Trolls | Carlos Felipe Leon

Posts in Trolls


Trolls was the last project I worked on at the wonderful DreamWorks/PDI studio. It was an extremely challenging project (it was so difficult to reinterpret the vintage dolls the movie is inspired from), the art team headed by our production designer Kendal Cronkhite and art director Tim Lamb did such an amazing job! Overall it was a super fun project full of saturated color, dance and directors with the best sense of humor. Seriously they should make a comedy special out of our art reviews.

All images  ©DreamWorks Animation



The Bergen World

OK I have to come out clean. What I enjoyed the most on this project was to work on the world of the Bergens. It turned out to be the strangest mix of a medieval theme with 70s disco party and tacky orange and avocado colors. Super weird. Super strange. Super Kitsch. Super interesting. Here are some visual development pieces I did early on:



Prince Gristle tries on a very special bib for his date at the roller disco pizza place.



Bridget is an ugly bergen cinderella. Poor bridget, too many dishes to wash…



In her tiny room beneath the castle, Bridget loves in silence and tears.



…Bridget’s heart is aching



Roller. Disco. Pizza.




Bergen style!

Here are some pieces I did to help determine how the bergen world would look. We wanted a very raw look, a lot of the inspiration came from the paintings of Philip Guston:


Analyzing how different materials could be rendered



Studying shapes and materials.



Crazy town

Prince Gristle


This is an oil painting I made as a gift for our amazing production designer Kendal Cronkhite.

The troll world

Cracking this one was super difficult. The troll world is full of rainbows, cupcakes, glitter and scrapbooking, and all that saturated color is hard to keep under control! Having Lisa Frank as a reference for color was hard to stomach, but in the end it just goes to show how crazy and unlikely creative decisions are the answer under the right circumstances!


Concept for Poppy’s house. We also wanted to play with traditional scandinavian decorative design, huge scale, very shallow focus, and felt everywhere!









Here I was exploring how the characters could look both fuzzy and translucent

Poppy’s montage sequence

Here are some very quick color explorations for the sequence. It ended up being different, much more graphic than these.

Back to top