The Lion King character reference

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Baby Pumbaa design by the supervising animator of Pumbaa, Tony Bancroft.


"Here's something I have never showed to anyone before (lucky you- internet friends). Going through my archives I found this early model sheet of a Baby Pumbaa. "What in the--?", you may ask. Well, towards the end of production on The Lion King, the producer (Don Hahn) asked the supervising animators for their help in going over drawings for merchandising for their respective characters. This seems like a no-brainer that if you want licensed merchandise to go out into the world and actually look like the character from the film that you would get the animators who drew them to supervise the process. The reality is that this rarely happened. It was usually done by another group of artists sitting in another building miles away that were drawing the characters for the first time. Yes, that's why your Pocahontas beach towel looked more like Jasmine than the Indian princess. But I digress...Anyway, one of the things a Disney licensing exec was interested in possibly producing was a "baby version" of all of the Lion King cast. Think what you want about the idea, but I was eager to give it a try! So, all of us Supervising animators gave it a shot and below is my version of Pumbaa. I remember seeing some of the others at the time but they have all since gone to the way side as quickly as the idea went away. Side note: years latter, I remember going to the Disney Store with my kids and saw that they had indeed made baby versions of the Lion King characters as plastic sculpts and sold in a set. And yes, the Pumbaa looked exactly like the below drawings and no, I never got a penny for it. I still bought a set...."
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Tony Bancroft
Posted on
Tuesday 15 April 2014
Pumbaa , Source: , turnaround , unofficial , young
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