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Disney+ ‘Sketchbook’ Series A One-Of-A-Kind Animation Drawing Experience

The 6-part original goes behind-the-scenes with studio artists who share their stories while teaching viewers how to draw iconic Disney characters; episodes hit the streamer April 27.

Disney+, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Supper Club have teamed up to give fans a one-of-a-kind drawing experience. The six-part Original Series, Sketchbook, streaming April 27, gives audiences a chance to get an inside look at the animation process. In the series, studio artists will teach how to draw some of the most popular, iconic Disney characters including Kuzco from Emperor’s New Groove, Olaf from Frozen, Genie from Aladdin, Captain Hook from Peter Pan, Mirabel from Encanto and young Simba from The Lion King.

According to the streamer, the instructional documentary series will take viewers onto the desks and into the lives of talented artists and animators who will teach how to draw a different single iconic character. Each episode focuses on a single artist illustrating a character they either helped create or inspired them to want to be an artist. Viewers of all ages will gain a new understanding of how these characters come to life on-screen while introducing them to a new cast of real-life characters along the way.

“This series is an unprecedented look at what it takes to bring these beloved characters to life,” shared Supper Club director and executive producer Jason Sterman. “We are honored to feature this incredible group of artists who trusted us not only with presenting their skillset, but with sharing their personal, and often emotional, stories with the world. We’re looking forward to audiences becoming inspired to hopefully pick up a pencil and put it to paper themselves.”

"Think back to your favorite films from Walt Disney Animation Studios, whether from our earliest days, the films of our 1990s renaissance, or the award-winning films of today like Encanto and Frozen… every film starts with an idea, a pencil, and an artist,” explained Amy Astley, senior vice president, Publicity/Communications, Creative Legacy, and Brand Strategy for Walt Disney Animation Studios. “And within the thousands of artists who have created our 60 films over the last century, every person has a unique and special story. It was an honor to partner with Supper Club, whose projects such as Chef's Table create beautifully captured, intimate portraits of talented people. With Sketchbook, our hope is to demystify the art of drawing, making it accessible for anyone who wants to pick up a pencil and paper while deepening an appreciation for the individuals who contribute to our films." 

Sketchbook with Walt Disney Animation Studios is produced by Supper Club in partnership with Disney Animation. For Supper Club, Sterman, David Gelb, and Brian McGinn serve as executive producers. For Walt Disney Animation Studios, Amy Astley is executive producer. Sterman, Leanne Dare and Andrew McAllister serve as directors.

The characters and artists featured in the series include the following:

Emperor’s New Groove “Kuzco”

  • Gabby Capili’s path to Disney Animation began at a young age when she saw her first Disney film in a theater with her father, The Emperor’s New Groove. As she teaches how to draw her favorite character from the film, “Kuzco,” she also shares the importance of following your instincts and being free to let life guide you where you belong.

Frozen “Olaf”

  • While teaching us to draw one of Disney Animation’s most beloved characters, “Olaf” from the Frozen films, Hyun Min Lee shares the joyful wonder of the character and how she channeled personal loss into being a guiding light in her career in animation.

Aladdin “The Genie”

  • Legendary Disney animator Eric Goldberg guides viewers through the steps of drawing his most iconic character creation, “The Genie” from Aladdin while sharing the levels to which Robin Williams impacted the character and its animation.

Peter Pan “Captain Hook”

  • Growing up in South Korea, Disney animator and character designer Jin Kim was always fascinated by the villains of Disney’s films. As Kim teaches viewers to draw Peter Pan’s Captain Hook” her shares how his journey to America and working at Disney almost didn’t happen because of his colorblindness.

Encanto “Mirabel”

  • Disney Animation story artist Samantha Vilfort teaches how to draw one of the Studio’s newest characters, “Mirabel Madrigal,” from the award-winning hit film Encanto. Through her story we learn that her connection to Mirabel’s struggle of being different from everyone else in her family hits close to home.

The Lion King “Simba”

  • Storied Disney animator Mark Henn teaches how to draw one of his favorite character designs, “Young Simba” from The Lion King. Through Henn’s, viewers will learn the importance of never giving up on your dreams, even in the face of rejection.

Source: Disney+

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.