Concept art from the next Rauch Brothers film
In designing our new film, a humorous but sincere conversation between mother and son, I looked to the two films posted below and the beautiful artwork in Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff's Babar. The first film comes from Russia's Soyuzmultfilm studio, the second from Rembrandt Films, and Babar is the beloved series of children's books featuring a family of elephants. More on Babar in another post; for now, the two films that best match what we would like to do with our new project.
The first film is "About Sidorov Vova" (1985) by the great Russian director Eduard Nazarov whose incredible touch with humor I first discovered in "There Once Was a Dog". Nazarov's humor in these two films comes from characters suffering the follies of interdependence. Visually, the look of our film will very closely resemble "Vova", which is the story of a pampered young man drafted into the Russian army. See the Youtube version:
About Sidorov Vova (1985)
"Munro", the second film, is about a 4 year old drafted into the US Army (how's that for a crazy parallel?). This film was directed by Gene Dietch and adapted from the story by Jules Feiffer. They won an Oscar in 1960. The humor here is also soft but strong, thanks in large part to Feiffer's extraordinary talent with dialogue and narration. Deitch did an amazing balancing act as the director: maintaining the humor of the original drawings with a very spartan approach to the animation.
..and to whet your whistle when it comes to Babar, I posted a few images from those lovely books. We're hoping to acheive the light touches of line and color you see here.
pen and watercolor spread from Babar Comes to America (1965)
watercolor study from Babar's Visit to Bird Island (1951)