Watch this Google Spotlight short by Disney’s master animator (Wired UK)

Google I/O 2014 – Day 2 – Room 6Google Developers


Veteran Disney character animator Glen Keane has written, drawn
and directed a short lyrical film for Google’s Spotlight Stories

Run as part of Google’s experimental Advanced Technology and
Projects division, Spotlight Stories is a series of short films
that are being used to explore the possibilities of creating
interactive animation for mobile.

Keane was responsible for creating many of Disney’s best-loved
characters including Ariel, and he worked as the supervising
animator on the title characters for Aladdin, Beauty
and and the Beast
and Pocahontas. He showed off
his latest effort, Duet, a gorgeous lyrical short in blue,
at the Google I/O developer conference this week, proving that
there is still a place for this classic style of animation to work
alongside the latest of Google’s mobile technology. To watch the
film, skip ahead in the embedded video to 1 hour 15 minutes.


“When Glen had a chance to experience our first Spotlight Story
Windy Day, we asked him, ‘What could you do with this new
format?’ Glen wanted to draw and animate by hand and we answered
his call by pushing our technology to create a new pipeline and a
studio for traditional animation,” says a post on the Spotlight Stories


There’s no dialogue in the short — just a soulful musical
soundtrack that the simple boy-meets-girl story plays out to. The
animation of everything from the twinkling of the stars to the
hunky hero shoulders, the characters’ faces and the jaunty dog –
which looks more than a little like a certain Lady and the
character you might recognise — are all undeniably
Disney. The flow of the animation across the screen is just as
graceful as the female character’s dancing, with the two
characters’ stories intertwining in and out of shadows and through
a paler spotlight.

Even though it won’t yet be available for Spotlight Player on
Android in full interactive form, you can view the full short in
its non-interactive version as it was shown at Google I/O using this link
— and we really recommend you do.

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