During Harald Siepermann’s involvement on Brother Bear he worker mostly from his home in Germany. But on two occasions he went to the Walt Disney studio in Florida for one week, to work more closely with other team members on Brother Bear. In March 1999, he went for the second time to Florida. And while he continued with designing Loki the Raven, he also made his first designs for the human character Kenai.
During that time of the project, the story revolved around the brother Kenai and Sitka and their father Chilkoot. In this version it was Chilkoot who was killed by the bear due to the negligence of Kenai.
At the end of the week, producer Chuck Williams asked Siepermann if he could continue with designing Kanai when he is back home in Germany. Harald spent quite some weeks on Kenai, and he would quickly start with designs for Sitka and Chilkoot too.
“Here are some early sketches for Kenai’s face,” commented Harald Siepermann. “I wanted to come up with something different from Pocahontas and stay away from Mulan as well, so I was looking at a lot of faces from the South-Sea for reference, even Korea and the Philippines, Eskimo as well.”
Below are some of Harald’s first series of designs: