Walt Disney

Sketch by Harald Siepermann of Eddie Valiant and Wile E. Coyote for the storyboard of the Escape from Toontown sequence.

Harald Siepermann worked on multiple occasions for Walt Disney. The first time was in 1987 on Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Richard Williams was the Animation Director for that movie, with who Harald Siepermann and Hans Bacher had good contact due to their collaborations for the Mad T Party. Because of the load of work for that movie, Richard Williams needed additional artists who could create character designs for the weasels. Siepermann and Bacher were immediately hired and for several weeks they worked at Richard William’s studio in London. Once the designs for the weasels were completed, Siepermann and Bacher were asked to help with the development of the storyboard for the “Escape from Toontown”-sequence towards the end of the movie, where the main character Eddie Valiant, played by Bob Hoskins, finds himself in a cartoon world. Siepermann and Bacher worked for several weeks on the storyboard at the Amblin studio on the Universal lot in Los Angeles.

Since 1995 Harald Siepermann worked on major Walt Disney productions. An adventure that started on request of Hans Bacher, who was the Production Designer for Mulan. Bacher was searching for artists who could help with the design of the little dragon Mushu. For several weeks Siepermann worked in Los Angeles on Mushu and other characters from Mulan as well.

Designs by Harald Siepermann for the character Mushu from the Walt Disney classic Mulan.

In the following years Siepermann worked on Tarzan which was directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck. The directors asked Siepermann to work on the visual development after they saw several illustrations he made during the production of Mulan. The illustrations had the same type of look they wanted for the gorillas. They gave Siepermann the novel and the briefing to start sketching and explore as many directions that he could think of, concentrating on the gorillas. Harald Siepermann sketched away and laid down the initial design of the majority of the characters that appeared in the movie such as the gorillas Kala, Kerchack and Terk, the elephant Tantor and the human characters Jane Porter, Professor Porter and Clayton.

Early design by Harald Siepermann of a gorilla for Tarzan.

After Tarzan Harald Siepermann collaborated with Andreas Deja on the character Yzma from The Emperor’s New Groove. Deja asked Siepermann for a second opinion on his version of Yzma and to make here go away from the look of Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians. Siepermann made several designs of Yzma and also the llama’s and Emperor Kuzco.

Character design by Harald Siepermann of Kenai for the movie Brother Bear.

The following years Siepermann continued to work on various Walt Disney pictures. He did character designs for the movie Treasure Planet, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, and Brother Bear, directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker. For Brother Bear he was asked to do previsualization for the bears, like he had done with the gorillas in Tarzan and the llamas in The Emperor’s New Groove. In addition to the bears, he also did designs for the human characters Kenai, Sitka, and Tanana among others. In 2005 Siepermann worked again with director Kevin Lima for the movie Enchanted. He worked on the visual development of the characters Giselle, Prince Edward, the Troll and various animals that appear in the magical fairytale world of Giselle during the opening of the movie.