Interview: Gris Grimly lending his dark art style to Disney’s upcoming animated Haunted Mansion TV special

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Entertainment, Television, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

gris-grimly-mickey-mouse

When Disney debuts their upcoming TV special based on the famous Haunted Mansion theme park attraction, its animation will have a unique style, reflecting that of horror genre artist and children’s book illustrator Gris Grimly.

Grimly is executive producing and art directing the special, bringing his own love for the classic Disney ride to TV screens. Though Disney won’t allow him to reveal too much about the special just yet, he did offer some hints as to what it will be like whenever it airs (no date announced yet).

ITM: How did you get involved with the Haunted Mansion project? What drew you to it? Are you a big Haunted Mansion fan?

GRIMLY: I’m a huge Haunted Mansion fan. So when I was asked to develop a Halloween Special for Disney Television, it didn’t take much convincing.

What’s your art background? How did you develop your style?

I grew up wanting to illustrate comic books. But I found myself in a career as a children’s book illustrator instead. So I had to adapt. I guess my style was developed because I had comic book influences that I altered to fit in the confines of what is appropriate for young ages. That is why I have a dark yet whimsical style.

How much of of your style will be recognizable in the Haunted Mansion series?

My work is appropriately creepy and compliments the tone of the ride.

You’ve appeared at Downtown Disney for your ACME Star Wars pieces – What feedback did you get from Disney and Star Wars fans?

Some people love my interpretations and some people think they’re weird. But that has always been the response I get when I alter popular characters.

Your web site has a disclaimer that some themes may not be suitable for younger children. How have you had to modify your style to meet Disney’s family friendly standards?

I’ve been really impressed with what Disney Television Animation has been doing and where they are heading. They are bringing back that artistic edge that made them who they are today. My style fits perfectly here.

What art project that you have completed are you most proud of?

Everything has been a milestone in my growth as an artist. I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one.

Find more of Gris Grimly’s work on his web site, Mad Creator Productions, and meet him in person this weekend, August 9 and 10, at the ScareLA convention in Los Angeles.

14 Comments

  1. Mark

    Not a good idea. his work is derivative, unimaginative, and just plain bad.

    1. Alex

      I agree the first thing that went through my head when I saw that sorcerers Mickey drawing was “Oh my god NO” why would Disney allow it’s beloved icon to be twisted into something so hideous.

      1. Jeff Lynch

        I’m really disappointed in Disney here. Go checkout the artwork on this guy’s website. Gris Grimley is pretty mean-spirited and radical politically. Lots of Christian-bashing, bashing Republicans, that kind of thing. I know that most artists tend to be to the Left politically, but they aren’t so overt in their hatred of the “enemy” as Grimley is.

        I lost respect for Disney that they are partnering with this guy. I love the Haunted Mansion but the anti-Christian stuff this guy does sickens me. I want no part of this and am going to ask the DIsney stockholders I know to bring this up at the next meeting they attend to make sure Disney knows Gris Grisley was not a good choice for a partnership.

  2. Anonymous

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