'Jurassic Park': Illustrator William Stout Shares Unseen Concept Art For Animated Spinoff
William Stout, the famous fantasy illustrator with a particular fondness for prehistoric beasts — his works include the books The Dinosaurs: A Fantastic New View of A Lost Era, kids' book The Little Blue Brontosaurus and paintings for the Dinosaurs Past and Present touring exhibition of the 1980s — has shared previously-unseen concept artwork for a Jurassic Park animated series proposed, but never produced, in the 1990s.
Stout revealed his involvement in the series on his website, writing, "Upon the success of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park movie, all kinds of ancillary projects abounded: toys, games, novelties, apparel, etc. Towards the end of all of this merchandising I got a call from artist Will Meugniot, asking if I’d be interested in designing a Jurassic Park animated series."
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Describing the tone of the project, he wrote that it "was not going to be a kiddy show (although kids of all ages, including myself, could enjoy it)," with Universal apparently aiming for "a mature prime time series with top writers and state-of-the-art television animation augmented with quite a bit of CG animation," with the series boasting what Stout called "a graphic novel look."
A trailer was produced for the series, Stout explained, as proof of concept for the planned combination of traditional and CGI animation, but the project went nowhere. "All we needed was Spielberg’s approval," the artist wrote, but "[b]y that time the word was out that he was burnt out on Jurassic Park merchandising and all of the film’s commercial exploitation. So, it never got made. Too bad."
This wasn't Stout's only connection to the Spielberg property; Stout also produced trading cards for Topps to accompany the release of the original movie. More of the artist's concept pieces can be found on his website.
by Pamela McClintock
by Richard Newby