In animation more than any other medium, there is a very special link between the film and its director. They are really involved in each and every step of the process and very often, they have experience in the different fields of the production, be it in animation or in the creation of the story.
Meet Steve Anderson. He completed his first animated feature as a director last year, the futuristic time-traveling adventure Meet the Robinsons. Cal Arts alumnus, former Disney storyboard artist and then story supervisor, he knew about all the steps of the production of an animated feature. But most of all, he fosters a unique and very personal connection to his main character, Lewis. The making of the film turned out to be a great technical, but also human, adventure of its own and he kindly accepted an invitation to share that journey with us recently, as the DVD of his film was released.
“Keep moving forward!”
Animated Views: How did you come to Disney animation?
Steve Anderson: I’ve always been interested in animation, in drawing, filmmaking and screenwriting, as I was growing up. So I was very excited when I heard about the California Institute of the Arts, which is a school out here in California that is a kind of a premiere place to go and learn animation. It’s really the top place to go in the country to learn that stuff. So I came out and I went to Cal Arts for up to three years. I worked a little bit off and on during my third year, then I left Cal Arts and I worked at a studio called Hyperion Animation where I did various things: animating, storyboarding and directing some television animation. Then I came to Disney in 1995 to work on Tarzan at the story department. Story was really the thing that I was becoming really passionate about and I felt that the Disney story department was really the place to go to learn the craft of storytelling, the craft about staging, about all the theories of storytelling as well as the practical artistic side of storytelling. I was very fortunate and lucky to get there. So I was a story artist on Tarzan and then head of story on The Emperor’s New Groove, also head of story on Brother Bear. Then I got to be on the Robinsons project.
AV: Can you tell me about the scenes you did on Tarzan?
SA: I did a key sequence at the beginning of the first act, where Tarzan puts some mud on his face when he’s in a very low point. He feels he doesn’t belong, and his mother tries to comfort him telling him it doesn’t matter what is on the outside, it’s what is in the inside that counts, and that his family is inside of him.
That’s one of these moments I worked on and I storyboarded that moment. I did a lot with the humans in act two, mainly on Jane Porter and Clayton. Specifically one of the biggest moments is when Jane has just seen Tarzan for the first time and she’s drawing his likeness on the chalkboard telling her father about this man that she met. And then Tarzan comes in and the other two humans meet Tarzan for the first time. These are the two moments that stick out to me. I’ve done this movie for about three years so I ended up working all over the place on it but those became two key moments for me that I got to work on.
AV: Did you happen to work on the first version of The Emperor’s New Groove that was originally Kingdom in the Sun?
SA: Well, it’s funny because I came on Kingdom in the Sun they were working on the big screening. I had just gone off on Tarzan and was asked to go help them to do some storyboard. That was the screening when Kingdom in the Sun went off the drain and was re-imagined as Emperor’s New Groove. So I worked on the first one for about maybe three weeks, and then I ended up on The Emperor’s New Groove as a story supervisor.
AV: Again, on Brother Bear, the creation of the story began in some other directions. How did you deal with that?
SA: The situation on Brother Bear was unlike the other two films, Tarzan and The Emperor’s New Groove. I had come on those two films really early, from pretty much the beginning, helping to shape the story with the team and the directors.
On Brother Bear, I think they had been working for about two years already on the story when I got onto the movie. On a total of four years, I was on for about two and they had been on it for about a year and a half – two years already when I started. So I kind of came in the middle of it and the crew already knew each other, they had a dynamic. So when I came in, I had to learn and understand very quickly the personalities who were there, and the structure and the dynamic that were in the room. Then, I got involved with the story and tried to figure out with the director what the movie really was about. What I did the most was to ask them a lot of questions. I asked the directors constantly what the movie was about, what were the themes of the film, who they though this character was. I think there were some questions they hadn’t answered up at that point, or hadn’t been asked yet, and I wanted to try to just bring that out. The story supervisor’s role is not to come in and direct the story. The director is the director of the story. The story supervisor’s role is to come in and help the director bring that story to the screen and work with both the directors and the producers as well as the story team to make that happen. That kind of was how I saw my role on that film.
AV: At Cal Arts, you attended the Character Animation Program, right?
SA: Yes, from ’88 to ’91, I believe.
AV: So this kind of training must have been instrumental in your approach to story, I guess.
SA: Absolutely. Character is the primary tool that we as storytellers have to connect with an audience. That’s what’s gonna bring them into your story. That won’t be the scope of the film or the visual effects or the art direction – although they have to be great and serve the story. It’s all about characters. If the characters aren’t clear, if the personalities aren’t relatable, or their acting is not clear – especially in animation where you have to be aware of the performance because, unlike live actors, you’re creating these characters from nothing – so, if those characters aren’t rich and emotional and entertaining, you’re not gonna have an audience, none will listen to you story. So, that is absolutely, first and foremost, 150% the primary skill that anyone who wants to do some animation and story as an animator needs to understand.
AV: How did you become aware of the Meet the Robinsons project?
SA: I was just finishing up Brother Bear and I had expressed interest to the studio, probably prior to getting on to the Brother Bear project, that I was interested in directing someday. So they were aware that I was interested in doing that, and they had this script that, at the time, was called A Day With Wilbur Robinson that they developed while I was working on Brother Bear. I wasn’t part of the script development process. There were two development executives and a writer that were working on this script. Toward the end of 2002, they came to me and said: “we know you’re finishing up on Brother Bear, we have this script that we really like. Would you read it and tell us if there’s something interesting in developing and ultimately directing someday if the movie gets made.” Absolutely, I was going to do that because that was a chance, a great opportunity for me!
When I read it, I was really stroked by the incredible coincidence that the script was about an orphan boy who’s trying to get adopted and who’s asking questions about his past and his birth mother. Where do I come from? Who is my birth mother? Why did she give me up? Those kinds of questions. I was adopted as an infant, so, while our situations were different since I wasn’t raised in an orphanage like Lewis, I knew exactly what was going on in that boy’s head. I understood his questioning of the past and about where you come from. I understood those questions and immediately felt that I knew how to tell this story. I understood this boy, I knew his thoughts and feelings. I could do that film. So, I immediately said: “yes, I wanna do this.” One way or the other, I couldn’t put my mind out of this script. This was mine. It immediately sparked passionately.
AV: The first intention, as the book was going through its adaptation, was to do a live-action film.
SA: Yes, the original children books came out, I believe in ’91, and I had always heard that the studio bought the rights around that time and was developing a live-action project for the first couple of years of its life. For whatever reason I’m not sure of, it never took off, they never got to shooting it in live-action. They ended up doing it over in animation. And I do remember seeing several outlines of A Day With Wilbur Robinson here, used prior to getting that script. So it was in animation for many years, off the shelf and on the shelf again, and back off the shelf. I guess they weren’t able to crack a story from the development team. But this particular script added the time travel and the orphan element, those things that really bring the story to life and give it something unique. And that’s really what I was responding to.
AV: At our time when anything is possible in live-action, what potential did you see in that script that suggested it needed to be done in animation?
SA: Certainly when you look at William Joyce’s book and his illustrations, you see this family, the Robinsons, you see these characters that are larger than life, their huge personality. You see uncle Art, dressed like a space man coming out of this giant flying saucer, you’ve got Uncle Gaston shooting meatballs at dinner across the table and you’ve got a giant octopus that answers the door when you ring the doorbell. These really larger than life ideas that Bill Joyce put into his books, characters, really, with all their pushed quality. They’re extreme, they’re eccentric and to me that was the perfect kind of material for animation. Those are the kind of characters that you want to create in animation. In live-action, they would be just people in costumes.
AV: You made your debut as a director on Meet the Robinsons. What did you learn from this experience from a technical point of view?
SA: The biggest challenge on a technical level in making the film for me was bringing human characters to life. We were always asking ourselves in terms of animation, in terms of the look of the characters, skin textures, hair, all that kind of things. We kept asking ourselves: what is the balance? If we go too cartoony with the characters, if we design them in a very, very stylized way, we’ll loose our believability and we’ll loose our ability to bring real emotion out of these characters, and they won’t feel as humans any more. But we could also go to far the other way: if we made them very, very realistic, we would run the same risk. We knew that if they were too real, sometimes you can go so real that something is unreal after a while and they can look very robotic, puppet-like, mannequin-like, but not like real flesh-and-blood people. And you also loose the ability to bring out that emotion in the characters again. So we just really wanted to walk the balance between those two, between cartoony and realistic and find the right balance. You still have a really clear shape language, a caricature to them, non-realism; but at the same time, the skin texture feels real, you feel the muscles and the bones in their design, the hair texture feels like real hair, not there to ground you in reality because the shape language that we used to design the characters keeps it away from being a literal reality. So, to me, from a technical standpoint, that was a big challenge for us in making the movie.
AV: And what did you learn from the human point of view through that experience?
SA: Personally, the challenge for me in making the film was actually learning the same theme that Lewis learns in the movie about “Keep moving forward”. By nature, I’m an over-planner. Before I make a decision, I would tend to plan, and plan, and plan, make a schedule and over-plan any decision before I actually make the leap. On this movie, I didn’t have that luxury. We were pressed for time constantly. There were so many times when we just had to make a leap, to just do something. I didn’t have the time to sit around and mole over and weight the possibilities. I had to just put something out there. To me, it was really a process of getting over that fear of failure. Like the movie talks about, my over-planning was a product of not wanting to make the wrong decision and ultimately fail. I wanted to try to make sure that if I planned everything out at the beginning, there is no way to stumble. But that’s impossible. There is no way you can avoid failure. You just have to embrace that. You have to say “that’s gonna happen” and there is nothing you can do to control it. So I’m just gonna dive off this cliff. The great news is that I have an incredible crew of filmmakers around me that’s gonna catch me if I happen to hit the pavement. So I really learned to let go of that and learn to create and throw up ideas in the moment, and not be so concerned with “ is it the right thing to do?”, “is it the wrong thing to do?”, all those initial feelings that stop you from moving forward.
AV: You mentioned the difficulties in animating human characters in computer animation. Were you inspired in some way by the experiments of others studios – like Pixar’s The Incredibles – in that matter?
SA: Yes. Before The Incredibles came out, I was personally unsure if we’re gonna be successful at doing this because up until then, the humans that I had seen in computer animation hit the extremes we were talking about: really cartoony or really realistic. Nothing, to me, struck the right balance that you need in order to tell a feature-length story like we were trying to tell. So I was kind of skeptical that it was possible on a computer. I felt like maybe we were trying to do something that was only possible in hand-drawn animation, maybe that level of caricature that we’re looking for was only possible in that. The Incredibles, then made myself and our whole crew believe that was possible. There are humans that are believable, have weight, have muscle mass, bones, skeleton structure, you really feel that they’re human, there’s anatomy to them but there is a style to them as well. The shape language is pushed, there is a real, clear, definite sense of caricature to those characters. It was a huge inspiration to us and really helped us say “yes, we can achieve this”.
AV: How did you build you animation crew?
SA: That was pretty easy because we have got just fantastically talented animators and supervising animators as well. Some of them have supervised on Chicken Little. They have already been in that situation and they have leadership skills as well as animation skills to do this. It seemed right. We were so fortunate to have the kind of animation team we have at Disney. It was fun with Nick Ranieri, for instance. What was interesting with Nick is that, if he would have gotten to choose a character from Meet the Robinsons to do, he would not have chosen Lewis, he would have chosen Bowler Hat Guy who is much more in line with the characters he has done before, Hades or Kuzco in Emperor’s New Groove. He tends to do the villains or the more cynical, comedic kind of characters and we though it would be interesting to cast against that with Nick and have him do a character that is very grounded, with a more emotional core and see what happens with that. To let Nick explore different sides of him as an animator. And I could not be happier with what Nick did. He amazed me every day with his leadership on the rest of the crew and with his own animation, what he did with the character, what he took it over. He really understood balance; he really understood that his character was the very Disney emotional core the movie. So he did not go too far in terms of being cartoony or in terms of the type of behavior that Lewis exhibits on screen. The Bowler Hat Guy or the Robinsons are the ones that have to be extreme characters. He never tried to make Lewis a showier character than he should be.
AV: For some of the animators, it was their introduction to animating with the computer. How did you deal with that?
SA: It was certainly a learning experience for a lot of people who were very skilled in the hand-drawn world and had never worked on this type of film before. But it was an interesting mix of people because we also had people that were very skilled in the computer animation world but more in the visual effects side of things, not really in the character animation way. So we kind of had them learn the notion of personality animation. They had never really done that in animating creatures or dinosaurs or things like that. They understood animation but it was the personality, the acting that we needed to work on. So we had a lot of different backgrounds and people with different experiences in our team. It was an interesting combination of all that. We brought all those people together and just talked about that. We looked at examples of any animation, both hand-drawn and computer animation, we talked about and looked at animation drawings of the classic films, a lot of Chuck Jones drawings from Looney Tunes, saying “that type of animation would fit with that character or this one”, etc. We just did a lot of stuff together as a group and everybody believed in the project so much and wanted to bring these characters to life. There was some passion about doing that. They just rallied together and did it, you know. It was an amazing experience to get to work with the crew. They’re a fantastic group of actors.
AV: Can you tell me about the role of William Joyce within the process?
SA: I have to say that we had a fantastic time working with Bill. He was the opposite of what I was expecting. I was intimidated the first time I was gonna meet him because I thought “Ok, Don, myself and the story team have created a story and really fleshed it out from the first script in storyboard format without any input from Bill Joyce.
We took his book completely apart from him and we created our own story for those characters with no involvement from him at all. Now he’s gonna see this movie and see what we did with his characters and the world that he had created. I don’t know this man and clearly he’s a giant in the world of children’s books, extremely successful, so many people have read them, an incredible illustrator. What’s gonna happen? This can be a meltdown, he can blow up, he can hate us”. I had no idea. And what was great about him is that when we met, he was very kind, very gentle. We talked for about an hour or so before he actually saw the first version of the movie, just talked about stuff, really got on, extremely well. He saw the movie and we had dinner with him later that night and he said “well, I love what you did with the movie”.
We talked about all the things he liked, we talked about ways we could make it better, threw up different ideas. He had an idea once about a movie version of A Day With Wilbur Robinson that had these ideas and maybe there was a place for that. He became a really great collaborator with us. From the story standpoint, he would come to the screenings every now and then and gave us notes and input. And from the design standpoint, we did a lot of sharing of artwork. Our designer would do some drawings and we would email to him. He would draw over those drawings and email them back, and vice versa. He would do drawings for us, we would do our path out of that and email them back asking “what do you think?”… That was a great collaboration. He was really there to make the movie the best it could be. He loves the source material. He’s very proud of this particular book and just wanted to make the movie great. Collaboration, I’m saying that word again, that’s really what he was: a great collaborator.
AV: How did you approach the songs in your film?
SA: Very early on, I wanted to be music and songs in the film but we knew that wouldn’t be a traditional musical with characters just breaking out with a song. I kind of isolated some spots in my mind pretty early on where I could potentially have some songs. We had those moments there and then it was about finding the right people.
The thing that I’m really proud of in terms of the songs of this movie is how the artists that we got are different from what you usually hear in a Disney movie. A really unique sound. Rufus Wrainwright is just a genius. What he created musically is unlike anything you’ve ever heard. He has such a unique voice to him and such an emotion to his work. He gives so much emotion in what he does that is was perfect for Lewis. I thought: “who can be the musical voice of Lewis?” and it seemed like Rufus was the perfect fit. Rob Thomas, also, is somebody who writes with so much heart, so much feeling. That did so great in the movie between Rufus and Rob. And Jamie Cullum was just a great discovery. I love that guy, I love his music, I love what he does. He was perfect for Frankie, the singing frog. We had a lot of possibilities, we talked about artists for long periods of time and we just got lucky with these people. It’s funny how, sometimes, you expect things really hard in the making of a movie. There are a lot of things that are really hard, but there are moments when things just kind of happen, find their place and the perfect pieces of the puzzle just come together. That kind of happened with music.
AV: How did you choose all these artists?
SA: It was definitely a collaboration with the music department at Disney. Chris Montan, our music executive and Tom McDougall, our feature animation music executive, worked great in just drawing out different people. They would came to us to submit different artists, playing samples of music and kind of opening our mind to different people. It was a great collaboration with them, myself and our producer, Dorothy McKim. We may not have found a lot of these people on our own if we were just myself and Dorothy looking around. It was great to have people like Chris and Tom who have such a knowledge of what’s out there, a really great, global knowledge of the music scene and then helped open our minds to different possibility, to think about artists that we wouldn’t have think of for an animated movie.
AV: The score is also unique for a Disney film.
SA: I feel so lucky I have come to work with Danny Elfman. I’m been a huge fan forever. He’s such a unique talent as well, with a unique voice of his own. I guess that’s the thing that’s really cool with all the music of all the artists that we have musically: they all have a very distinct voice and I thing it’s great to be able to bring those voices together. It’s not a Disney voice: it’s a very unique musical voice that fits each moment of the movie in its own way, as opposed to an homogenized, generalized musical voice.
AV: All these musical talents seem very much like the Robinsons: all different but all connected.
SA: Yes, that’s a great way of putting things. Absolutely. It’s a combination of unique voices. You bring those things together and you create an harmony out of that. It’s not just different people talking at the same time and making some noise. It’s really harmony, creating a new identity as a group. I’m really proud of the music of Meet the Robinsons. It’s one of the things that I’m the most excited about in the movie.
AV: At the end of the film, we hear a song by Rufus Wrainwright that doesn’t appear in the core of the movie, The Motion Waltz. Can you tell us about it?
AV: It was originally written to be in the movie. Yet, as beautiful as the song was, it tended to kind of stop the momentum of the story. Unfortunately, because I really loved the song. I always wanted to find a place for it, but sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the great thing about animation: you have that ability test these ideas when the film is just a storyboard. You can reshuffle, move stuff around. Unfortunately, that one didn’t work but I was thrilled that we could at least put it in the end credits of the film, so that audiences can hear it.
AV: An important topic of the movie is the child/adult relationship. The Robinsons are both adults as well as in touch with their inner child. Can you tell me about that aspect of your film?
SA: That was something that we really consciously talked about a lot and I used the term “childlike” to describe these characters a lot when I worked with the animators and with the actors to try to get them a sense of what to go for. They are big kids, they are adults who have not lost the wonder and the freedom of childhood. I would often tell them a story about my son. At the time when we were making the movie, he was five or six. And it was amazing to me: we were sitting on a coach watching television or something. He would get up and walk upstairs, be gone for ten minutes or so, and come back down, dressed head to toe in a cowboy costume. He was a cowboy now. You couldn’t call him Jake. You could only call him Tex or whatever he said: “I’m not Jake, I’m Cowboy Tom or something”. That’s how you had to address him and he was completely in character and he stayed that way until he would then disappear again for another ten minutes and come back down and say: “Hey, I’m Jake again!” There’s no way an adult would do that. An adult would feel self-conscious to do that. An adult would find that silly. That kind of freedom is something only a child has. Just like the Robinson family.
The Robinsons do those very extreme things: they wear their clothes on backwards, they have meatball fights on dinner, they deliver pizza throughout the galaxy, have life-size small trains running through the house. I don’t think regular adults would live that way, but childlike adults would, people who have that kind of freedom to say: “whatever makes you happy, do that. There is no reason why you can’t. There is no right or wrong. Just because the society might say it’s not normal, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it because who cares what’s normal?”. You find that kind of freedom in childhood and unfortunately, most of the time, we loose that as we get older, as we grow up.
I love the fact that the Robinsons have never lost that, and I think it just makes them charming and lovable. We show their human side as well: they’re very caring, they’re very loving, they’re very accepting. Their relation to Lewis can even be poignant. To me, that’s something very entertaining to watch for both a child’s point of view and an adult’s point of view. Children watching adults being silly, that’s fun! And for adults, watching adults being silly, that’s fun, too. Because they can say: “I wish I could be that silly! Maybe I could start being that silly now, because I’ve seen Meet the Robinsons!” The kids in the film, Lewis and Wilbur, are more adult and the adults in the film are more like kids. Lewis and Wilbur are the ones who have meetings for conversations, that take the responsibility for things, and that have a groundedness to them, particularly Lewis, more than the adults, that are much more like kids and its goes kind of fun that we have that changed positions in the movie.
AV: Therefore, Goob can’t become a true adult because he didn’t have any happy childhood.
SA: Yes. You can feel, as a kid, the world on his shoulders. As a child, he seems to take everything very seriously. I mean he has fun playing baseball, there is a lighter side to him, but he’s a very quiet kid, a very focused, sensitive kid. He’s just backwards, I guess. He’s more adult as a kid and more a kid as an adult.
AV: Can you tell me about the voice of the Bowler Hat Guy that you did?
SA: It was funny how it came about. We do temporary voices for the characters very early on when we’re creating this movie on storyboards. We use ourselves, the studio, to do those temporary voices. And there are times when those voices have been around so long enough that they tend to stick to those characters and they’re defining those characters more so then than a cast that would be done later.
That kind of happened with me and Bowler Hat Guy. I had done the temporary voice for him very early and everybody just associated that voice with the character and they couldn’t hear anybody else in that role. And that happened with Don Hall doing the voice of Uncle Gaston and Coach, and with several other voices in the film that were done by crew member. That kind of makes the balance between our “in-house actors” and our amazing professional actors like Harland Williams (Carl), Angela Bassett (Mildred) and Nicole Sullivan (Franny). They are great actors who helped bring all those characters to life. It’s an interesting balance to me and it’s kind of fun to have that.
AV: You said that you felt strongly connected with this movie, being yourself an orphan, just like Lewis. In what way did the film help you move forward regarding that aspect of your personal story?
SA: I believe it solidified my belief in that theme. The theme was expanded by thinking about my own experiences as an adopted child. My parents were open about my being adopted as far as I remember. As a kid, I was determinate to seek out my birth parents when I got older. As an adult, I don’t think about that much any more. Sometimes, I forget that it’s even an issue, that it’s even part of my life, I forget I’ve been adopted because I was adopted into a loving, supporting, nurturing family that is my family. But there is always that question in my mind: should I do it? The curiosity is always there. I still have that desire to know who the people who created me are and threw me into the world, and I have always been reluctant to do that.
I think doing this movie has truly confirmed that not taking that course up until now has been the right thing to do and it makes me doubt even more that I’ll ever take that path to find my birth parents because I just don’t really need that. The future is what’s important, where I am today, my own family, my family I was adopted into: those are part of me, that’s who I am and that’s what matters. Not these other people whom I don’t know and weren’t part of my life. I need to keep living for today, for the people that I love today, where I want to go and what I want to continue to do in my life. Stepping backwards is not gonna change who I am, and where I’m going to. I think working on this movie and telling that story with that theme really did solidify in me that the right decision to make is to keep moving forward.
AV: That’s what makes the scene when Lewis decides not to talk to his mother even more poignant.
SA: It’s something that I have imagined throughout my whole life. What would I do in that moment, if I were either face to face with my birth mother or in the same kind of situation as Lewis? It’s a really powerful moment for me. Again, I’ve imagined that kind of moment for so long…imagined what my birth mother looked like, what she would be like, what she would say to me in that kind of moment. It was really something very emotional to create that moment, to put that up on screen. I think it’s also not really a moment that you would expect in an animated movie because of the emotion, because it’s a real moment. A lot of stories use an orphan that is being adopted as a part of it, but they don’t always go so far as to play that moment of recollection, or of almost recollection.
It was also very emotional for me, too, at the premiere in Los Angeles back in March because not only were my son and my wife with me there, but my family from the East Coast, from Pennsylvania, flew out to go to the premiere. My aunt and uncles and cousins and my mom and dad were there. I was sitting right next to my mom and while that scene was playing out, I could hear her crying. That was very hard for me to watch that. I lost it in that moment as well and for a few weeks after that, I couldn’t really watch that moment or listen to that piece of score without getting extremely emotional. Watching that scene next to my adopted mother was quite a powerful moment to me.
AV: Now that the production is fully completed, how do you see the future?
SA: I have a few ideas that I’m working up that I’ll pitch to John Lasseter. We’ll see what happens. It’s pretty early in the development phase but I look forward to pitching to John. My two big dreams as a kid were to work at Disney animation and to direct movies and I got to do both in the same project. So it’s a dream come true for me to have been able to make Meet the Robinsons such a personal film also in order to have something that I can connect to personally. I loved everything in that process. I loved the struggles, I loved the victories, I loved the crew, actors, musicians, animators, writers, storyboard artists, everybody that I work with at Walt Disney Animation Studios, and I can’t wait to do it again. I think it’s what I’m here to do.
AV: And thank you for doing it so well!
SA: Thank you! I’m really happy to hear that you liked the movie. You put all your time and efforts in this movie and people come up to you afterwards and say: “Boy, I enjoyed that movie. That touched me or it made me laugh.” That why we do it: to communicate with the audience, to connect with them.
With very special thanks to Stephen Anderson and Travis Beckner at Walt Disney Animation Studios.
This article was originally published in French at Media Magic. It is reprinted here by exclusive arrangement and with express permission from its author, Jérémie Noyer. English version ©Animated News & Views.