When I took over design work on the Pan project, in addition to story and gameplay changes, I deemed it necessary to take the character design in a different direction than had been employed in early test work. This necessitated my taking on art direction tasks in order to put the product on the correct path.
Left: Early "storybook" Peter Pan
Right: My spritely reworking.
While liking the "storybook" feel of the early work, particularly the beautifully painted backdrops, I felt the characters needed to be somewhat cartoonish, allowing for the "gags" in the product to play properly. Thus, I sought to strike a happy medium: expressive, cartoonish characters with enough facial shading and detailing to allow subtle expression of emotion, and also make them fit well into the backdrops.
Wendy & Hook mug in exploratory renderings.
Unfortunately, when the new animation director came aboard, many of the characters were simplified or changed, and virtually all of the expressive detailing was lost. Furthermore, many characters did not look the same from scene to scene ("off model" in animation parlance), and Peter and Wendy never looked as slyly mischievous and prissy, respectively, as I had wanted.
At one point the development team in Budapest substituted their own "hourglass"...not understanding the "Mae West" caricature. To E.A.'s credit, Mae was quickly reinstated, and appears (with minor retouching) in all of the Story Painting products).
My one regret is that she giggles when clicked on, rather than voicing a throaty "Oooo!"