Members Click Here Membership Email Join Us!

Design: Two Disney Concept Artists

Disney Concept ArtDisney Concept ArtToday, we digitized more vintage model sheets on loan to us by Animation Resources Alliance member, Van Eaton Galleries. (For our previous posting, see… Reluctant Dragon and Pinocchio Model Sheets.) Among the collection were some fascinating early concept sketches by two very unique designers… Albert Hurter and Charlie Thorson.

Albert HurterAlbert HurterAlbert Hurter was born in Switzerland in 1883. He came to America during the first World War and found work in the New York animation scene. He moved West and ended up working at Disney as a concept artist. His influence is seen in many of the Silly Symphonies and early features. His strengths were an unfailing solidity of drawing, and an eye for creating situations, not just designs. For more info on his life and career, see Bud Plant’s Biography and John Canemaker’s book, Before the Animation Begins.

Here are some inspirational designs by Albert Hurter…

Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter
Albert Hurter


Charlie ThorsonCharlie ThorsonUntil Gene Waltz’s book, Cartoon Charlie: The Life and Art of Animation Pioneer Charles Thorson, few people had heard of Charlie Thorson, but once you see his work, it’s hard not to recognize his unique style in many cartoons from the 1930s. Thorson was responsible for the first model of proto-Bugs’ Bunny and the Porky Pig redesign at Warner Bros, as well as numerous characters in Disney Silly Symphonies and Fleischer Stone Age cartoons.

Here are two beautiful model sheets Thorson created for Disney’s “Little Hiawatha”…

Charlie Thorson
Charlie Thorson

I’m not sure who did this next piece, but it impressed me with the amount of detail and refinement Disney allowed his concept artists to instill in their work… I’m sure when this concept drawing was created, no one had any idea how the delicate pastel rendering technique would be translated into ink & paint!

Disney Concept Art

Van Eaton GalleriesVan Eaton GalleriesThese original production photostatic model sheets are available for sale by Van Eaton Galleries for $50 apiece. If you decide to add any of them to your collection, tell the folks at the Van Eaton Galleries that ASIFA-Hollywood referred you, and they will donate a portion of your purchase price to the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive.

For more vintage Disney model sheets, see… Reluctant Dragon and Pinocchio Model Sheets. Thanks to the Van Eaton Galleries for their support of Animation Resources.

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources

Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.


Animation Resources has been sharing treasures from the Animation Archive with its members for over a decade. Every other month, our members get access to a downloadable Reference Pack, full of information, inspiration and animation. The RefPacks consist of e-books jam packed with high resolution scans of great art, still framable animated films from around the world, documentaries, podcasts, seminars and MORE! The best part is that all of this material has been selected and curated by our Board of professionals to aid you in your self study. Our goal is to help you be a greater artist. Why wouldn’t you want to be a member of a group like that?

Membership comes in three levels. General Members get access to a bi-monthly Reference Pack as well as a Bonus RefPack from past offerings in the in-between months. We offer a discounted Student Membership for full time students and educators. And if you want to try out being a member, there is a Quarterly Membership that runs for three months.



Not Convinced Yet? Check out this SAMPLE REFERENCE PACK! It will give you a taste of what Animation Resources members get to download every other month! That’s 560 pages of great high resolution images and nearly an hour of rare animation available to everyone to download for FREE!

Sample RefPack

PayPalAnimationAnimation Resources depends on your contributions to support its projects. Even if you can’t afford to join our group right now, please click the button below to donate whatever you can afford using PayPal.

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather