The animation for this was done by Krzysztof Giersz, Igor Mitrovic, Maciek Albrecht, Helena Uszac with a few revised scenes (after the piece was filmed and edited) by Ivan Abel -his first US job, I believe.
There were a few assistants. One has gone on to "great things" in animation, but he did a terrible job on this and treated the project in a disrespectful way. Despite talent, I will always remember how poorly he behaved towards this film.
At the time I was very excited about the character design. Maciek was working much looser than he typically had, the Steinberg influence was less and less apparent.
I had been helping Helena and Krzysztof write some pitches for Nickelodeon and shared the preliminary designs -also a ploy to get them interested in working on it.
Helena, inspired by them, reworked some designs she was doing for Nickelodeon. Those drawings eventually morphed into "Dora the Explorer".
In true Viacom fashion, I will now take credit for "Dora the Explorer" based on this anecdote.
I met a person from Nickelodeon once and a film we had produced came up. "I produced that!" I was told. With finishing school politeness, I managed to convey that my studio had actually made the thing and that it was such a fun difficult project we were happy for all the help the network gave us.
Of course, I was thinking "Who are you? How come I had no contact with you of the dozens of people I dealt with at the network? Don't you think the $2000/week you got paid to 'produce' this film would have been better spent on the ACTUAL FILM? Or at least bubble gum and comics?"
At least he had seen the piece, which is more than I can say for me and Dora.
As I mentioned earlier, this piece was shot on film.
The backgrounds were all done in Photoshop, mostly by Maciek but Elli probably did a lot too.
They were printed on decent but not expensive paper. Just about everything was animated at either an 8 field or a 10 field to accommodate for this.
The first scene and the last scene go through the doors of a little wooden house. This was rigged up and shot (stop motion) on Maciek's downshooter. It was on glass and the background was on a plane below. The "house" was leveled on a makeshift multiplane which could move towards camera as the camera trucked in.
Reflections were an issue, and shadows, and general lighting. Maciek managed to figure most of this out. Ivan probably helped a lot too.
It's been awhile, I'm old and forgetful.
On the few scenes were we had to go to a twelve field, or longer -we simply cut print outs together.
The trick to that is to cut based on objects or patterns in the paper, not just straight lines. It also helped that the designs were "painterly" so a little texture would go unnoticed.
The "multiplane" set was only used for one other shot, a long pan with a forground character moving in.