Take a look at a few title cards I was asked to design for the ill-fated animated Disney western called, “Sweating Bullets.” The directors ask me to come up with a few ideas for the motion picture logo. I took the opportunity to explore title ideas using period typography and other western icons. It was a fun assignment and I had a ball coming up with logo ideas for the new Disney feature film.
I’m no expert at designing a logo but it was fun trying out different color combinations and type styles. Eventually, I came up with a number of ideas and I know they would have been great to animate as well. All this took place during the development stage of the motion picture. Plus, I had the pleasure of working with two amazing young directors who were at the helm of the doomed project. They were the "Two Mikes." Mike Gabriel and Mike Giaimo.
However, somewhere during the development stage of the animated motion picture the cowboy film had a make over. The rip-roaring cartoon western with a cattle drive and ghost cowboys raising a ruckus was suddenly scaled down to a little old woman about to lose her ranch. And, who were the heroes who save the day? You guessed it. Three cows. Not exactly a formula for success in a market being dominated by the cutting edge CGI studio up north. To be fair, the storyline could have been successful had the studio given the film its backing. However, the movie was planned as a traditional hand drawn animated film even as the new digital production model was quickly forging a foothold at the studio. Soon, CGI animated film production would dominate animation filmmaking with the ongoing help of CEO, Michael Eisner who seemed eager to bury the medium pioneered by Walt Disney. Call me paranoid but it has always been my contention that the motion picture was part of a master plan. A sinister plan that would justify the dismantling of traditional hand drawn animation at The Disney Studios and send hundreds of talented artists out the door never to return.
However, the development art from "Sweating Bullets" remains to this day. This Disney film that was never produced includes broad colorful vistas, rousing cowboy tunes and a group of western bad guys you'd not likely forget. It was the animated motion picture feature I couldn't wait to see. Sadly, it's now the Disney animated film you'll never see.