If you grew up in the '80s or early '90s, then you probably remember watching the animated films produced by legendary artist Don Bluth — even if you didn't know it at the time. All those years ago, when the silver screen was dominated by Disney, Bluth introduced unique and dramatic stories that broke all conventions for traditional children’s films at the time, such as The Land Before Time, A Troll in Central Park and Anastasia.
Edgy and dark, his various projects contain surprisingly mature storylines and dark imagery (which has stuck in the minds of fans even to this day), but it is his cast of charming characters that also make his projects so memorable. Although Bluth's name is no longer associated with present-day productions, his fans still support his magnificent works, from iconic movies like The Secret of N.I.M.H. and An American Tail to the arcade game Dragon’s Lair. Regardless of their financial success, Bluth’s movies retain a nostalgic charm and refinement that is absolutely contagious.
And now, after all these years, one artist has succeeded in bringing back the magic of Don Bluth’s iconic style in a way that is unique, creative and inspiring.
Who Is This Bluth-Inspired Artist?
A seven-year member of DeviantArt, Kosperry (also known as Kosmo) is an artist who defines herself as a nostalgic individual forever stuck in the '80s, and she considers her talent as nothing less than a blessing. As she said in a recent DeviantArt conversation:
What I am able to do is a gift. What makes me very happy is that I can bring others joy with my artwork as well! I want to express a little nostalgic feeling with my art that takes people back to a simple time that somehow they can connect and remember fun memories. My goal is to bring happiness and laughter to people. It’s something we need little more of each and every day!
And she has clearly achieved this goal through her ever-growing collection of works, which are nothing less than remarkable. From personal creations to inventive fan art, Kosperry has revived the nostalgic feeling of Don Bluth movies, just as they were meant to be portrayed: the medium of traditional animation.
Let’s take a look at her works and see what makes them so awesome!
Flashback Fever: Saga Of The Seven Stevens
In all truth, Kosperry's original series Saga of the Seven Stevens is one of the most inventive and entertaining independent works I have viewed to date.
Set at the height of the 1980s, this hip story relates the adventures of the titular Stevens family, made up of PD (a loving father) and his six sons: Steven, Ray, Stanley, Edward, Freddy (twin to Edward) and Evan. While struggling through the typical hardships of life, this unconventional family unit also faces threats from sinister villains including the diabolical Daray Pyrera (PD’s half-brother) and his vicious sons Cap, Dep, and Fin. Fueled by hate, Pyrera and his brood attempt to overthrow the balance of the Stevens family, which results in wild and zany adventures with magic, mystery, and mayhem.
'Saga Of The Seven Stevens' will make you laugh, cry, and just may move you a little as you take a look into their unpredictable and exciting world! — Kosperry
What especially makes this story so charming is, of course, the characters. Given unique designs emulating classic comedies like Seinfeld and Family Ties, Seven Stevens is supported by the wacky and colorful lineup of brothers and their adoring father. From the dashing Steve to the kindhearted Evan, and from the gangly Ray to the temperamental Freddy, all of the Stevens are charming, witty, and memorable in their own way.
Additionally, the sinister Pyrera is a ton of fun. Dashing and hateful, he exudes all the charm and sleaziness of a James Bond villain as he constantly berates his sons for failing miserably at their jobs. I especially like the design choices Kosperry made for this guy. He is physically imposing and possesses a serpentine dignity and grace, contrasting with the goofy and brutish nature of Cap, Dep, and Fin. Villains are the best part of any story, and Pyrera certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Overall, I am definitely looking forward to more Saga of the Seven Stevens stories in the future. If the artwork is any indicator of its success, then we are in for one awesome ride.
But that's not all. Kosperry also boasts some great crossover fan art. Take a look at some of her best below!
Five Nights At Freddy's
If you are a video gamer, then you are probably familiar with Five Nights at Freddy’s, an independent horror franchise that continues to take the Internet by storm. Developed by Scott Cawthon, the series tells separate tales of individuals who must survive five nights alone with demonic animatronic characters who wander about (via a power-conservation mode) the hallways of a dark building. Another excellent addition to the survival-horror game genre, Five Nights at Freddy’s emulates classic tales of terror like Evil Dead and Child’s Play. A perfect match for child audiences, right?
Oddly enough, Kosperry has actually found a way to make the game’s terrifying story and bloodthirsty characters child friendly. And what better way to bring a dark tale to life than through the magic of Don Bluth?
In fact, when you really pay attention to the story for Five Nights at Freddy’s, you start to notice two things. One, the charmingly creepy title alone sounds like a name Bluth would choose for one of his dark masterpieces. Second, the story itself combines playful comedy with suspense and terror, something Bluth has perfectly executed in Secret of N.I.M.H. and his other works. So Five Nights at Freddy’s seems an ideal match for the Don Bluth art style. And if you need proof, look no further than Kosperry’s lineup of fan art and animation for the game.
"Ye' cant make me!"
"You can't...What about the children?"
"It's late, it's late! Wind the box, don't you wait!"
Aside from Saga of the Seven Stevens and Five Nights at Freddy’s, Kosperry also has additional collections of beautiful fan art and deviant commissions on her page.
"I'll bring all your dreams alive for you."
"This better work!"
How does this compare to the original?
Super Mario Bros.
"Those no-good koopalings, I tell ya!"
Back To The Future
"What did I tell you?! 88mph!"
With the expansion of 3D animation in recent years, I have yet to see another 2D animated film produced on the big screen, which is a very sad truth. Traditional works from our childhood laid the framework for the box office successes released by Disney and DreamWorks, and sometimes it is important to take a step back and appreciate the simpler things in life. If anything, Kosperry has proven that it is never too late to revive classics, and her thousands of followers have shown that the world is still craving that little touch of nostalgic charm.
And that is very satisfying to know.
Be sure to visit her DeviantArt page and support her fine work. And don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments section below.