, which gives it even more depth. For me it’s one of the greatest animated films ever made.
How did you choose this moment from the film? Was it hard to settle on something? Did you discard a bunch of other ideas?
Often when I start on a print for a film I try to find scenes that have interesting environments that also feel relevant to the narrative. This is because I really enjoy to draw characters interacting with their world rather than just focusing on close ups of them. In Pinocchio this is not a very difficult task since the film is full of wonderful locations, it’s a beautiful world.
I really love the beginning of them film where the audience is introduced to Geppetto’s workshop with all the toys and other interesting creations. It’s so well done and really feels magical and like it’s alive. It’s also relevant to the theme with a puppet that becomes a real person.
How did you marry your personal style with the film’s aesthetic?
This was something that I thought a lot about before I begun working on the artwork. I took some screenshots from the film that I studied carefully. I printed them out and kept them on the table beside me while drawing. Through the process I got to know the scenery and through that I became confident enough to add my own spin to it.
Can you go through the process of creating the print?
The first step was to come up with the concept. After watching the film I decided to suggest to James over at Cyclops Print Works to present Geppetto’s workshop, in the moment just before Pinocchio comes to life. He liked the idea so I presented a sketch and sent over to give him a feel of the colors and composition. The sketch was approved very quickly, as I remember.
After that I started on the original. First I drew the outlines. I often drawn a small portion of the print very detailed early on and then color it to get a good reference point for the rest. The biggest challenge was to get the right feel for all the puppets and other creations in the scene. As I mentioned earlier, I studied screenshots for the film and through learning how they looked I could make my interpretations without being too far from the original designs.
The coloring changed a couple of times through the process, but I really wanted the piece to be colorful, fun to look at, and a bit mysterious as well. I’m hoping it can be one of those pieces that you find something new in even after you have looked at it a couple of times.
Are there any other Disney properties you’d love to tackle?
Yes there certainly are, Disney has a very strong library. Some of my other favorites are Peter Pan, Fantasia and Bambi. I really like the older short films as well, like “The Old Mill” and “The Skeleton Dance,” hard to believe it’s from 1929!
Cyclops Print Works #15: Pinocchio by Kilian Eng
Artist: Kilian Eng
Size: 20” X 30”
Technique: Serigraph | 19 colors
Edition Size: Limited Edition of 185
Features: Hand-Numbered | Varnish Finish | Authenticity Seal
Paper: PLIKE Black 330 gsm
Printed by: Eclipse Workshop
Officially Licensed by Disney
Release Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 12 p.m. PST at www.cyclopsprintworks.com.