In January, 1997, Charles Zembillas was contacted by Ted Price, the President of Insomniac Games, Inc.

Charles had completed his character design work on the just released Crash Bandicoot video game property for Sony's new PlayStation format. Crash was produced through Naughty Dog, a game development company that was in partnership with Universal Interactive, the video game division of Universal Studios in Hollywood. Both Naughty Dog and Insomniac had their production offices at Universal at the time. The two companies were just down the hall from each other. Mr. Price was aware of Charles' significant creative contributions to the Crash Bandicoot franchise, so he approached him about working on Insomniac's next game. One that would feature a dragon as its central character.

Soon, Charles was busy working with the team at Insomniac and Universal Interactive. His mission, to come up with a design for a new video game character that would be Insomniac's first venture into character based games and Universal's follow up to the highly successful Crash Bandicoot character. What emerged after a few sessions with the Insomniac/Universal team was a character that eventually was named Spyro the Dragon. Spyro went on to become one of the most popular video game characters in the world.

The following is a global premiere. The original development sketches created by Charles Zembillas in early 1997 that lead to the design and production of Sony/Universal/Insomniac's Spyro the Dragon.

This exhibition is a special feature of The Animation Academy in Burbank, California and is intended for educational purposes. It's a case book study of the character design process. A journey through a series of spontaneous hand drawn sketches that led to the development of a major character based franchise for the video game industry.

We hope you enjoy this unique presentation.

Website © The Animation Academy.
Spyro The Dragon™ © Universal Studios.
Spyro Artwork © Insomniac Games, Inc.
Web design by Gary Clair