Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Animation Update: Rapunzel Unbraided and Ratatouille

Howdy hey, folks. Forgive the lack of updates recently! In the last seven weeks or so I've come down with two wicked colds, broken a molar, been promoted to Animation Supervisor at my studio, and taken a much-belated honeymoon to Disney World for five days.

Looks like N&N was proven right with our tidbit a few weeks back about "Rapunzel Unbraided" being in some major story trouble. Jim Hill Media reports:

Don't get me wrong, folks. Glen Keane's directorial debut still looks as though it will be " ... a film of astonishing beauty" loaded with lush visuals. It's just the proposed storyline of this still-in-development animated feature that now appears to be on the slim side.

Mind you, back in the late summer of 2006, Keane reportedly showed Lasseter the first 20 minutes of the most recent version of "Rapunzel." And John was allegedly very lavish in his praise, saying that it was the strongest opening of a Disney fairy tale film that he'd ever seen. The only problem is ... Glen & his team are still struggling to come up with a satisfying second & third act for their animated version of "Rapunzel."

I personally hope this project can be salvaged. However, there's going to be lots of politics and ego-bruising going on between two heavyweights like Lasseter and Keane; two 800 pound gorillas from different eras and cultures thrashing it out so lets hope it gets done at all.

In Ratatouille news, Brad Bird's adopted picture will apparently not be 100% CG animation. My super-secret sources inform me that the first ten minutes of Ratatouille will in fact, be 2D. Yes, traditional, hand-drawn animation, allegedly in the style of the classic Disney short 'Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom', currently available in the excellent 'Disney Rarities' set. Even more surprising is that apparently, the 2D work will be completed in-house! Quite likely from some of Pixar's abundant 2D-turned-3D talent who were no doubt happy to replace the mouse for a pencil, even if just for a short while.


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