This is completely apropos of nothing, but since I found it quite by chance last night and it made my day, I thought you might like it. Below is a clip of an early animation test that John Lasseter put together for a Disney version of Where The Wild Things Are.
Just think for a moment how amazing that could have been. I couldn't be more delighted that Spike Jonze is directing a live-action version of Maurice Sendak's childrens' classic – and from a script by Dave Eggers to boot – but the idea of one of history's greatest animation directors taking a stab at this wonderful story gets me all covered in geeky goosebumps.
This footage was put together in 1983, several years before even Luxo Jr had been made, but doesn't it look beautiful? It's co-animated by Glen Keane, a superb artist who's worked on classic Disney characters like Aladdin, Tarzan and the Beast in Beauty and The Beast (the transformation sequence in that movie is still, for my money, one of the top ten pieces of animation in movie history). Save a bit of texturing on the CG surfaces, you could easily release this today. I'd certainly watch it. According to a quick search of Wikipedia, the film was never made because Lasseter was fired from Disney shortly after the test following a fall out over The Brave Little Toaster. Which is a sentence I never thought I'd write.
One more geek out and then I swear I'm done: I also love that his has shades of the Toy Story sequence in Sid's house when Woody ran away from Scud.
IanCraig Posted on Tuesday January 29, 2008, 17:09
Interesting to see what is essentially an early version of the animation techniques used by shows like Futurama and Stand Alone Complex today.
matbeard236 Posted on Tuesday January 29, 2008, 19:33
I really can't wait for the Spike Jonze version- but, like you, something inside me yearns for the nostalgic comforts of grainy early Disney. Who knows maybe we'll get a monstors inc. style treatment of this classic one day?
Fingers crossed and thanks for sharing.
Acho Posted on Wednesday January 30, 2008, 13:25
Geek on Olly, geek on! :)
Dirty Hartigan Posted on Friday February 8, 2008, 17:28
Kudos, Olly for also namechecking the underrated Glen Keane - for my money, he's the greatest Western animator of his generation.
Acho Posted on Wednesday March 5, 2008, 10:23
Came across this entry again - seems extra poignant now that there are rumours that the Spike Jonze/Dave Eggers' version might be completely re-written, re-cast and re-shot. How many beautiful versions of Where The Wild Things Are will have almost-but-not-quite come to fruition now??