Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Here on New Year's eve, the Mouse has an announcement.

... Chris Williams has joined Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6 as director, alongside helmer Don Hall. Additionally, Roy Conli has boarded the project as producer.

Williams co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Disney Animation’s 2008 release Bolt, for which he received an Oscar nomination for best animated feature. His writing credits (story) include Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, and Brother Bear for Disney. He also lent his voice to the character Oaken in Disney's current hit Frozen. ...

The new normal on animated features seems to be two directors. Not always true, of course. Jennifer Yuh Nelson directed the second installment of Kung Fu Panda all by her lonesome, but increasingly there are multiple helmers on cartoons.

There is no optimum number, I don't think. There's a lot of moving parts in animated movies, and the pictures have been divvied up by sequences since the days of Snow White (which had six sequence directors.) Twenty-four years after Ms. White, 101 Dalmations was put out by three directors.

So you tell me. How many directors should a 90-minute cartoon have?


Ryan said...

I know Disney Feature Animation during the 90s and early 00s seemed to favor two directors. Pixar sometimes ended up with three. What this means, I don't know.

It's funny, I was just thinking the other day, "I wonder when Chris Williams is going to direct another movie." And now I got my answer.

Grant said...

This late in production (it's due to be out in less than a year)? And a new director and producer? Sounds like the rumors of this film being in big trouble are true. Here's hoping they can fix it.

Jeremy Darensbourg said...

Didn't Jennifer Lee join Frozen as a co-director in late November 2012, yet Big Hero 6 is in trouble? Heck, Rapunzel was renamed Tangled less than 9 months before its release, But Big Hero 6 is in trouble?

David said...

Almost every animated film is "in trouble" 9 months before release. They may have coasted along for 3 or 4 comfy years of development with some actual production getting started near the end of that 3 -4 year period, but around the time it dawns on everyone that they are only a year out from release the panic begins --- "holy crap , how are we ever going to get this thing done ? And the first act is still not working !!!" --- and at 9 months out they are in full fledged PANIC mode. But somehow the movie always gets finished. This has happened more often than not , so nothing new here.

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