The art of Heinz Edelmann

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  1. I never knew much about him until he passed away last summer. He taught Animation Design and Illustration at various art schools in Germany and Holland. To me, he’ll always be known for creating those hallucinogenic landscapes of Pepperland from that classic 1968 Yellow Submarine film.

    I loved that movie a lot when I was young, it was so different from any other animated cartoon. The film was in such stark contrast to the efforts of Disney Feature Animation and other animated films previously released by Hollywood up until the time. It was limited animation but Edelmann’s art direction made it so uniquely different from anything else. It also seemed to pave the way for Terry Gilliam’s animations for Do Not Adjust Your Set and Monty Python.

    Apparently The Beatles were so impressed after seeing a draft of the film in ’68, that they agreed to make a live-action cameo appearance in the final scene, which was filmed in early February 1968 upon the band’s return from India. The cameo was originally intended to feature a post-production psychedelic background and effects; but due to time and budget constraints, a blank, black background remained in the final film.

    Of course you can’t forget the stylish and exquisitely-designed Rockband Promo that came out last year.
    Now there’s some great art direction for ya.
    Directed by the talented animator Pete Candeland
    and character designs were created by the always amazing illustrator
    Robert Valley (

  2. Although he was born in Czechoslovakia and his mother was Czech, Heinz Edelmann was a German designer, living and working in Germany, with a prodigious output. Those illustrations for “Yellow Submarine” were done by Peter Max under the superb art direction of Edelmann. Edelmann designed and illustrated many posters, books, ads, and more, describing himself as a “layout man who could draw.” We are all better off having enjoyed his work, and we would all do well to draw inspiration from his work.

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