john-musker and ron clements interview

Directors John Musker and Ron Clements are the directors behind Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, and Disney’s last hand-drawn animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. Over the past 20 years or so they’ve helped create some of the studio’s most iconic scenes.

Their latest is Moana, a large-scale musical they first started thinking about five years ago. Set on an island in Polynesia, the story follows Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) as she leaves her island, travels the Pacific Ocean, and goes on a spiritual journey with the demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson). They encounter all kinds of monsters, danger, and beauty on their adventure.

We recently discussed Moana‘s scope, the realm of monsters, how the story changed, Jemaine Clement, and more with the directors behind Disney’s latest animated picture, which features original tunes from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Opetaia Foa’i, and Mark Mancina.

Below, read our John Musker and Ron Clements interview.

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moana interview

Over the Summer, I got the great opportunity to talk with filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker about their upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios film Moana. Ron & Jon are animation legends, having worked on many great Disney animated movies over the years, including The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet and The Princess and the Frog.

Over the course of our discussion, Ron and Jon talk about how the project developed with Maui originally set to be the main character of the story, how Thor Ragnarok director Taika Waititi brought to the script, developing the musical elements, Lin-Manuel Miranda writing songs for The Rock to sing, how Mad Max: Fury Road helped inspired an action sequence featuring the Kakamora in the film. Hit the jump to read the full Moana interview.
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The Great Mouse Detective By Tom Whalen

To celebrate the release of Disney’s next animated feature film Moana, Cyclops Print Works is teaming up with Gallery Nucleus to present “An Art Tribute to the Disney Films of Ron Clements and John Musker” gallery show.

For those of you who don’t know, Moana filmmakers Ron Clements and John Musker are responsible for some of the best Disney animated films of the 1980’s and 1990’s, including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules, in addition to The Great Mouse Detective, Treasure Planet, and Disney’s last hand-drawn animated feature film Princess and the Frog. The limited-time art show will open on November 19th, 2016 at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, CA, where the artwork will be on display until December 6th, 2016.

The show features some great artists like JC Richard, Tom Whalen, Mark Englert and more! Hit the jump to get a sneak preview of some of the excellent artwork which will be on display and available at the show.

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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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Moana international trailer

In June we shared with you the first trailer for Walt Disney Animation’s next film Moana, which mostly focused on Dwayne Johnson‘s character, demigod Maui. A new international trailer hit the web last night, showing a completely different sequence from early in the film.

Fans in attendance at last year’s D23 Expo will recognize this footage as an early version of it was shown off in Anaheim. The story at the center of this film has yet to suck me in, but this beautiful and poetic sequence has me very interested. Watch the Moana international trailer now, embedded after the jump.

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The Genie (Aladdin)

The internet is bursting with fan theories about popular films, some more plausible than others, and it seems like new ones get added to the pile every day. But it’s not often one actually gets verified by someone who should know. 23 years after Aladdin‘s theatrical release, directors Ron Clement and John Musker have finally confirmed one of the most enduring theories surrounding Robin Williams‘ Genie. Find out what it is after the jump.  Read More »

Moana D23

Walt Disney Animation Studios has the South Pacific set adventure Moana, directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, set for release for the holiday season in 2016.

Some announcements about the forthcoming project at the D23 Expo were just made, including some new details on the story and music, as well new information on the characters Moana and Maui, the latter being a demigod voiced by Dwayne Johnson, who sounds almost like a South Pacific version of Thor.

The first footage from the movie was shown along with some proof of concept clips, and one of the snippets of the movie actually made Dwayne Johnson cry. This sounds like it’s going to be a lovely, touching tale from Disney. Find out what we learned at the Moana D23 panel after the jump!

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walt disney animation studios logo

Disney Animation is on a roll. The legendary home of Mickey Mouse was living under the shadow of Pixar for a few years, but they’ve since come back incredibly strong. Big Hero 6, out next month, is a winner. 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph is really great and, of course 2013’s Frozen is the biggest animated film in history. After that, the only official news we have about what’s coming next is Zootopia, which will be out in early 2016.

Now, Disney has official announced its 56th animated film. The movie is called Moana, and you can read more about it below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

peter_del_vecho

On Friday December 4th, I was lucky enough to spend the whole day at Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank. My mission was to film footage for a /Film Exclusive documentary about the return of hand-drawn animation, focusing on Disney’s superlative new picture, The Princess and the Frog.

During the day I carried out filmed interviews with the film’s directors John Musker and Ron Clements, leading lady Anika Noni Rose, producer Peter del Vecho and a whole host of animation, storyboarding and design talent. I think I pushed deeper than you’d typically see on a behind-the-scenes piece for DVD, for example, and I’m sure I managed to get an awful lot of good footage and interesting discussion, as well as some genuine revelations about the current state of hand-drawn animation and the creative qualities of The Princess and the Frog.

That documentary will be some time coming, however – I’ve got hours and hours of footage to sculpt – but, in the meantime, I’ll be able to show you a few little glimpses of what went down on the day. To start off with, there’s a very brief and essentially unedited clip after the break, one in which Peter del Vecho makes very clear the next few hand-drawn projects from Walt Disney Animation.

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