Hipster Disney Princesses

Working in the entertainment industry long enough and you’ll create a library of work that will never get made. Entire universes the world will never see.
Sometimes for the best.

I’ve made a lot of Princess video games.  A LOT OF THEM.  I think 100.
The princesses video games were hugely popular and none of the other Art Directors wanted to touch what they considered cheesy girly stuff, but for me it meant time in and thumb through original Milt Kahl cells or Eyvind Earle background paintings for hours and try to draw like them.  Heck, since I was there I could pose the original Nightmare Before Christmas stop motion puppets in Street Fighter poses.

(I did get booted out once for climbing in Narnia Wardrobe, true story)

Honestly, making an action video game about Cinderella was one of two things, dull (how many spools of thread can Cinderella find?), or not faithful to the source (Help Cinderella drive her go-cart through the mall!).

So, with the help of my 10 year old daughter I hatched an idea, I put together a proposal for a video game friendly concept that would honor the source material, but be contemporary.

What resulted may be a clever solution, or the worst travesty to happen to classic animation this side of “Loonatics”

Here the synopsis; basically, the magic of the fairytale world tries to reform itself in our contemporary world, both good and bad magic, resulting in kids being influenced by their classic Disney counterparts.  That way it was hearkening the original characters without BEING the original characters, I started to flesh out the characters and story and put together the pitch:


Can you tell who everyone is?

I love putting together art teams, it’s like putting together a team for a heist. With a lose concept in hand I started getting the coolest kids around to do some concept work for it and help flesh it out :
Bengal:

Man, I love that I got this guy to do Disney Princess stuff.  It was great to get him to get some key illustrations showing some of the story beats.  The guy is good, and possibly can do no wrong.

 
 Becky Cloonan:

Becky brought the cool, she took my still very soft cute designs and made them look like rocking concert posters.


Aimee Major Steinberger:

And Aimee brought the fashion, look at these.  How cute are these?  HOW CUTE ARE THESE? So cute, that’s the answer.
 
In the end, probably for the best, this was never made, Disney games stuck by the old standbys of adapting films as they came out.  Creating new IPs in games seems to be a risky business.

Look at Epic Mickey. Yikes.  Great reviews, no one bought it.

Maybe they made their money back in Hot Topic T-shirts.

In other news the new “Clockwork Girl” Graphic Novel comes out from Harper Collins soon.  On amazon here or go to your local bookseller and request it. Please.

This is the quote that is on the Harper Collins site in the “about the authors” section:

  • The Clockwork Girl love story is inspired by the romantic pursuits of its lovesick authors, colleagues Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna.

Wait, wait,  does that read to you the way it reads to me?

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3 Responses to “Hipster Disney Princesses”

  1. [...] A lot of work that we do in animation never sees the light of day. This is either because it’s preproduction artwork that gets honed into something else by the time the final image comes out, or because it’s a pitch or a pilot that never gets produced.  A couple years ago (?) Kevin Hanna contacted me about doing some modern Disney princess outfit designs, the basic idea would be, if the characters were modern girls, what would they wear.  You can read more about the pitch and see some great concept work by Bengal and Becky Cloonan here o… [...]

  2. [...] A lot of work that we do in animation never sees the light of day. This is either because it’s preproduction artwork that gets honed into something else by the time the final image comes out, or because it’s a pitch or a pilot that never gets produced.  A couple years ago (?) Kevin Hanna contacted me about doing some modern Disney princesses outfit designs, the basic idea would be, if the characters were modern girls, what would they wear.  You can read more about the pitch and see some great concept work by Bengal and Becky Cloonan here o… [...]

  3. Oh my god, If this was a real comic book, book, game, movie, whatever, I would so read it, watch it, or play it. Your work inspires me to write my own modern/hipster disney princess story, I mean, I’d take a shot at a comic book, but I can write much better than I can draw.

    Personally, I think that the idea would sell and be great. I mean, I’m 14 and I’m saying this, but, a lot of people I know would love it.

    Have you ever been on Tumblr? They would go crazy for it! Especially the Rise Of the Guardians, Brave, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, and Epic fandoms.

    Even if you don’t put a lot of effort into it, it would still be awesome.

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