Friday, February 5, 2016

More Mouse Works: Stephen Anderson Working on a New Disney Animation Film

It appears that a new Walt Disney Animation Studios feature is coming from director Stephen J. Anderson...

Mr. Anderson has quite a history in animation, and more recently, he directed two revival-era Disney animated features. The first of which being the one that I think started the revival to begin with, Meet The Robinsons. The other was the wonderful, and perhaps last traditionally animated Disney film for a long while, Winnie the Pooh.

In an interview with The Traditional Animation Show, Anderson shed light on his career as a director at Disney Animation, the point where Meet The Robinsons changed midstream, and how he worked on earlier features (such as The Emperor's New Groove and Brother Bear) as a story artist. Then, at the 32:16 mark, he reveals that he's developing a new feature at the studio, and that it's too early to talk about it right now.

The Traditional Animation Show with Stephen Anderson from Traditional Animation on Vimeo.

It's good to know that he's still at the studio and that he's got something in the works. Don Hall, who directed Winnie the Pooh with him, went on to tackle Big Hero 6 and that had me wondering... What about Anderson?

Since it's too early to talk about, and other projects have been lined up before it, my best guess is that this project opens as early as fall 2020. Could we guess what it could be? Both of his features are radically different from each other, so I wouldn't be surprised if this film is something else entirely.

One good guess is the Mickey Mouse feature that Disney Legend Burny Mattinson pitched back in 2011, a project we've heard no word on since. However, Anderson directed a feature that revived Disney favorites, so he can do a feature that revives the Fab themselves on the big screen.

It could be a film from another director that wasn't working out, if you know what I mean... Tick Tock Tale director Dean Wellins, for a while, was working on a sci-fi film about space racing teenagers. Last we heard of it, it entered development hell. Honor Hunter of Blue Sky Disney, who kept us up to date on it, stopped posting on Blue Sky Disney in December 2013. When talking about Disney Animation's future on a post on Tor in March 2014, he didn't mention the film. Others out there are saying that it's not happening anymore. Story man Paul Briggs said back in March 2015 that he's working on "a feature" with Wellins, but it could be a new film altogether and not the space movie.

But hey, Anderson's other film has a sci-fi flavor to it, so maybe he's got the Dean project now? Did John Lasseter pull an overhaul with it? Remember what happened with Joe Jump and how it became Wreck-It Ralph? Or how Zootopia began life as a spy story set on an island? To say nothing of the switcheroos at Pixar. Lasseter applies his controversial director-swap-retool-the-film methods at Burbank, and I have a feeling it could've happened to the troubled space movie.

Or maybe it's the long-gestating King of the Elves. Then again, Anderson probably would've said it outright, since the public was told that the film is/was a thing. The space movie on the other hand was never officially announced by the company.

So much to speculate, but we shall know in a few years. There's already quite a bit lined up.

What do you think it could be? Sound off below!


  1. It could be that "Inner Workings" project we heard about earlier.

  2. I still think Inner Workings will be a short.

  3. Well, whatever it is, I hope it's a good one.