the grand budapest hotel animated

Wes Anderson‘s 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel is finally joining the Criterion Collection, and with it come a slew of special features befitting the whimsical caper. One of the most exciting features is a set of storyboard animatics narrated by Anderson, turning The Grand Budapest Hotel into a bonafide animated movie.

Wes Anderson’s whimsical and stylish films are often one step removed from being animated films, albeit with darker undertones. It’s no surprise the auteur has dabbled in animation a couple times — resulting in some of his best movies. But arguably Anderson’s best live-action film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is getting the animated treatment as well. In a Criterion Collection release special feature, the storyboards of The Grand Budapest Hotel get animated in an “animated version” narrated by Anderson himself.

The animatics only make up about 25 minutes of the movie and are split into sequences “Introduction,” “Washer Woman,” “Killing of Kovacs,” “Prison Escape,” “Gabelmeister’s Peak,” and “Hotel Show-Down.” The clip shows the 5-minute opening sequence of the film, almost exactly as it unfolds in the 2014 film. Anderson reads the script to the film, which is set in a once-popular European ski resort and the antics of the staff who worked there at its glamorous heights in the 1930s.

Here is the complete list of special features available on the Criterion Collection release:

  • 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Wes Anderson, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary featuring Anderson, filmmaker Roman Coppola, and actor Jeff Goldblum
  • Selected-scene storyboard animatics
  • The Making of “The Grand Budapest Hotel, a new documentary about the film
  • New interviews with the cast and crew
  • Video essays from 2015 and 2020 by critic Matt Zoller Seitz and film scholar David Bordwell
  • Behind-the-scenes, special-effects, and test footage
  • Trailer
  • Two pieces by critic Richard Brody and (with the Blu-ray) a double-sided poster and other ephemera

The Criterion Collection Blu-ray of The Grand Budapest Hotel is out now.

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