45. Sergio Pablos
Some animators have great skills in design and in draftsmanship in animation. A few are also able to balance out technique, character, appeal, and strength in their scenes. When I think about guys in the industry who have the most complete balance of these skills one name seems to come to mind very quickly: Sergio Pablos.
Sergio Pablos is a Spanish animator who started out working in the Disney Studios in Paris. He later on moved to the studio in Burbank. Pablos’s first assignments included working under Kathy Zielinski on Frollo in Hunchback and under Nik Ranieri on Hades in Hercules. After that on Tarzan he was the character designer and supervising animator on Tantor the elephant. He followed this up by supervising Doctor Doppler in Treasure Planet, an assignment he wishes turned out differently because he didn’t quick like the human-dog thing. After this Pablos came out on his own running Amimagicfilms, which has produced spectacular animation in recent years. Most recently he has worked with BluSky on making the film for his creation Despicable Me as well as designing characters for Rio.
Like I said before, Sergio’s greatest strength is his combination of skills in design, character, and his strong drawing style with great vitality. Pablos designs all the characters he animates and tries hard to make them original. For example he labored over the design for Tantor to keep it from resembling the elephants in the Jungle Book. He uses slight caricature in design to demonstrate his great understanding for the character and their personality. Last Pablos is a solid draftsman who can do amazing character animation. His strength even has some similarities to that of the one and only Bill Tytla.
Sergio Pablos’s impact comes in the fact he did fabulous animation in a lean time at the Disney studios. The story and visual development departments were pretty lean at his time at Disney compared to the Disney Renaissance. Many animators had trouble making the rich, deep characters they had done before now that they had so little to go off of. Even a few of the absolute best struggled artistically through this hard time. However Sergio wasn’t afraid and he like another animator Dale Bear just put on a great performance and produced great stuff even if the rest of the film wasn’t the best it could be.
What I learned from studying Sergio Pablos is to start with character and build on from that when creating a design or animating a scene. You have to understand who your characters are and use your draftsmanship to express that on paper. Your work should be very strong, have great power, and be completely original. I learned all these from studying animators like Sergio Pablos. Also I learned from him that using a slightly caricatured design allows you an excellent balance of full expression of character with believability. Last I learned to work as hard as you can on your work and to make sure it stands on its own from everyone else’s work.
Hunchback of Notre Dame- Animator on Frollo
Hercules- Animator on Hades
Tarzan- Supervising Animator on Tantor
Treasure Planet- Supervising Animator on Dr. Dropler