Ralph Niemeyer ➥ Feature Film

Production Design • Art Direction • Concept Art • Cinematography • Consulting • Mentorship

Based on the children's book by the well-known author Hans de Beer. Best known for his 'Lars the little Polar Bear' children's books.
The little orangutan Dodo, who likes all kinds of noises and imitates them, one day finds a strange object (thingamabob) that has fallen off a truck. The old orangutan Darwin, who used to live with the humans, tells him that it is a violin. He shows him the secrets of the instrument. Dodo's violin playing not only makes his friends laugh. When a terrible drought breaks out, he discovers the great secret of his music.
He proves his courage when his friend and teacher gets injured. Dodo makes the difficult journey to the human settlement to get medicine for his friend. On the way back, he is able to calm and then heal an injured tiger with the help of his music.
Set Design •Darwins cave
Darwin the orangutan lived with humans for a while before being released into the wild. However, he has adopted some of the habits of humans and no longer lives in the trees, but on the ground in a cave in the jungle. He also collects things from the humans that he finds in the jungle, for example when they fall off a truck.
And so it was great fun to design the cave with all the different things he found.
Set Design • Jungle
A major challenge was to bring order to the chaos of the jungle and thus make the characters visible between all the leaves. And, of course, to use the illustrations in the books as a guide.
In addition to look development, set design supervision, layout supervision and matte painting, I developed a library system with hundreds of single landscape element to create an efficient production workflow for layout. All the elements were drawn with outlines and  painted in a neutral lighting. Afterwards combined to the final layout and the light/mood was added in touch up.
The library was used to create most of the layouts of the movie. The same elements were also used for seasons 1 and 2 of the TV series, resulting in a very consistent look with a high quality.

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