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Program 2016


Walt Disney Animation Studios: Designing the Worlds of Zoomania

Matthias Lechner (Disney Animation)

Zoomania is a one-of-a-kind city built by animals, and is made up of districts – including Sahara Square, Tundratown, and the Rainforest District – to accommodate mammals of all shapes, sizes and species. Journey into these districts through the eyes of Matthias Lechner, Art Director of Environments, as he shares some early exploration and how research in nature and the animal kingdom inspired the design of this mammal metropolis.

Matthias Lechner

Matthias Lechner, Art Director Environments, Walt Disney Animation Studios,

MATTHIAS LECHNER (Art Director of Environments) collaborated to define the style of the film’s environments and sets, and invented creative for how the animals inhabiting the magical world of Zoomania, sheltered, moved, played and lived together. He supervises the art department and provides artistic guidance within the design team, environment modeling and the environment look department.

A lifelong fan of animation, Lechner was deeply impressed by "The Jungle Book," which inspired him to study design and animation. "I came full circle—growing up loving ‘The Jungle Book’ to working on ‘Zoomania,’" he says. The world is so rich with so many facets – it’s a designers dream! We get to draw everything from rainforest to desert to an icy arctic world: it’s a mix of architectures from all around the world. We’ve brainstormed ideas on how an animal would approach building a house, a car or a city."


Combining masterful artistry and storytelling with groundbreaking technology, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a filmmaker-driven animation studio responsible for creating some of the most beloved films ever made. Located in Burbank, WDAS continues to build on its rich legacy of innovation and creativity, stretching from the first fully-animated feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to 2013's Academy Award®-winning Frozen, the biggest animated film of all time. Among the studio's timeless creations are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Big Hero 6, and the upcoming feature Zoomania.


FMX is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the City of Stuttgart and MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg, taking place in cooperation with the VES Visual Effects Society and ACM SIGGRAPH. FMX is an event by the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, organized by Animationsinstitut, hosting the Animation Production Days (APD), a joint venture with the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS).

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