The Black Hole Concept Sketches (1978/1979)

Black Hole PD

Black Hole PD-2

Black Hole PD-3

Black Hole PD-4

Black Hole PD-5

Black Hole PD-6

Black Hole PD-9

Black Hole PD-7

Black Hole PD-8

According to the seller (Beach Parking/eBay), these are from the estate of a Disney animator. It’s a shame we don’t know his/her name or the history of the drawings, because I find them pretty interesting. The basic storyline appears to be in place, but instead of the gorgeously gothic vision we ultimately (and thankfully) got, the artist here presents much cheerier (i.e. typical Disney) fare.

In place of the dreary, massive, cathedral-esque Cygnus, we have the rotund, smiley-faced New Cosmos. And instead of lobotomized zombie slaves, we have a perfectly jovial crew traipsing about the amenity-laden ship like so many Eloi.

The miracle of The Black Hole is that its darker elements were allowed to shine through. That’s a big reason I’m so fond of the film despite the mediocre script.

UPDATE (4/3/13): Please see AcroRay’s comment and link below. These sketches appear to be of prequel stories designed for educational media kits. The kits are, naturally, very rare. If anyone comes across one or has more info, please let me know.

2 Responses to “<em>The Black Hole</em> Concept Sketches (1978/1979)”

  1. 1 AcroRay January 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Hi! I happened to discover these come from educational film-strip ‘prequel stories’ about the PALOMINO crew’s adventures (although a couple stories do take place during the film’s story), distributed for science and math teachers. There is some discussion at this BBS:

    Direct quote, third post down:

    “Disney also did at least 10 (there may be more) Black Hole cartoon film strip stories as part of their educational media company for schools

    Space Mission: Reading kit had 5 stories, three ‘prequel’ adventures of the Palomino before they reached the Black Hole (investigating an deserted alien craft on a acid planet, food tampering on a space station and that sci-fi classic sentient computer guarding an ice world!) that expanding on their movie mission of finding ‘habitable life’ and 2 unseen stories from when they were aboard the Cygnus (one where VINcents memory is wiped and Pizer is sent to the Cygnus ‘hospital’ another from when they are exploring the ship with Kate finding her father’s diary and a flashback to the original crew mutiny!!).

    Space Mission: Maths schools kit 5 are (4 prequel stories, the Palomino transporting children to a colony, Pizer being trapped in a mine, the crew searching for a cure for colonists stuck in suspended hibernation and helping a primitive race protecting their crops from a volcano. Plus one story, probably the best of them all, set during the film, when the crew first board the ship they are spied upon by sentry’s and Dr Durant disappears, it also includes later scenes from the film including the Old Bob and VINcent laser fights and their confrontation with Maximilian).

    The kits contain the film strips, audio kits, teacher notes booklet and a selection of worksheet masters sadly these school sets are VERY rare and anymore info on them is tough to find, cels and drawings from them do crop on ebay from time to time (there’s one on CAF sadly not mine-( )”

    – Ray
    Longtime BLACK HOLE fan. (Thanks for the tip!)

  2. 2 2W2N January 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks a million for the info, AcroRay! That’s amazing. I did see a drawing featuring what looked like a volcano erupting, and I thought maybe it was mistakenly included in the lot. Now it makes sense. Just goes to show how invested Disney was in this film. If only there’d been a TV series for all of us superfans…

    (By the way, I really wish someone would scan that 4th Black Hole Whitman comic, as well as the “lost” 5th and 6th issues.)

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