Disney’s “Princess Academy”: An Amazing Animated Short That Never Was

Eleven pieces of fan-made concept art that pays tribute to classic hand-drawn animation. This beautiful artwork will leave you wishing it were real. posted on

Princess Academy was a short (fan-made) animation project, written and directed by Olivier Ciappa, with artwork by artist David Kawena. The duo spent months working on it, creating hundreds of storyboards and beautiful concept art. The results were not only a wonderful idea for an animated short, but also a tribute to the art form of hand-drawn animation.

©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
1.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

According to Oliver, “We wanted to create a very artistic, classy, but also very funny hand-drawn short… I believe this image shows very well the mixture of artistic, high standard, and humor of the project.”

©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

The close-up shows not only classic Disney princesses, but also minor and obscure characters, like the Golden Harp from Mickey and the Beanstalk and a centaurette from the “The Pastoral Symphony” in Fantasia.

2.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

A statue of Megara from Hercules, imagined for what would be the Princess Academy Building. According to David:

“At the Academy building, not only the ‘princess’ would have a place, but all of Disney’s leading female characters. The building itself was to be a gigantic complex, with a feeling of an ancient palace with fountains, gardens, paintings and statues.

This concept art is one of many works that was conceived by us for the interior design of the Academy.”

3.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

A beautiful painting of Jasmine, based on Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Grande Odalisque.

According to David, “In Disney’s Princess Academy, director/writer Olivier Ciappa and I wanted to create something that would bring back the somewhat lost respect for hand-drawn animation as an art form. By doing so, we decided that the entire look and feel of the short movie will be inspired by the world’s greatest works of art.”

4.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

Even tributes to forgotten characters.

David describes, “It was a pleasure drawing Madame Adelaide — a character usually forgotten by Disney and its fans. Even though it is only a storyboard frame, it was my goal to try and keep the characters on model and as recognizable as possible out of respect to their original designers and animators.”

5.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
6.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
7.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
8.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

The final scene, where all the characters gather for a ball.

9.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
10.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.
11.
©Olivier Ciappa and ©David Kawena. Disney and Pixar characters are copyrighted to the ©Walt Disney Company and ©Pixar Animation Studios.

You can see more of David Kawena’s artwork here (NSFWish).

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