March 26, 2012 : The Sweatbox Documentary

The Sweatbox was the nickname of the old room at Disney studios used to screen films throughout their various stages of productions (it apparently had no air conditioning). It is also the name of an unreleased 2002 documentary that went behind the scenes for the making of Kingdom Of The Sun. The film eventually became The Emperor’s New Groove.

Disney has kept the film under wraps, which is legal since they own the rights. However over the last week, a rough cut of the film was leaked online. It has already been posted on YouTube, viewed nearly 100,000 times, and then removed. If you’re interested in checking out the film, I suggest using the Google these kids always talk about.

The film was interesting, although I thought it had too much Sting in it (he was signed on to write music for the original film, and his wife apparently was the filmmaker of the documentary). A movie altering its plot in pre-production is nothing new – nor is changing directors, which was done in this case. What I found extremely interesting was how much time and money was invested into the film prior to writing a finished (or near finished) script that was approved by the higher ups.

I never saw The Emperor’s New Groove so I can’t comment on the final product. However, the documentary showed that there were a lot of people besides the director that disagreed with altering the plot so significantly – including actors, animators, and even the great Sting. They claimed the original story was deeper and more original.

Something tells me that both sides were right. The original film was probably much more interesting and could have been great, but the story had flaws; and the fact that these flaws weren’t exposed much earlier in the process was a huge oversight by the creative team. I’d like to think that this is one of the main reasons why Disney has not wanted to release The Sweatbox because Disney’s collaborative process failed. Still at the end of the film, the producers did acknowledge their mistakes; and while it may not be your traditional Disney ending, it’s at least a mildly happy outcome.

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:50 pm


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June 14, 2011 : Andreas Deja Reflects On Disney’s Nine Old Men

Disney animation veteran Andreas Deja has entered the world of blogs. Deja has worked at Disney for over 30 years and possesses a great deal of knowledge and skill. Even cooler, he also has had countless encounters with Disney’s Nine Old Men.

The blog, which is just over a week old, is filled with stories about these various legends of animation. He shares many lessons learned from them along with drawings they did over the years. He has even included pencil tests of theirs. Truly amazing work.

posted by Pi Visuals at 9:57 pm

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December 3, 2008 : Raskolnikov Filibuster Deoxymonohydroxinate

Yeah, it’s been too long since my last post.  Between the holidays and things being generally hectic, it hasn’t left very much time to post anything new.  However, there have been a few cool things worth sharing.

Soak it all in because now I’m spent.  Later.

posted by Pi Visuals at 2:28 pm

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