Wellins Talks Tick Tock Tale
In the latest Disney short, Tick Tock Tale, a funny little clock (something out of Geppetto's workshop, really) is picked on by the more refined time keepers in a London store, only to find a chance at redemption when a thief breaks in one night. The whimsical CG short, directed by Dean Wellins (Rapunzel, Bolt, The Iron Giant) and produced by Dorothy McKim (Prep & Landing), has been making the festival circuit (Annecy, Hiroshima and Ottawa next). No theatrical date has been set but it still could quality for Oscar consideration. Recovering from a bit of jet lag after his first trip to Japan, Wellins took time out to discuss his on again, off again project.
Bill Desowitz: When did you make Tick Tock?
Dean Wellins: When did we make it? Well, the actual making started around April 2009. And then pretty much had all the base components done about the same time this year. I mean, the idea going into it was we were going to have down time between our movies, so we could use [people] and resources to make it. Turns out, that down time wasn't as down as we thought with Prep & Landing and pretty soon there wasn't many people to use so we used whoever we could and whenever we could. A huge part of it got done by trainees that were unbelievable. Anyway, it trailed out to June for some tiny tweaks and things.
BD: How long ago did you pitch this?
DW: Way back in 2006 before the Rapunzel days. I was head of story on American Dog before it was Bolt. And then that got revamped; and back then they were pretty hot and heavy about getting the shorts up and looked at, so I pitched my three to John [Lasseter] and this was the one he liked the most. At that point I storyboarded a version of it and actually edited it together and then everything changed. I called pulled into [co-directing] Rapunzel and that was my life for a few years, and then coming back around [when it turned into Tangled], John said, "Since you're not doing that, I think you should do the short." So I pulled it back out.
BD: What was the inspiration?
DW: I was thinking economically of what could be simple in the computer. And I was looking at the little clocks up on my mantel at home and just seeing something in them as having a face and little feet and started developing the idea of a little runt of a clock guy and pitched it that way.