Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Giant Movie

Leave it to Brendon Connelly at Bleeding Cool to get details on upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios films. He got some details on Zootopia before a title was even announced, along with several other things. Today, he got some information on one of their four upcoming releases... Giants.

Now if you were quick, you knew that the title of this Nathan Greno-directed film was leaked a couple months ago by Honor Hunter at Blue Sky Disney. Immediately, I thought Jack and the Beanstalk, as did many others. Disney Animation had an adaptation of the tale in the works until it was canned in 2010, possibly because of Warner Bros.' big-budget tentpole based on the same tale... Which ended up bombing. It could've been canceled because at the time, Disney had little-to-no faith in fairy tales, skeptical of Tangled because of how The Princess and the Frog underperformed. This explains The Snow Queen/Frozen's absence at the time, but then that film was announced for 2013 after Tangled came out. So I'm guessing since Tangled more than exceeded Disney's expectations, Frozen was immediately rebooted and Giants got the greenlight as well.

Nathan Greno promoting

Anyways, the film is in fact a new take on Jack and the Beanstalk, much like how Tangled and Frozen are new spins on the classic tales they are based on. For the better, because I like this idea of Disney crafting their own original stories around some of the elements of the fairy tales. In a way, they can tiptoe their way around critics who take it upon themselves to bash Disney every time they alter a classic story for one of their films. You know, the dreaded "Disneyification"! Plus, it's a bit more creative and it allows them to justify adapting something. The "Disney Version" has always been talked about, such as the idea of Walt Disney taking classic stories and making them his own. Well that's what Lasseter and Disney's story trust are doing. Literally.

Connelly confirmed some of the story details...

  • There are five main giants in the film, all of which are brothers: Feebus, Fifen, Fogel and Fobert. Clever play with the Fee Fi Fo Fum saying! The oldest brother is named Faustus, he'll be the film's villain.
  • Jack has a love interest named Angelina, who is of a higher class than he is. She is from a family of merchants who low down on Jack.
  • There's also a love triangle, as a rich man named Marco is in love with Angelina. There will be a rivalry of course, and he's named Marco because he's essentially like the real Marco Polo.
  • There's also a human named Inma, who Connelly describes as a "scrappy tomboy type" and "something of a class warrior". She wants to fight injustice, but no one really takes her seriously because she's only a pre-teen. Connelly likens this to David and Goliath.
  • The story is about the "Storm Giants" making a pact with humans. They will protect humans if the humans are willing to work for them. But Faustus may be screwing the humans over. After all, he is the villain.
  • All of that is a backstory, the film itself will be about the journey and Jack actually becoming friends with one of the giants, setting the story in motion!

Now I like this spin, plus it introduces characters that already sound interesting and likable. I'm interested to see what they do with the villain as well, since Connelly does mention that he's got a "relatable point of view". The whole class thing should be good too, as this kind of depth and development is what's expected from a Disney animated feature. It's nice to see Disney coming up with great ideas that weren't in the originals, and I was happy with that in Tangled and I'm sure I'll love these elements in Frozen as well.

Going by a pattern, and what Honor Hunter says, Giants should be the November 23, 2016 release following Zootopia. Connelly suggests that it's definitely not set in stone, and that it could move or be removed from the schedule (I sure hope not!), but it seems to be going along quite well so I can definitely see it hitting theaters for Thanksgiving that year. Also, it seems like Disney will do a fairy tale adaptation every 3 years. Tangled in fall 2010, Frozen this autumn and Giants in autumn 2016. Say, will they do another one for fall 2019?

Overall, I really like what I'm hearing. Connelly also mentions that the animation will resemble the painterly, traditional-esque look of Tangled and Frozen (I guess Disney's saving that style for fairy tales, unless Moana uses it), while also implying that Big Hero 6 and Zootopia will go for different styles. He believes that the style will be pushed to its limits, and it could possibly be the first film done in the Meander style. Our Paperman-style film could be here before we know it! Now if only Disney would officially announce the title and plot soon, since it's now known.

What do you think? Does the film excite you? When do you think it will come out? Sound off below!

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