A Conversation with Harald Siepermann
“Germans ARE Funny!”
By Rhett Wickham
I have this far reaching, overly academic theory that goes something like this: the European influence on animation is growing increasingly absent in America and as a result, we’re getting less and less visually exciting.
Disney in the late 1930’s and pre-war 1940’s was undeniably under the influence of artists and illustrators like Gustave Tenggren and Kay Nielsen and Ferdinand Horvath, who had a powerful and visible impact on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio and Fantasia. And, yes, there is a similar influence on live action with the work of directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Josef Von Sternberg and James Whale, but I’d argue that no other single studio product exhibited that influence in the same way as Disney’s films from this period.
So it is, or was, that a great wealth of European talent flowed into the industry in the United States after the production of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and studios like Disney and DreamWorks benefited from the gifts of artists like Darek Gogol, Hans Bacher, Paul and Gaëtan Brizzi, Carlos Grangel and that German guy who worked on Tarzan..oh, come on…you know his name. Hans…no, Heinrich…oh shoot, hang on…HARALD! That’s it. Harald Siepermann! (more…)