Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Big Happenings: Details on One of Disney Animation's 2018 Releases

As usual, big things are happening at the Mouse House...

The wonderful visual development artists Lorelay Bove and Brittney Lee are set to have "major roles" on one of Disney Animation's 2018 releases, according to Variety. This makes me wonder... Big time...

Brittney Lee was the one who created that artwork that a lot of people (including myself) once thought was concept art for the studio's upcoming Moana...

That's just one example of why her art is amazing, and Lorelay Bove also needs no introduction if you're in the know, but here's an example of her work!

So, will they by any chance have a major influence on this mystery film's look? Or will they... Wait for it... Direct?

Right now, we know that a Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation called Giants is in the works. Nathan Greno, director of Tangled, has been set to direct ever since the project's inception. A lot of people assume that it'll be feature #57, the one that'll be released after Moana, in March 2018. It's possible that they'll direct it alongside him, because Disney Animation has been doing this lately. Frozen was originally set to be directed by Chris Buck alone, but Jennifer Lee was promoted to director status on the film, so the two directed together. Big Hero 6? Don Hall was set to direct, but he ended up directing it alongside Bolt director Chris Williams. Zootopia? It was thought to be Byron Howard's own film, but now Rich Moore is directing it with him! It even has a "co-director" now! Haven't seen one of those on a Disney Animation film in a while.

This could happen, and it would also be great because we need to see more female directors in feature animation. But these are all just assumptions, we have no idea when that film will be ready. Something else could very well come out before it.

(Update: Byron Howard is reportedly going to direct Giants alongside Greno after he finishes Zootopia. Two directors is enough, so I can now see Bove and Lee - if they are set to direct a future film - directing something other than Giants, because I can see them directing and not being co-directors on a project.)

Wreck-It Ralph sequel is being written, according to composer Henry Jackman. A lot of Sugar Rush's look comes from Bove and her Spanish background, so that could be it. But I'm thinking it's going to be something new. Maybe it's Dean Wellins' untitled space race epic that Blue Sky Disney told us about back in summer 2013? Or something we've never heard of before? So many questions!

The other big thing is this. Consider Paperman, consider Feast. Consider the rumors about Moana being Paperman/Feast in feature-length film form...

A lot of us have speculated that what we saw in those two short films will essentially be the future of Disney Animation. CG films that look and feel like moving paintings, or works of concept art. Or CG films that feel like traditionally animated films. I mean, why else would they experiment? Why would those rumors be flying around? We're seeing this kind of experimentation elsewhere, too. Blue Sky's The Peanuts Movie looks very unique, Sony Animation's Popeye looks unique too, Reel FX's The Book of Life, need I say more?

So, if the post-Moana features are like this, imagine a film with Bove and Lee as major art directors. Imagine a Disney Animation film that looks like their artwork come to life...

Just think about that for a minute or two...

This is all speculation of course, but I'm very happy to know that they'll be heavily involved with a future Disney Animation film outside of concept art, and one that isn't too far away. What do you think? What do you make of this announcement?


  1. You said that we shouldn't count on that Mickey Mouse film being made anytime soon, but I still think that film might be the 2018 release. We'll never know for sure though. I'd love to see Mickey animated in the style of Paperman or Feast.

  2. I expect more work of Lee in future Disney films, i love her art.

    I don't know how will be Moana, but a lot of people is watching Frozen like it was the great movie of Disney in this era/decade when was an unexpected sucess that was far beyond expectations for Disney Animation (i think the believed that would do like Tangled), but no, i think Moana is the real thing, will be the real turning point for the studio.

    I think the secret project with Lee/Bove will be Dean Wellins' movie, Big Hero 6 is doing very well and i think will try to do something quite different for Disney, not a sequel or a fairytale/musical, i expecting big news