About us


Louise Geesink en Arie den Draak

About us and about this website

This website is a personal initiative by Arie den Draak, an animation film enthusiast, especially of the films by Joop Geesink's Dollywood.

About us

This website is a personal initiative by Arie den Draak, an animation film enthusiast, especially of the films by Joop Geesink's Dollywood.

The direct impulse for this website came from the 100th anniversary of Joop Geesink's birth date in 2013. This coincided with EYE FILM's (the former Film Museum) announcement of the restoration of a number of historic Dollywood films.

Arie has a long history with animated films. Between 1986 and 2000 he had his own film studio, which was started by his brother Hubert. The two of them worked closely together until Hubert's emigration to Canada in 1997. Joop Geesink's Dollywood was their source of inspiration to make their own puppet films. The original Dollywood Studios no longer existed by that time, with a trimmed down version operating as the Toonder-Geesink Studios in the Nederhorst Castle.

Super 8 en Action poppen

From very early on the brothers Hubert and Arie were just fascinated with puppet films and the Dollywood phenomenon; during their high school years they even produced their own puppet films on Double-8 and later Super-8. First they shoot films with 'action puppets', later they created their own puppets. Not satisfied with the results, they decided to contact the great Joop Geesink to pick his brain on a few technical questions they had. Their letter wound up on the production manager's desk, who invited the brothers to come for a visit. Hubert ages 16 and Arie 14 years.

Hiermee begon het avontuur in 1973

The reply of Joop Geesink Artists and invitation the visit the studio's

From that point on a firm bond grew between Geesink and the two brothers. Several more visits followed, with priceless conversations with animator Cor Icke and puppet maker Harry Tolsma, among others. This resulted in two internships for both brothers a few years later, after which Hubert became Toonder-Geesink's first free-lance animator. Hubert left Holland in 1985 for a one-year stint at the renowned National Film Board of Canada's animation department. After his return he hoped to join the Toonder-Geesink Studio as full time animator. However, for a number of reasons the studio decided not to hire any new staff, forcing Hubert to start his own animation studio in 1986, and was quickly joined by Arie.

Studio Nederhorst den Berg

Geesink Studio's in Nederhorst den Berg. (1973)


Because they were the only other full service animation studio in Holland, the two brothers unintentionally found themselves to be competitors of the Toonder-Geesink Studios. Fortunately the relationship between the two companies remained mostly friendly, with both studios having their own clients. Additionally, the two brothers produced their own independent animated shorts as well as those of other independent filmmakers. These films were financed by the proceeds of their studio's commercial work and occasionally some government grants. A good example is "$ave Your Soul and Buy My $ong" (1993). Its main character is fictional pop star Michael Moneymaker, who raises funds for the best good cause he can think of: himself.

The music video spoofs the many Band Aid-like projects of that time, but also pays homage to the technique of the traditional Dollywood puppet films. We were glad and honoured to offer our good friend Harry Tolsma this opportunity to showcase his skills as master puppet maker one last time. Finally his name got its proper place in the credits, so well deserved after all these years.
Warning: The film can be considered confronting by some.


Productiejaar: 1993
Year of production: 1993
Concept: Hubert en Arie den Draak
Director/Animation: Hubert den Draak
Duration: 4 minutes
Music: Maarten Hartveldt
Vocal talent: Bertus Borgers
Enginering: Henry Bergen
Poppen: Harry Tolsma, Arie den Draak
Assistentence: Diana van Zeijl
Computer graphics: Arie den Draak
Coloring: Marianne van der Donk
Parlando Animation: Irma Rademaker
Format: 35 mm Eastman Color