Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Next Step: 'Moana' First Look Reveals Film's Painterly Look
Next year, for those who don't know, Walt Disney Animation Studios will be readying two feature-length films.
This is the first time they have done this since 2002, and the two offerings in question are the action-packed buddy cop film Zootopia and the epic musical adventure Moana. Moana, for those who aren't in the know, is the new film from Ron Clements and John Musker. Ron and John were instrumental in bringing Disney out of its mid-80s doldrums with the energetic and fun The Great Mouse Detective, and three years later they gave us the majestic The Little Mermaid, which truly rocketed Disney Animation back to the top. From there, they continued to write and direct solid films: Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, and The Princess and the Frog.
For many years, it was rumored that Moana would be a sort-of "Paperman/Feast in movie form" type of picture, something that would mesh traditional animation and CG. However, an early look at the film itself from earlier this year (pictured above) gave us the opposite...
However, a new image revealed yesterday - quite the epic Christmas gift for any Disney fan - shows that the film's CG will be unlike what Disney has previously done with the medium... And it looks gorgeous...
This, to me, is something of a culmination of Disney Animation CG's upward climb. This is something they've been trying to perfect since Bolt was in production: Bringing a truly painterly look to CG. Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia had taken it to the next level. Some of the features had a 2D underbelly to them, despite being all-CG films. This image shows just how far it's come. It may not be Paperman or Feast, but it's still beautiful to look at nonetheless! Look at that background! Look at the water! I feel like I'm looking at a fine painting, not CG puppets and objects.
We've seen CG being taken exciting new directions by other studios lately. Reel FX made a feature that looked like "The Art of..." books come to life, with their impressive The Book of Life. Blue Sky gave us painterly, 2D-looking Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and & co. in The Peanuts Movie. Sony Animation was going to do something similar with Popeye, it's unknown whether it'll still look that way or not, given that they removed director Genndy Tartavosky from the film. (For shame.)
I'm excited to see the film in motion. From what I've heard, it's in the really early stages of production, so I reckon we won't get an idea of what it'll feel like until the teaser comes out. (Presumably before Zootopia in early March.) On top of all that, the story sounds epic and a nice twist on the usual 90s Disney routine. I mean, an Oceanic setting? Demigods? Supernatural creatures? Stuff involving the elements? Water being something of a character? Disney is also looking into someone else to do the music: Lin-Manuel Miranda (I have yet to listen to Hamilton, seems like a huge deal right now) and Opetaia Foa'i, rather than familiar faces like Alan Menken or the Lopez duo. Sign me up!
What do you think of this image? When do you think we'll see a teaser for the film? Sound off below!