In March 2012, legendary animator Glen Keane
sent out a letter to his colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios that outlined his resignation
from the House of Mouse, where he'd worked for over 38 years on beloved Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Beast. His departure left many Disney fans wondering what was going to happen to the great master, whom many believe is one of the greatest character animators alive today, and for a while it seemed that his retirement might be permanent.
Last week, however, Keane debuted his first hand-drawn animated short, Duet
, which he produced with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group in San Francisco.
As you might expect, it's an absolutely breathtaking artistic and technical achievement
. And it hasn't even been released in its final interactive mobile format yet.
The short was revealed at Google’s I/O conference
for developers, mostly because it will be installed on select Android devices as the third installment in Google’s innovative Spotlight Stories
campaign. Each Spotlight Story is an interactive film that uses the device’s gyroscope and accelerometer to create interactive narrative experiences, allowing the viewer to “pan” around a virtual set as the movie plays out. (via Motionographer.com
and Cartoon Brew
Reviews have been mostly positive, though a very interesting discussion about the gender norms portrayed is going on over in the comments section
at the Observation Deck on io9.
Need more Glen Keane? Check out these great galleries by Keane fans (and gain access to some of the sublime art his daughter Claire does, too).
The Art of Glen Keane
Glen Keane Gallery