Legend of the Boneknapper on DVD Today!
How to Train Your Dragon is out on DVD today!!! Along with the movie you can get a second short called "The Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon". It was directed and written by my good friend John Puglisi, and features some amazing hand drawn animation by Ken Duncan's studio. I got to design the characters for the 2D sequences and story board on a couple scenes as well.
When John asked for me to design a shark for Gobber to take on I pleaded with him to let it be a HammerHead. The Great White seemed overdone and I always thought HammerHeads were cooler. It was fun to try and make him as fierce looking as the dragons in the film.
I made this model sheet of the HammerHead shark based from boards done by Dave Pimentel.
These were some concepts for different appendages that Gobber could use for his arm. I was sad the "sheep on a leash" didn't make it but I'm glad the guitar got in.
I had to create Gobber as 4 different ages. Originally he was going to loose an appendage each time we went back to him, but due to the short running time of the film that story line got scrapped. I guess he must loose his leg sometime after the last encounter with the Boneknapper.
These were based from some of John's boards.
Based off of Dave's boards.
Once again based off of Dave's boards.
Based off of John's boards
There wasn't much time to create a style for this short, but I tried to push elements wherever I could. There's some really cool hand animation in the last flashback sequence of Gobber playing his guitar. Sorry I don't know who animated it.
These were some Frozen Vikings trapped in a glacier from the first flashback. I referenced some of Nico Marlet's original designs from the feature to come up with these guys.
The guy on the right is Gobber's dad. I was thinking of James Hetfield of Metallica when I designed him. The other guys didn't make it in the final cut but the middle one was going to be a young Stoic.
UPDATE: You can check out some of Matt Williames amazing pencil tests for the 2d sequences at his blog: