I thought today it might be good to have a look at one of Disney’s most famous villains, the evil dictator Scar. This particular piece of early concept art was created by Joe Grant. It’s part of a set of really gorgeous pieces of concept art he did of several of the characters of the Lion King including Mufasa and some cheetahs. Clearly the graphic style he used in this piece was very much inspired by traditional African art, and although that style really did not transfer to the final film, it is very interesting to see what could have been. You’ll also notice just how early into the characters development this artwork comes from. Although Scar’s major colour scheme is mostly present, he is actually missing the signature scar across his eye that would give go n to give him his name.It seems unthinkable to us to have Scar without a scar, but sometimes what seems natural to us in hindsight doesn’t come to the animators right away .
Joe Grant, the artist of this piece actually has a very interesting history with Disney Animation. He began working at the studio in the 1930s when he contributed to the character designs of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, and others. He then left the studio in 1949, only to be asked back 40 years later to help with the development of Beauty and the Beast. He then continued working at the studio contributing to the visual designs of Aladdin, Mulan, and of course The Lion King. The last film he contributed to was Fantasia 2000, making him one of the most influential artists on the studio’s overall history. As you can see from this drawing, his ideas created some of the major elements of Scar’s design, which were then further refined by Scar’s supervising animator Andreas Deja.
So now you know a little bit about this piece of concept art featuring the animated lion dictator we all know and love, Scar.
Image Credit: Design: Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Archive Series