Rip Van Winkle

Rip Van Winkle was my second Rabbit Ears video. The producers must have liked the work I did on the Paul Bunyan script because they asked me to do not only do the art, but the adaptation of Washington Irving’s classic story. I saw it as both a comedy and a ghost story, and I wrote, or rather rewrote, it as such.

I did 240 illustrations for this project, almost as many as I did for Paul Bunyan, which took eleven months to complete because I insisted on doing oversized art, (one painting was five feet wide!) and after all, Paul Bunyan was a giant! This time I was determined to make smaller pictures, and I did. I think the square footage of drawn and painted space I saved would’ve been enough to carpet a fair sized room, and because of my reductionist efforts, the project took seven months to complete instead of eleven.

Once again, I loved the long term immersion in a single project. I had recently watched Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary on PBS and was struck by the haunting, beautiful music that Jay Ungar and Molly Mason had composed for it. I thought they would bring the right feel to Rip, and they did. Their score is hauntingly beautiful.

Angelica Huston did the reading. She emphasized the ghostly aspects of the story. She read it in a way that would make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, if you had hairs on the back of your neck.