A new first look at Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming short film Feast is here! And perfect timing too, considering that today is National Dog Day!
In short, these stills are absolutely stunning… I mean, just look at them!
Like Paperman, it does look like concept artwork coming to life. Except this time, it's in color and there are no lines. I like that both of these shorts go for completely different styles and tones, one is very 50s-esque and appropriately retro while the other is definitely a lot more modern-looking. Paperman, to me, was like a hand-drawn film but with a CGI structure. This on the other hand is like an actual moving painting with a CGI structure, and it's certainly a step forward for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Again, tradition and innovation is what I feel they should specialize in. With the massive success of Frozen behind them, the sky is the limit!
Which makes me wonder, is this what Moana will look like? Early rumors (from early 2012-ish when Paperman was first unveiled) claimed that Ron Clements and John Musker's upcoming Polynesian-set tale would essentially be Paperman in movie form, visually. However, that rumor was shot down but a year ago we heard other things. Steve Hulett himself saw some work on it, saying that the film would have "hand-drawn elements" in it when replying to someone back in September 2013:
"When last I checked, Moana was a feature that would have hand-drawn elements/characters in it but would LOOK like a CG feature. This was a long while ago and I haven't paid attention since."
Brendon Connelly over at Bleeding Cool mentioned this back in October:
"While the studio doesn’t seem to have settled entirely on the look for Moana, this next film fromJohn Musker and Ron Clements, the directors of Treasure Planet and The Little Mermaid, is expected to try some new, ambitious techniques. Remember how Paperman tried a new blend of the hand-drawn and the digital? The artists behind Moana have been playing around with similar, though notably different, cutting edge software and systems, seeing how much is ready for application to a full-length feature.
There’s no evidence of the tech here in this concept art, of course, but it’s still an interesting tease of some of the style, if only in an early development phase."
"Playing around with similar, though notably different, cutting edge software and systems"? This could imply that Moana will be Feast in movie form, but again, we have to just wait and see. We have no idea what it'll look like, and Disney hasn't even officially announced the film - as it is now - itself. I mean, a new Ron Clements/John Musker film was officially revealed a couple years ago, but we know of the title and the plot thanks to leaks.
So right now, let's just focus on what appears to be a stepping stone towards greater things rather than a film that'll probably arrive in late 2016 at the earliest. Feast apparently went over like gangbusters at Annecy a couple months back, even though some critics did note that the story was pretty much the same as Paperman and Pixar's The Blue Umbrella, but some noted that the storytelling itself makes up for the similarities.
All I can say is, I'm pumped! I'm very happy that the shorts are now being attached to Disney's animated films (of course, this will be attached to this November's Big Hero 6), because I still want to know why Glago's Guest wasn't shown before Bolt as originally intended, or why Tick Tock Tale wasn't shown before Tangled. Also, why aren't those two shorts available on home media? I propose that Disney should make a short films collection Blu-ray sometime soon, like Pixar's two collections, and include all the theatrically-released shorts from 2007 to now alongside those two rarities.
What do you think of the look of Feast? What do you think the design of it means for the future of Disney's computer animation? Sound off below!