Man, is animation a complicated business! Listening to Mike Greenholt and Ryan Green explain the process of animating TinkerBell and the Legend of the Neverbeast and specifically creating the movements of Gruff, was amazing and confusing. HA!
One thing that is very interesting that I have been learning on these Disney trips where we get to learn more about the behind-the-scenes is that it takes a TON of people to make a movie, especially an animated movie because 1 person usually only works on 1 aspect of it. So Ryan Green the story artist mostly focused on the moments between Fawn and the Neverbeast. When you think about those moments in the big picture of the whole movie, that is just a tiny chunk of movie.
The animators studied animals at the LA Zoo so that they could accurately depict movements. They also studied their own pets to see how they react, to see how an animal smiles and communicates. They put those controls into Gruff’s face, his eye brows and nose.
The whole process took them 3 1/2 years. There were some overlaps with different departments but as a whole it was 3 1/2 years.
An interesting this Ryan said is that they could reuse some of the fairies. He said TinkerBell is TinkerBell. He said it was like “hiring back an old actress”. They did tweak Fawn to give her more facial expressions since she is the main character and then there were completely new fairies you haven’t met before.
I feel like TinkerBell and the Legend of the Neverbeast is a unique movie, very different from the rest. It comes to a store near you on March 3! Stay tuned for more TinkerBell and the Legend of the Neverbeast interviews and behind the scenes and check out the rest of my #McFarlandUSAEvent adventures.