Academy: Animated Feature Symposium


Intro: 21 films available to be nominated this year, and you must watch all to nominate at all; this year’s diversity: 2 “classic” animation, one CG and two stop motion

Coraline 3D clip #1 (into the other world)

Henry Selick Q&A:

This project came about because [said with slight irony] Neil Gaiman saw the credits of Nightmare Before Christmas and actually noticed that Tim Burton was not the director, so Gaiman contacted him while working on the book for Coraline.

How do you make a scary movie for kids? How do you sell it? Disney’s been doing it for years.

stop motion characters had “blocks” and “rehearsal”

Lenny Lipton helped with the 3D; it was different working with 3D. They tried to flatten the regular world a little and give the other world more dimensionality.

Jack Skeleton had 150 heads with different expressions. They wanted to make Coraline more expressive — they were able to have someone draw her expressions in 2D then have a computer render it to 3D, which could be printed out.

Coraline 3D clip #2 (escape)

Fantastic Mr. Fox clip #1 (courting)

Fantastic Mr. Fox clip #2 (Bean’s Secret Cider Cellar)

The Princess and the Frog clip #1a (“Almost There”)

The Princess and the Frog clip #1b (“Friends on the Other Side”)

John Musker and Ron Clements Q&A:

Disney had been talking about a version of this Grimm’s fairy tale for years, as had Pixar. Pixar envisioned a version set in Chicago at one point. John Lasseter wanted it set in New Orleans. John and Ron proposed a 1920s American fairy tale featuring an African American heroine set in New Orleans.

writing the music — the music should advance the story, you shouldn’t be able to take them out; they met with Randy Newman — this was different than the way he usually worked songs being integral to the movie; they showed him story boards w/ ideas and he filled in the rest

The clip we saw was the third version of almost there because they moved the location (and therefore the feel–optimistic / sad) of the song twice. Currently there’s a reprise where the song originally was.

The first clip’s style was inspired by Aaron Douglas from the Harlem Renaissance.

Parts of New Orleans today are similar to how they were in the 1920s. They went to visit 3 times for research (didn’t do this for most of their movies like Aladdin or The Little Mermaid). The first time they met a Voodoo priestess who showed them some sites. Their first tour guide Reggie was inspiration for the “Ron” character. They wanted authentic details — a valentine to New Orleans.

any cuts? no “soup eating sequence” as in Snow White

they call theirs a “self-inflicted partnership”

The Princess and the Frog clip #3 (swamp gumbo)

“the year’s ‘Hollywood story’ comes from Ireland”

The Secret of Kells clip #1 (in the forest)

Tomm Moore Q&A

The history of the Book of Kells

saw with Mulan and Hercules tat you can take indigenous art and update it and present it with animation

thought it would be funny kids going to their parents “mom, i want to see the story about the medieval monks and the manuscript”

work for the film done in Ireland, France, Belgium, Hungary, and Brazil

utilized triptychs, inspired by the styles of medieval manuscripts and artists such as Klimt

used variety of animation — if 2D is “dead” they wanted to make it as 2D as possible

The Secret of Kells clip #2 (Viking attack)

Up 3D clip #1 (courting and marriage)

Pete Docter Q&A
wanted to make a movie about a grouchy old man character — like his grandpa — can just say whatever he want

approached it the same as 2D — wanted it to look good in 2D and 3D; used 3D emotionally — so flattened the scenes where he’s sad or depressions and made more exciting scenes have more depth

Up 3D clip #2 (talking dog)

Q&A with whole panel: what they like most about directing these films, what they like least, why animation?, how do they relate to characters so different from themselves? (apparently it’s easy), etc.

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