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'Moonrise Kingdom' Animated Short Released

Wes Anderson has released an animated short that delves deeper into his latest film, “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Wes Anderson has released an animated short that delves deeper into his latest film, the incredibly charming Moonrise Kingdom.

When the film’s young lovers, Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman), run away together into the woods of the fictional New Penzance Island, their journey is made even more difficult by Suzy’s insistence on bringing along a suitcase filled with stolen storybooks.

Entertainment Weekly reports that for the film Anderson originally wanted the stories in the books to come alive. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” the filmmaker told EW. While that didn’t come to pass, the director couldn’t let go of the idea, and decided to craft an animated short as a special treat for lovers of the film.

To pull off the animated shorts in just six scant weeks, Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox producer Jeremy Dawson worked to pair each of the cover jacket artists with professional animators. "We got the artist to do key drawings, and then someone else had to take those key drawings and animate them," he says. "One of these guys I believe was in Sweden, one in Paris, and one in L.A. They were all over the world and we did it all by Internet. For instance, the one with the hydrogoblin, The Girl From Jupiter -- that artist does his work in oil painting, so someone had to kind of emulate that oil painting look in the animation."

After the cover jacket artists turned in their key illustrations, the animators finished their work in only two weeks. "I think we all just pitched in and we pulled a lot of favors because it was not like we spent a ton of money doing it," Dawson says. "People got excited about it because it was a creative thing rather than if they were making a Snickers ad or something."

Moonrise Kingdom is in limited release in U.S. theaters now and will continue expanding throughout June.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.