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Calmality's avatar

The Great Prince

By Calmality
On a whim I decided to watch Bambi last weekend for the first time since the 90s. I’m not a much of a crier, but those ethereal hand painted backgrounds had me in actual tears. Tyrus Wong was the incredible art director and background painter, but sadly his full contribution to the film and other Disney titles was unknown for decades because of racial discrimination. I’ve been pouring over his work for hours since, completely enthralled with the atmospheres he achieved. His work is like a dream come alive. I so wish I could have met him, but he passed away in 2016, at the age of 106.

So long story short, I wanted to make a tribute to such an inspirational legacy. If I can accomplish a fraction of what his work invokes in my lifetime, I would consider my career a success 🦌

I posted close-up details on my Instagram post if interested.

Do NOT repost on any site without my written permission. Be respectful.
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ยฉ 2020 - 2021 Calmality
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agevla77's avatar
jennystokes's avatar
Impressive.....................perspective is wonderful.

Chepseh's avatar
Years ago I rented the DVD as a little gift to me when I finished something bigger at university. Saw it then again after about 15+ years. Now as an adult I was blown away as well by the graphic qualities I couldn't really appreciate as a child. No wonder this was Disney's overall favourite. How sad that the film gets mainly reduced to the cutesy aspects.

Calmality's avatar

So sorry for this incredibly late response! Your comment is so sweet and I can totally relate. I had the same experience watching it again as an adult. I didn't know it was Disney's favorite too, but it makes so much sense! I think everyone should experience watching it again- truly magical!

Chepseh's avatar
Imho not late at all! :flowerpot: :heart:
Samy-Consu's avatar
wow it is so imposing and evocative
Calmality's avatar

Thank you so much!! ๐Ÿ™

Samy-Consu's avatar
You're welcome 👏
Penstray's avatar
Wonderful art, love the gradual building of shapes one on top of the other, with subtle shifts in light and texture. Also gorgeous attention to contrast and color, really brings out the fact that the 2 characters are just minor details in the grand scheme around them, but also integral parts of it, especially the Great Prince who looks here like a true embodiment and representative of the forest around him.

So yeah, really wonderful art, I'm enjoying it tremendously, thank you for sharing it with us. And I know it may come as a blasphemy, no offence intended, but I enjoyed your work here and how those backgrounds looked in the finished animation way more than the original concept pieces of Mr. Wong. However that's just my preference because I like chiaroscuro, painterly works, instead of Chinese calligraphy-inspired works, all fuzzy and ethereal.  
Calmality's avatar

Thank you for such an in-depth and lovely comment- and I apologize for my late response. I so appreciate you commenting about specific aspects you like. This one is very special to me and I'm thrilled people are connecting to it too.

I'm honored you even prefer it over Wong's concept sketches ๐Ÿ˜ณ That's quite a compliment for you to say!! This was so sweet to read, thank you again ๐Ÿ’—

Penstray's avatar

My pleasure entirely, and please no worries, real life comes first. As for my comment sure it's my subjective opinion based on preference for classical European art styles, but still I believe anyone can feel the emotions transmitted by your piece. So thank you for giving me such a wonderful treat and inspiration ๐Ÿค—

Rainspeak's avatar
I agree, the backgrounds in Bambi are just amazing! This is such a beautiful tribute, well done! And I wasn't aware about Tyrus Wong, that's so sad he was unknown due to discrimination for so long. :( Thanks for sharing his story!
Calmality's avatar

Thank you so much, that means a lot! ๐Ÿ™

I know ๐Ÿ™ I'm just glad he was alive to see his work rightfully recognized. I wish I could have known about him when he was living. It would have been such an honor to meet him.

evgeniya-bengalskaya's avatar
Great job!

I didn't know about Tyrus Wong, his story is really sad( Also enchanted by "Bambi"s background, and the full movie is magnificent.
Calmality's avatar

Thank you! ๐Ÿ™

I feel the same- I hope he continues to be recognized and honored for his life's work. He's an absolute legend that deserves to be studied.

Baureal's avatar
amazing illustration and tribute !
merrypaws's avatar

I was browsing the 'recommended for you' tab for the #showyourheart event, and the algorithm obviously gets something right, because this is amazing.

I often get too caught up in working the details of my backgrounds, so this kind of work, where the space and atmosphere are made by composition and color values always gets me.

Calmality's avatar

Thank you so much for such lovely feedback! I haven't paid much attention to the recommended for you tab, but maybe I should because people keep finding this piece today ๐Ÿ˜„ I truly appreciate your kind words, thank you for sharing them with me ๐Ÿ’—

PlanetAstrid's avatar

Love itโค๏ธ

Apfelmaeuschen's avatar


I have never seen Bambi. I only know the "Ultimate Bambi Recap Cartoon" :D

But thank you for the name of Tyrus Wong; his work is so dynamic and strong (just googled it).

The colours you used are great. And the lighting When the Deviation/Art/Upload is Just Right (icon)

Calmality's avatar

Yay! I'm so glad people are looking up his name. He's an absolute legend.

Thank you so much for your amazing comments, I really appreciate it! ๐Ÿ’—

Noxaunu's avatar
fantastic tribute! you captured the atmosphere wonderfully!
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