After a few months in the story department I was pulled aside by the Directors of Space Chimps and told that they were impressed with my designs and I was asked if I would like to take them a few steps further. They offered me the character designer job which I excitedly excepted. I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to collaborate with our production designer, Dean Taylor! The man did Nightmare Before Christmas for petes sake!
From the beginning one of the big goals we set for ourselves was to create an alien world which was rich and diverse. The last thing we wanted to have was three or four creatures repeating though out the movie. I decided wasn’t just going to design creatures that were mentioned in the script. I was going to draw all the ambient ones as well. So to create a logic to the world I started from the ground up and created a Kingdom, Phylum, Class structure. I built rules and limitations and then built off of those. One of the big ideas was not to design specific creatures but to design elements and then mr. potatohead them together to build thousands of characters. (note: I was really impressed a few months ago when I saw theSpore creature creator which was essentially the same sort of thing I was thinking of.)
Once some of these basic elements were in place, everything just poured out.Everyone was really happy with the work and in no time I had a long list of approved characters. But the party wouldn’t last long.
Barry Sonnerfeld took over as creative producer and everything at the studio was turned on its head. In a character design meeting that I wasn’t invited to Berry cut everything Dean and I were working on. After everything was cut, I was told my “aliens were too appealing” and that “they upstaged the main charcters.”
Here they are in all their overly appealing glory. let me know what you think.