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‘Strange World’ Preview: Disney Explores Animated Legacy in New Sci-Fi Adventure


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resourcefulness disneyAnimated Sci-Fi Adventurestrange world(releases in theaters November 23), the studio is as committed to its legacy as it prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2023. The Crade clan centers around legendary Patriarch Jaeger (Dennis Quaid). his farmer’s son, Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal); Searcher’s wife, Meridian, an experienced pilot. and their restless teenage son, Ethan (Jabky Young White).

when supervising Don Hall (Oscar-winning “Big Hero 6”) presented a 30-minute sneak peek at Disney last week, and “Strange World” was inspired by ’30s pulp magazines, authors Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and several I said I was affected. Or his favorite action-adventure movie. He likened it to “Invaders of the Lost Ark,” but with a quirky family just above “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” He acknowledged that “Strange World” has a core idea of ​​saving the environment and looks to the future.

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“It’s good to admit that your film has to stand up there. [the classics]’” Hall told IndieWire. “But you can’t keep it in your head. It can hold you back. You need that restless mind when it comes to what’s next. I think this movie can do that.” It wasn’t like I walked in and said, ‘Let’s do this. I would like to expand a bit more in terms of character design and comedic physicality. There was a searcher test with musicality. It evoked his love of “Johnny Appleseed” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and his post-World War II Disney films of the 1950s. animation

“Strange World” - Credit: Disney

“Strange World” – Credit: Disney

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At the same time, Hall wanted to explore uncharted realms of animation, starting with Crade’s home in Avalonia, a rural community with flying airships turned into a metropolis, surrounded by mountains resembling the Himalayas. . After the energy crisis, Clade travels to the heart of Avalonia. There they discover a retrofuturistic world filled with magenta and yellow-orange landscapes and vegetation, along with an assortment of faceless creatures reminiscent of dinosaurs and sea animals.

” [environment] It could have been a flat, hilly plain,” said Hall. “good, [the art department] We created these layers of plateaus that our characters had to move up and down. “For this film, a lot of the technology was built to allow us to give the animators whatever works in the environment,” production designer Mehrdad Isvandi tells his IndieWire.

The most difficult animation challenges revolved around the creatures that Crade befriends in this underworld. A mischievous blob with her twelve tentacles called Splat. Splat is like a cross between R2-D2 (sound voiced by his designer Shannon Mills) and Mickey his mouse, and he’s arguably one of Disney’s most complex characters to direct. . The animators shaped and moved the vague characters in many different ways. The only instruction from Hall was that you can’t change shape.

“Strange World” - Credit: Disney

“Strange World” – Credit: Disney

disney

“Whatever we do, I always try to stay ahead of what’s great in animation because I know what they were thinking in the ’40s and ’50s.” I was looking at the potential for story and animation, and I think that’s one of my core tasks is to be a shepherd for that idea. You have to design it, it has to be part of your thinking DNA.”

From a narrative standpoint, Hall settled on The Searcher as the protagonist who must confront both father and son in order to help steer the family legacy. “Searchers are a much clearer reflection of where I am in my life right now,” Hall said. “My sons are in the teen zone and my dad is a little older than Yeager. That was the perspective I found most relevant.”

Co-director and writer Quy Nguyen (who reunited with Hall after “Raya and the Last Dragon”) told IndieWire that “Strange World” is personal to him as well. It’s a film that reflects the world I actually live in, a place like Los Angeles with people who look different and aren’t all one,” he said. “I like to write stories that make the world a better place. “It’s about forgiveness, acceptance and kindness,” said producer Roy Conli (“Big Hero 6”) of the film’s thematic relevance.

“Strange World” - Credit: Disney

“Strange World” – Credit: Disney

disney

According to Conri, the film’s connection to Disney’s history extends to how the storyboards for “Strange World” were created. Using a digital tablet and storyboarding his software would allow him to do over 500 drawings per sequence, which could overcomplicate the process. With so many drawing clicks, it can be difficult to keep track of where one frame leads to the next. “We tend to go overboard at times,” Conli said.

Hall’s Solution: We kept the Strange World storyboard closer to the physical board the director used when he was promoted, by not exceeding 150 panels per sequence. This old-fashioned throwback allowed them to iterate quickly and view the sequence all at once to pinpoint the most important aspects.

“I didn’t want to [the artists] It exhausted me, especially early on, so I took that away,” Hall said. “It was an experiment at first, but soon everyone liked it.” Chief his creative His officer Jennifer Lee’s suggestion allowed them to storyboard him for “Strange World” earlier than any other film. process has started. “It wasn’t for the whole crew, but we had fun. [a longer view]Hall said.

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