heihei Moana

Four months before animation work on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ latest film Moana was set to conclude, Disney Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter sat down to decide the fate of one of the movie’s characters. The character had been in the story since day one, and had survived the many iterations of the story, but the consensus was that he was not working and needed to be removed from the movie.

After slaving away on the film for the past five years, directors Ron Clements and John Musker were not ready to let go of their beloved rooster. Heihei (pronounced hay-hay) was on the chopping block, and by a stroke of luck, the Moana story team had 48 hours to “save the rooster.”

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2016 fall movie preview moana

On July 27th, I visited Walt Disney Animation Studios Tujunga Campus to get a sneak preview of the company’s next film Moana. While the movie won’t hit theaters until Thanksgiving weekend this year, the studio was in the closing stretches of the movie with only a couple more weeks of animation on the schedule. This week we’ll be bringing you a bunch of coverage from my visit. Today we take a look at how Disney formed the “Oceanic Story Trust” to ensure that the film would respect the people and heritage of the South Pacific.

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