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William + Hans poster by tymime (print image)

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All rolled Fine Art Paper Prints ship with an additional 1.5" bright white border. learn more. Gallery framed Fine Art Prints ship with an additional 2" bright white border. View Original

Artist's Statement

For :icondisney-club:'s latest contest.

When I read the idea of creating an original animal protagonist for a fictional Disney movie, I jumped at it. So I grabbed our copy of Grimm and flipped it open to a random page and got tale 136: "Iron Hans".
After reading it over, I realized it wasn't going to translate word-for-word to the screen very well. It's long and rambling, and very episodic. But I liked the idea of making a wildman the hero, so I went and designed the characters anyway.

The revised story, I think, would go like this:
William, a young rabbit, is separated from his family as a mere toddler in an enchanted forest. He is raised by Hans, the wildman of the forest, a strange, lanky creature of great strength and agility who seems to have rule over the woods and its denizens. William's only possessions are his stuffed bunny and the contents of a discarded suitcase.
William grows up and learns of Hans' and the forest's ways. Used to Hans' manner and antics, William is quiet and unfazed by most things, and in fact takes joy in the unusual. The only threat to their idyllic lifestyle is Jahangir, a demon king whose form lies dormant at the bottom of a pool inside a dank cave. One must never disturb the placid surface of the pool, lest Jahangir awake and raise his army.
One day, however, he meets with a duchess in a carriage, who takes a liking to him, and brings him to her estate to work as the cook's apprentice. There he is introduced to the duchess' young daughter Rosanne, and they seem to hit it off.
William sneaks off every night to return to Hans, and Rosanne becomes suspicious. She follows him one night, and William reluctantly takes her along to meet Hans and see the forest. Eventually they go to see the pool, and you can guess where it goes from there.

Will Hans and William be able to stop Jahangir? And what of William's heritage? Are there going to be Hans plushies at the Disney Store??

I made most of that up just now.

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Had fun employing unusual techniques with this, as well as mixing the traditional folktale in a blender. Note, in particular, the bright, almost white colors (done by Fatalhilarity), and the inkpen-written title.

~Criswell


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