We’re celebrating the 75th anniversary of Bambi this year, and it would be impossible to honor this classic animated film without acknowledging the gorgeous art style of Disney Legend, Tyrus Wong, who’s art inspired the look and feel of the touching story. He’s one of the most influential Chinese American artists of his time, and his impressionistic drawings inspired the design, music, pacing, and emotional tone of Bambi. Tyrus Wong passed away last year at the age of 106, but his contribution to the art world will always be remembered, and his work will continue to inspire artists, filmmakers, and audience members for generations to come. We’re thrilled to share this exclusive video of Tyrus Wong talking about his experience working on Bambi. Take a look:
“If you can make a painting with 5 strokes instead of 10, you can make your painting sing.”
This quote from Tyrus Wong conveys volumes about his art style and his minimalist approach to design. It was his simplistic but striking concept art that helped make Bambi sing. Here are some of our favorite things we learned from this video:
- Tyrus started as an “in-betweener” artist at Disney, drawing the moments between an animator’s beginning frame and end frame, a job that would often leave his eyes tired from constantly flipping his drawing paper in the light.
- On his own time on weekends, Tyrus took the initiative to draw sketches of what he imaged Bambi could look like (Bambi was in pre-production at the time), and then had the courage to show his sketches to Bambi’s art director, Tom Codrick, who loved them!
- Tom Codrick presented Tyrus Wong’s art to Walt Disney, and it was just what Walt was looking for! Tyrus Wong’s art then became the inspiration for the art design of Bambi.
The 75th anniversary edition of Bambi is now available on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and Disney Movies Anywhere. This special edition includes bonus materials, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes interviews and commentary, and a very special tribute to Tyrus Wong.
What did you think about this exclusive video clip of Bambi artist Tyrus Wong? Tell us in the comments!