The studio’s charming design work both opens and closes the film and doggy imagery, naturally, abounds. The design team reconceived the familiar Disney logo in the shape of a dog house and placed big floppy ears atop the “G’s” in the show’s puckish main title.
The designer’s most ambitious work occurs in the whimsical end credit roll, where animated Scrabble tiles (a reference to a plot device) spell out the names of cast and crew over snapshots of oddly matched pairs of people and dogs. “We had a lot of fun playing with the old adage that dogs look like their owners,” said yU + co art director Yolanda Santosa. “It is always fun to work on Disney projects because they are so colorful and light-hearted.”
The photo pairings show some of the comical ways that the human and animal worlds mimic one another. So, a picture of a boy enduring his first haircut is juxtaposed with an image of an unhappy terrier undergoing a clipping, and a shot of a fire hydrant is matched with a commode. Later on, the sequence pairs cast photos with doggie headshots. A jowly Phillip Baker Hall is coupled with an equally jowly bulldog, prim Jane Curtin’s alter ego is a Chihuahua, while the counterpart to the lovely Kristen Davis is a collie.
“We combed through stock sources as well as our own photo collections and those of our friends,” said Santosa. “We wanted photos that were funny, beautiful and made good comparisons.”
Production work was handled by yU + co in house, including the Scrabble tiles that were produced as CGI. “We wanted it to look like stop motion,” said Santosa. “The tiles move in circle, assemble and break apart as if they have a mind of their own.”
Credits for yU + co go to Garson Yu, creative director; Claire O’Brien, executive producer; Ryan Robertson, associate producer; Yolanda Santosa, art director; Harkim Chan and Otto Tang, designers; Nick Baquero, Scott Pagano and Etsuko Uji, animators; Kamal Hatami and Vlad Villanueva, 3D artists; Zachary Scheuren, editor.
yU + co is located at 941 N. Mansfield Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038. For more information, call (323) 606-5050.