Disney's It's a Small World
the Animated Series
Inspired by Disneyland's beloved attraction, It's a Small World: The Animated Series, was developed in-house at Disney Interactive. My role as Associate Art Director expanded beyond providing notes on animatics and animation, and as such, I contributed in our story and visual development teams.
I built a style guide that is inspired by the design choices see in the ride. As such, certain symbols and shapes, much like the ride, can only be seen in certain episodes, such as fish-scale textures in Japan, plaids in Scotland, and highly geometric shapes in Peru. Also, I was greatly inspired by UPA-like designs of mid century animation.
It was important for our entire team to be sure we were educated in our decision making, so I spent a great deal time on the research for each episode, which informed and inspired the creative decisions I made for the culturally-and-climate appropriate outfits I designed and then passed along to our production team. A specific attention to detail was made for the China where the number four is considered unlucky, and therefore our children could never be seen wearing four of anything (such as the number of buttons on the uniforms the boys wore).
In addition, I worked with our Lead Producer to pitch the series to Rosetta Stone, which included development of sponsor-centric content. One of the most successful ideas we pitched came to fruition in the Rosetta to Rosetta episode, as well as the Words with Wazoh segments following each episode. This creative partnership has been celebrated in Yahoo Finance's article, seen here.
One of our biggest partners in this project was our production team, Powerhouse Animation, based in Texas. When were began looking for a house to produce our show, I recalled seeing their beautiful work in Epic Mickey, looked them up, and suggested to our producer to take a look. The creative team at Powerhouse was a joy to work with, and took notes from me and my team well. If something felt lacking, I was often brought in for consultation on the animation, to check for timing and performance, as well as providing boards if the situation called for it. Also, I would also provide notes on readability of a character on a background, suggest different staging, and keep a weathered eye for "oopsies" such as a disjointed elbow.
If I could go back and do it again knowing what I know now, I would have designed more crowds into the show, as well as animals. Like anyone else, I would have loved to have had a little more time researching and crafting the story, or just one more pass on boards for this episode or that. I would also allow myself to enjoy the ride-- savor each step of production. There is nothing better than being in the midst of the work, sharing ideas, laughing at gags, and pushing our story and each other to be better.
- Episodes: 10
- Views: +1,000,000
- Distribution: Youtube, Disney.com, Disney Channel, Roku
- Role: Associate Art Director