Joshua Lawrence Meador, head of Walt Disney Studios Effects Department was on loan to MGM Studios for the FORBIDDEN PLANET project. Pinocchio had recently wrapped up, allowing Joshua to work on the MGM title. Harper Goff at MGM originated the contact with Walt Disney about the film.
16 scenes were animated. Each 30" x 12" animation cell was drawn on white fine stock animation paper using a conti crayon. Art Cruickshank photographed the actual paper drawings onto false sensitized duping stock No. 5245 in the Disney camera department with contrast burn-in elements and mattes to produce the final composites. Different color filters produced a full color effect from the black-and-white animation.
Each element of the shot, such as laserblasts, was photographed separately onto its own piece of film. A “glow glass” was used in the photography, a heavy light diffusing device which added a soft edge on the drawing, creating the illusion that a hot energy filed was making the creature visible. The MGM Optical Department, head Irving Reis, optically combined the final composite.
The Id Monster was conceived by Ken Hultgren, freelance artist, contracted by Joshua Meador. Ken came up with the final design modeled after the MGM Leo the Lion trademark.