While cartoon characters are brought to life by the animator and his assistants, these characters need a place to live, and it is up to the background stylist to provide that world.
One of animations most renowned background stylists is Walt Peregoy, who designed the worlds for Disneys 101 Dalmatians, Sword in the Stone and Windwagon Smith. For six years (19681973) he headed Hanna-Barberas background department, styling such series as The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, Three Musketeers, The New Adventures of Huck Finn, Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines, Wheres Huddles? and Motormouse and Autocat. He designed the environs for The Lone Ranger (1966) and Emergency + 4,
Peregoys original designs have also encompassed architectural environments, sculptures, theme park shows and rides, suchas Krafts Land Pavilion and Kodaks "Journey Into Imagination" at Disneys EPCOT Center in Florida. He is cur rently designing backgrounds for Marvel Productions.
We discussed his career inaseries of three interviews this past January at Sullivan Bluth Studios; the following is a condensation of these interviews.
How do you describe your job as a background stylist?
A background stylist is someone who is designing the ambiance, the environment, and the world in which moving drawn characters live. Its very important what that world is.