In 1993 Harald Siepermann worked on the movie Balto, the third animation feature from Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation studio. Balto was based on a true story about a husky dog named Balto who was the leader of a sledge dog team that, under difficult weather circumstances, had to transport medicine from Nenana, Alaska, to a little town called Nome, to save children from a deadly epidemic.
Once the production was launched the team was in need of additional storyboard artists. Hans Bacher, who was the Production Designer on Balto, recommended Harald Siepermann to the producers. While Siepermann is more known for his character designs, he also had a long resume as storyboard artist through his work for his Mad T Party company, his work on the duck Alfred J. Kwak, and on the Walt Disney/Steven Spielberg picture Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
In August 1993 Siepermann went to the Amblimation studio that was located in London, where he worked until the end of the year on the visualization of the script into a storyboard. Below are storyboard thumbnails of the scene were Balto meets the white wolf and is resurrected after he had fallen from a high cliff.
Throughout 1987 Harald Siepermann and Hans Bacher worked on the development of the second comic book about the adventures of Alfred J. Kwak, called Vissen in Troebel Water [Fish and Chips]. Harald Siepermann designed the characters and wrote the comic book, based on a theater play called Onder Water [Under Water] by Herman van Veen, and Hans Bacher did the inking and color design.
In this adventure Alfred J. Kwak is concerned about the situation of the herring, who are threatened by the new modern fishing ship of Kapitein Stoppel, which will immensely reduce the herring population.
The images below show the process of the making of the comic book, with as example pages number 6 and 7 of the comic, based on what is in the Harald Siepermann Archive. In these pages Alfred J. Kwak and Henk de Mol are on the beach relaxing after their adventure in the first comic book. The sun makes way for the rain. In the distance they see a new ship being launched into the water and they decide to have a closer look.
Siepermann drew the page layout with in each panel a rough sketch of the drawing. On a new paper he drew for each panel a more detailed sketch.
Once the sketches were completed Hans Bacher did the inking of the entire page and provided it with color. Next to the (rough) sketch Siepermann often wrote the corresponding text of the characters. Once the text was clear and finalized, Siepermann wrote it in a script. The comic book publisher would added the text later in the text balloon of the finished color page.
Today is the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela, leader of the activities against the Apartheid regime that dominated South Africa for decades. The topic Apartheid also plays a part in Harald Siepermann’s television series Alfred J. Kwak.
In the series Alfred J. Kwak befriends the Wana family, four black ducks who escaped their homeland, where there is the Apartheid regime that is run by white geese. Father Kwa and mother Blanche fight against this regime and therefor the police wants to arrest them. Alfred arrange a permit for the Wana family so they can stay in his country, Great Waterland. Now the children Winnie and Tom are safe in Great Waterland, Kwa and Blanche decide to go back to their country to continue their activities against the Apartheid. Alfred accompanies Kwa and Blanche in their home journey and spent several days there. In these days Alfred learns about the discrimination and the oppression of the white geese against the black ducks.
The story arc runs over the three episodes, from episodes 27 to 29. When the episodes premièred in 1989 there was still the Apartheid regime in South Africa and Nelson Mandela was still in prison.
Below are several character designs by Harald Siepermann from these episodes…
…and the model sheets by Harald Siepermann and Hans Bacher.
With the World Cup Soccer 2018 reaching its end, here are two designs by Harald Siepermann of Alfred J. Kwak that he made during the World Cup Soccer 2010 in South Africa.
The first design is a parody based on the official logo of that tournament and the second is Alfred who accidentally kick the ball on the top of the Heinrich-Hertz-Turm, a Radio telecommunication tower in Hamburg, Harald Siepermann’s hometown.
Harald first made a blue pencil sketch that he finished with ink. Then he scanned the illustration and added the colors in Photoshop.
While Harald Siepermann was still working on the movie Tarzan, simultaneously he was involved in another production at Walt Disney Feature Animation called Kingdom of the Sun, under the direction of Roger Allers.
The story was about a spoiled and selfish prince named Manco who meets Pacha, a sixteen year old llama herder, who looks exactly like him. To avoid his duty as royalty, Manco switch places with Pacha.
During the development the story and its characters underwent drastic changes. Eventually the movie was released in 2000 under the title The Emperor’s New Groove.
In addition to the character Yzma and the llamas, Harald also made designs for Pacha, that during that time in production looked completely different than the final version that was voiced by John Goodman.
Here are some of Harald Siepermann’s Pacha designs.
The summer has started. Here are a series of holiday/Hawaii themed illustrations for the Alfred J. Kwak merchandise. The ink of these illustrations was done by Hans Bacher, based on sketches by Harald Siepermann.
In addition to the previous post about Harald Siepermann’s development work on the Klitschko brothers television series that you can read here, below are some designs of the supporting cast of the unproduced series.
In the early 1990’s Harald Siepermann made various hilarious caricatures of the then Chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl. The illustrations were for the German comedian Thomas Freitag, who is famous for his Helmut Kohl impressions. The illustrations were used for a 7” cover of Thomas Freitag’s single Die Welt ist schön and for the planned music video for which Harald Siepermann created the storyboard.
Harald Siepermann and Hans Bacher had worked on the entire production design of the television series Alfred J. Kwak – characters, backgrounds, props, logo’s, etc. Once the series premiered in 1989, it became an immense success and a merchandise phenomenon, especially in the Netherlands and Germany. It generated tons of requests for exclusive merchandise designs. A work load that landed on the shoulders of Siepermann and Bacher.
Here are some German merchandise designs. These ink illustrations are made by Hans Bacher based on sketches by Harald Siepermann.