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Submitted on
March 31, 2008
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Disney Heroes - John Henry by davidkawena Disney Heroes - John Henry by davidkawena

Another Disney Hero get his place in the spotlights.

This one is the legendry John Henry! The first African American Disney Hero in the collection! He was also Disney's first animated African American hero in their history! After him came another African American male figure that was featured in a full length animated classic movie - and he will also be a part of the Heroes Collection soon enough. But the most amazing news I've heard was last year's revealing that the upcoming Disney classic "The Princess and the Frog" will feature Disney's first African American Princess - it's about freaking time right?! - Hopefully she will also have a hunky love interest :P

Back to mister Henry now - John Henry appeared in a Disney short movie titled "John Henry". The short movie was released on the DVD title "Disney's American Legends" on February 2002. It was a new short among other classic Disney shorts telling the story of some of America's true pioneer heroes. The DVD was presented in 1.33:1 or full-screen format that was so unbelievably degrading for this short that was created in widescreen (1.85:1). Up to this day I didn't get the chance to see this short in it's original aspect ration :(

But on in it's own the "John Henry" short is a marvellous creation. The animation in it is presented in it's full "rough" stage, with no "clean-up" process, and it gives it something extra special and so pleasing to look at.
I wanted to keep that feeling, so I had made this one a little bit more "rough" too, but in it's attitude! ;) .

So I focused more on the movement of Henry's body, lifting his big hammer high up there, and heaving this rough look on his face... Other thing that I really loved in the short was Henry's over sized body design, that I tried as hard as I could to stay true too, while still keeping it realistic. I gotta say it was so much fun drawing him - this was my first time drawing John Henry EVER - he has great facial features, and using these dark chocolate colours in the Heroes series was such a welcome change and I loved every part of it...

I sure hope you'll gonna love this change too ;P
Have A Wonderful Month Everyone :heart:
- David :)

Photoshop CS2
"David Kawena" 2008
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fntsymrphmscle Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014
makes me remember the old George Pal puppetoon on John Henry. I think Rex Ingram supplied his voice, and they made him very powerfully muscular. It was called "John Henry and the Inky-Poo".
Purpleticia Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Well thanks because I never heard before of this collection of short movies !
jessab20 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Dat ass though
Shayda-Wolf2 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Student Photographer
Provocative West Virginia history right there yall....
CrystalClay13 Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2013
I have died and gone to heaven to see this work of marvelous proportions. (The painting is good too.) LOL
ladykacris Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
Here in Mexico women use to say when we see handsome men (like this): "íPAPACITO!"
geno1312 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
Everything about John was extra extra large. This helped him beat the steam drill. But it didn't save him... in the end. He died from the strain of beating through a mountain with that hammer and another one someone had thrown him
geno1312 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2013
John Henry, John Henry
John Henry was a powerful man
Born with a hammer,
Born with a hammer,
Born with a hammer right in his hand
LibbyKeppen Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
DAT ASS :icondatassplz:
Shadow-Shimmer Featured By Owner May 30, 2013
Wow. I'm so glad my friend showed me some of your work and I ended up stumbling on this! My curiosity on this character lead me to look for the short, and I gotta say I really love it!! Definitely high up there on my list of favorite animated films. I'd say you did a really fantastic job of capturing his features, too.
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