A Couple Animated Beauties From The Brilliant Glen Keane

A Couple Animated Beauties From The Brilliant Glen Keane September 16, 2015

Y’all remember Glen Keane, right?

This Disney legend — “A thirty-eight-year veteran of Walt Disney Feature Animation, most noted for creating and animating such legendary Disney characters as Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Pocahontas, the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and Tarzan, and serving as Supervising Animator and Executive Producer on Tangled” — and creator of/collaborator on last year’s wonderful animated short, Duet, recently drifted across my eVision as a result of the video he created to promote his participation in the upcoming Future of Storytelling summit. In it, “Keane draws life-sized versions of Ariel and Beast in the short with an HTC Vive headset and the 3D painting app called Tilt Brush, which is now owned by Google.” And while it’s certainly interesting, it’s a bit too …uncanny for me. A bit too technical; a bit too distant. Still, it’s cool, and I’m happy to see the marriage of 2D and 3D progressing so swimmingly (and with such luminaries from both camps).

And then I saw this, which showed up on the Paris Opera’s YouTube page yesterday, and it is flat-out amazing. Especially the way it mixes the creative process and the final result. Here’s a brief description. (Now that I see the reference to the ways in which dance has inspired him, the artistic flavors in Duet — and Beauty and The Beast, actually — are starting to make a lot more sense to me.)

The legendary Disney animator Glen Keane, who invented characters such as Ariel, Tarzan, Pocahontas and the Beast, perfectly remembers his first encounter with the Paris Opera: as he was sitting in a nearby café, he could not stop drawing the most beautiful building I had ever laid eyes on.” Dancing has always inspired his art which circles around the creation of movement, and he was excited to lift the curtain and enter a world which seemed even more magical than the performances on stage.

His film Nephtali, which refers to Jacob’s blessings and Psalm 42, was born from the comparison between the grace of a dancer and that of a deer. In a choreography which Glen created with Marion Barbeau, he depicts the journey of a soul that is drawn towards a higher power, fights a struggle and is eventually liberated.

By using both film and drawing, Glen Keane and Marion Barbeau manage to overcome the constraints of gravity and attain the freedom towards which a dancer’s body and spirit always aspire.

Attribution(s): All artwork, publicity images, and stills are the property of Glen Keane and all respective creators and/or distributors.

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