Thursday, January 14, 2016

Jungledyret Hugo Storyboards

There's no denying it. I definitely have a soft spot for Hugo and his friend Rita the fox. These two wonderful characters have been with me since I animated the first sequences for the first Jungledyret Hugo feature back in the summer of 1991. As I did about six minutes of footage before the other animators joined the production, I also had a hand in refining and adapting the character designs to suit the classical style of animation. Especially Rita I have really come to consider my own little baby.

Inspirational sketch by Uwe Saegner, 2006

Luckily I have had the good fortune to work some more with Hugo and Rita over the years. In 1995 I produced and directed a PC game based on the first feature, for which I also did most of the animation. I have drawn modelsheets and developed walks and run cycles for the Hugo TV series, and illustrated two books about Hugo's further adventures. In 2003 I made character designs for the third feature, back when it was supposed to be done in 2D - that is, as hand-drawn animation. And three years later, when "Jungledyret Hugo 3 - Fræk, flabet og fri" (aka. "Amazon Jack" or "Jungo Goes Bananas") had finally been financed - and changed into a CGI project - I ended up storyboarding half of the movie.

Here's a couple of sequences from the animatic for that film. It's a temporary edit of the raw boards. It has been shortened somewhat in the final film. The dialogue is in Danish.

In the beginning of the movie Hugo is spending the winter with Rita in Denmark. He dreams about the jungle where he belongs, but Rita introduces him to the fun of ice skating on the frozen lake. Meanwhile, a mouse is struggling to get hold of the only apple on the island. Alas, to no avail.

A bit later, Rita enjoys the romantic snow setting, while Hugo is bored and wants to go hunting for more apples across the lake. The mouse seeks revenge for the loss of the first apple, but again fails miserably.

The storyboard panels below are from the second sequence.

All the background work is based on the beautiful location designs and inspirational sketches by German illustrator and background artist Uwe Saegner. I'll throw in a few more of Uwe's lovely designs for these sequences at the bottom of the page.

Here are some more location designs for Jungledyret Hugo 3 done by German illustrator Uwe Saegner.


  1. Hi Dan!
    Thanks for sharing this. I'm from Norway and grew up with Hugo 1 and 2 and only recently rediscovered the Hugo movies. It's a shame the third one was 3D animated and not 2D animated. There's just something about 2D animation that makes certain things/elements more expressive and artistic. Hugo is one of those franchises that fits better as 2D.

    Thanks for the good childhood memories. Erlend.