‘Little Mermaid’ Team Discusses Disney Past and Present
Keane agreed: Ive known John since high school and its hard to think of him as my boss. We share an excitement about ideas. Hes empowered the directors. We fly up to Pixar and they have their brain trust and we have our story trust. We have different solutions but you search for the white, hot center [where the problems are]. I recently flew up to talk with Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and some of the other directors seeking advice about directing. We have experimental scenes on RAPUNZEL to prove out story and visual at the same time.
Keane admitted that he considered starting over in 2D with RAPUNZEL after Lasseter took over Disney Feature Animation, but was too committed to 3D to abandon it. After two years of finding that there is something special about hand-drawn pushing CG in a direction that can happen, I realized that this is a necessary drive. I want to make the computer bend its knee, to execute what an artist envisions, to make it respond like a pencil.
There are a lot of ways of making the world inside the castle incredibly imaginative and then exciting when she gets out for the first time. Theres no photoreal hair. I want luscious hair, and we are inventing new ways of doing that. I want to bring the warmth and intuitive feel of hand-drawn to CG.
Its interesting how Renaissances [in animation] start with fairy tales. Theres a lot of drawing in the movie: its organic. Its that sincerity and appeal [thats the driving force], which goes back to the Nine Old Men. It was the sincerity and appeal of Ariel that inspired me to want to draw her in LITTLE MERMAID.
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