November 05, 2005


Rapunzel gets retooled.

This is the best news I've heard in a long time. This past August, Justin Gerard and I took a trip to SIGGRAPH 05 in Los Angeles, and also had a chance to visit Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Feature Animation. A fantastic trip overall. I really believe that our visit to those studios was a pivotal shift in our direction as a company. The effects even now are working their way out in the way are trying to run our business. Enough of that...

While we were meeting with Chris Sanders, the director of Lilo and Stitch (and the upcoming film An American Dog), he took us out in the hallway to show us some of the art on the walls from the films they were working on. I must say that pretty much everything Disney has going on in the animation department right now looks amazing. They really are pulling out all the stops. The work from Rapunzel was no exception. However, the idea of Glen Keane directing a "fractured" fairy tale--a Shrek-ish animated comedy--was a sad, if not repulsive idea. The very best art I was seeing was so good precisely because it was played "straight". The story is one that needs to take itself seriously. That sort of a film will play best to Glean Keane's strengths as a director, and will give Disney a chance to produce the sort of CG animated film that has yet to be done---an honest to goodness fairy tale, happy ending and all. Audience's are ready for this, it's what they are wanting. This is plain after reading reviews of many recent CGI films. The overwhelming exclamation among critics and moviegoers is---"Enough with the pop culture references already." Finally. They've had enough of the postmodern, insincere, jokey CG family flick. What people are finally wanting is another Beauty and the Beast. Chris Sanders (yes, even the master of insanely executed fast-paced comedic action scenes) stated this fact as well in our conversation. Yes, audiences want a REAL fairy tale. Here's hoping that Glen Keane's hiatus helps him pull it off.

Posted by bmcallister at November 5, 2005 10:51 AM | TrackBack