Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Q&A with The Pirate Fairy animation team ...Meet the newest fairy Zarina! #Piratefairybloggers

****Disney provided  an all-expense paid trip for me to cover this great event
Pictures provided by Disney. All opinions are 100% mine. **** 

Did you ever wonder what goes into the designing and making of a Disney animated film? On a recent trip I was given a behind the scenes look of how the newest fairy adventure, Disney’s The Pirate Fairy was made. We were able to chat with a few of the key animators on behalf of The Pirate Fairy. The talented folks we were very fortunate to sit down and talk to were:  

Raymond Shenusay – Head of Story “The Pirate Fairy”
Ritsuko Notani – Character Designer “The Pirate Fairy”
Yuriko Senoo – Animation Supervisor “The Pirate Fairy”

So what goes into making a great animated film? Well we shall start with the Head of Story, which according to Ray Shenusay, “I work as head of story on the pirate fairy movie and what that means is I basically I'm a story artist I'm an artist myself and I lead the team of story artists as we put together the story reel and the way we create these things is we basically build a rough movie first out of thousands and thousands of drawings like this, they don't necessarily look exactly the movie does but the idea is to get the acting moments and the performance and we work rough so we can do a lot of different versions we do all these drawings and they're sent to editorial 
and there is voices and music and sound effects are added and we have a screening, we have a full length rough movie.
We have a screening first for John Lassiter and other people who are making decisions about it and we get a lot of notes even a good screening you get tons and tons of notes about what's working what's not working what could be funnier of more dramatic or more emotional and then we go back and we do some there is rewriting done and there is re-boarding done we take it all apart and put it back together and do another screening, we do a number of these screenings before the movie gets put into production and then as pieces of it as people feel confident as hey this is working pretty well that then we take those pieces and we send them off into production to be animated.”
One of the challenges in this movie according to Ray was creating “ Zarina as a character she was a real challenge because she's a character who has to make some mistakes and she has to have a real range of you know performances she becomes a hardened pirate at some point and so the challenge was to really make her believable because you know there is a trial and error process of doing the story reels allows you to okay maybe well now we made her a little too kind of sweet in the beginning and no one believes she could ever be a pirate or then this time we made her a little bit too hard in the beginning and we really don't care about her, like we don't really care what happens to her later in the movie so doing all these versions one of the things it allows you to make all these little adjustments along the way and hopefully create a character that serves the needs of the story.”
According to fabulous character designer Ritsuko Notani  “Zarina, she has two sides, one is a dust keeper fairy another one is pirate fairy. This is an early version of Zarina, she is shorter than Tink, she has a rounded shape, John Lassiter said “she looks too sweet.” This is the final design of Zarina as the dust keeper, her facial shape in angular and sharp. She has an athletic figure and is a little bit taller than the other fairies. Her hair is different, looking unkempt and tangled because she is mischievous We can see her personality. The first time we see the Zarina pirate version in the movie she's wearing a long coat, she has to be mysterious looking. This coat is made from the cuff of a man’s coat, I wanted to show her scale she is a six inch fairy, her pirates costume is made of manmade materials.”

Yuriko Senoo , the Animation Supervisor took the time to show us the stages that they take to bring Zarina to life. “ The first step in the modeling stage we work with the modelers to make a 3D model of Zarina we try to capture the spirit of Ritsuko Notani’s  design to make her an appealing character and Zarina is both as she said both a dust keeper and a pirate fairy so it was important that she stick within both worlds. And even though she is a new fairy we wanted to makes sure that she looked like she was born in Pixie Hollow and lived there for a long time. And the next step if the facial stage, so we work with the modelers again to develop the facial shapes so that Zarina can express emotion and have the ability to talk .
Zarina has quite an arc in the movie in both being a dust keeper and a pirate fairy she has a wide range of emotion. She's sweet, mischievous I always say that word wrong, mysterious, sensitive, tough and more. We just wanted to make sure Zarina could express her feelings and thoughts in an appealing way so everybody can connect with her. The next stage is the rigging and skinning stage. So we work with the technical team to create those controls so that the animators can move her body and face. The rigging is like putting the bone structure inside of a puppet so it can move.

 For example you can see that her wings are both controlled she can flutter her wings when she is flying, lower her wings when she is feeling sad, bring her wings up when she's getting happy and we looked at the story board to see her range of emotion and attitude, she is athletic, adventurous and she also has the attitude of a pirate and she can fight with a sword. …And then we moved on to the animation stage. So here we work with the animators to make the characters performance believable and entertaining.”

Here is a bit of the Q & A session we had with these great folks:
Question: We learned about Frozen yesterday, and there's a lot that went into their hair 400,000 strands do you go into the detail Zarina her hair was a big deal her look was a big deal does a lot of extra research go into that type of thing because it had to be so extreme?

Yuriko Senoo: In terms of the character development a lot of research a lot of references we looked at and then in modeling we did take extra care it was a look that Peggy (Director) was happy with and then we moved on to...test....their wings are a character....
Raymond Shenusay: We try to use story boarding we try to use all of the tools we have in our tool box, the wings can show emotion we work a lot with pose and gesture and facial expression so all those things are things you can use to convey the right emotion the right mood of the scene.
Question: Do you make the character James look like the actor....like Tom Hiddelston?

Ritsuko Notani: When I was making the young captain hook James unfortunately I did not know Tom Hiddelston was going to be the voice if I knew that'd be great. I had a chance to meet him....he was so nice. His coat was iconic...body shape...he's young and we kept him younger looking...half of the movie he's a nice guy... 
Raymond Shenusay: We kind of wanted him to look like captain Hook...

Question: The Crock and different artists renditions...of what he would be how did you work from the artists drawing that you got to create the cute little Croc?. 
Ritsuko Notani: First idea....young version of the crocodile but  John Lassiter didn't like it so baby looking so we changed it. And I think it was really successful don't you think?

It was great to get a sneak peek behind the curtain of Disney’s The Pirate Fairy, it really gives you an added appreciation at all the Disney folks go through to bring us the movies we love.  Are your little ones looking forward to seeing the newest installment of fairy fun? Disney’s The Pirate Fairy is on Blu-Ray and DVD today. I am sure your little ones will love this great fairy tale, if you are looking for a great Easter basket stuffer, make sure to pick up a copy today.
“The Pirate Fairy” sets sail April 1, 2014.

Buy it:
You can purchase The Pirate Fairy in stores on 4/1/14 you can buy it online at Amazon. 

What do you think of Disney’s newest fairy Zarina?

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions . No monitory compensation was received. I was not required to write a positive review. Your experience may differ. The opinions I have expressed are my own I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising .


Unknown said...

I didn't realize that this came out today. Thanks so much for the reminder. Going to run out and get it later today.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is so neat! Thanks for the behind the scenes action.

Jennifer Medeiros said...

It is so interesting to know all that goes into creating a character!

Kelly Hutchinson said...

I would love to get the chance to see something like this! How cool for you and this post was very interesting.

Unknown said...

We love this movie. It's so fun!

tat2gurlzrock said...

That is really interesting about all the work that goes into the animation!

slehan said...

I like learning all that goes into making a movie like this. Thanks for the insider's look.

slehan at juno dot com

Post a Comment

Disclosure: The reviews and or opinions on this blog are my own opinions, . No compensation was received. All opinions are my own. This is a unofficial fan site that is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or Disney theme parks.