When it comes to animated musicals, Disney has always been a household name. Their films are always on top of our lists when it comes to that category, with very few contenders.
This year, Netflix might just be diving deeper into these parts of the film industry with the new animated musical Over The Moon, directed by the Oscar-winning Disney Legend, Glen Keane.
Keane has worked as a character designer and supervising animator in Disney films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Tarzan, Aladdin, Pocahontas, and Tangled. His contributions to the field of animation earned him a Disney Legends Award in 2013 while in 2018, his short film Dear Basketball— an animated telling of Kobe Bryant’s poem– won an Oscar Award.
Over The Moon tells of an adventure filled with colorful characters (both literally and figuratively), awe-inspiring musical numbers, and of course, themes that would tug at your heartstrings. It follows Fei Fei, a young bright girl who builds a rocket to the moon to meet the Moon Goddess Chang’e, and prove to her father that her late mother’s favorite tale about true love that transcends death has always been true.
In a virtual roundtable interview with the Philippine press, Glen Keane answered some of our inquiries regarding Over The Moon, which is also the first full-length feature film he will be directing.
Directing his first full-length animated film.
Glen Keane has been the captain of the production of short films such as Dear Basketball, Duet, and Nephtali. Now that he has directed his first full-length animated film, the Disney Legend quoted Picasso on how he dealt with the experience: “I am always doing that which I don’t know what to do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”
Glen Keane, despite being a well-known veteran in the industry, shared that “creatively, you always have to feel like you are out there to learn. You are open, so you surround yourself with people who you can learn from.”
Making it different from Disney.
The director also used the reverse mentoring process for a fresh perspective. While drawing different designs for Over The Moon‘s characters, Keane said that it felt “very Disney” and he knew it had to be different somehow.
Likening it to music that you can’t get out of your head, Keane sought the help of people who could “play another melody” for him. Through Facebook, he found a fanart of Ariel from artist Brittany Myers. The art style captivated him and they hired her.
“Brittany came on and I was trying to draw like her, and I worked with another guy– Jin Kim, who I’d worked with at Disney, and together we had this wonderful little team that I learned and grew from.” Glen Keane said.