It’s almost time for the Neverbeast! Releasing on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere March 3rd Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast is going to be lighting up living rooms everywhere. So let’s go Behind The Scenes again this time talking to Story Artist Ryan Green & Animation Supervisor Mike Greenholt and peek behind the curtain to learn some fun facts!
What IS A Story Artist?
Ryan: A Story Artist, we usually work with the Director, the Writer, the Head of Story and we’ll sit in a room kind of like this and we’ll throw around story ideas and try and figure out where we want to take the story. Then when we set it for the time, the Story Artists will run back to our Computers and we’ll draw up a bunch of panels and then we bring them back together and cut them in a reel and kind of like this back here. We cut them in a reel and look at them and say is this looking good?
Where did you get Inspiration?
Ryan: We get a lot of inspiration from Diane Fosse who went out to the wilderness to research the Gorillas.
How did the Neverbeast come about?
Ryan: The first image we had of him and he had the horns from the beginning, not even a tail. We didn’t know what he looks like from the front or the back.
So we just had to start asking ourselves like you know, what is he and what’s under that fur? I got a fun fact about myself is I actually have a degree in Biology and so I was able to give a little bit of insight into what might be underneath the fur and this is the first Skeletal overlay I did where I just kind of had some of the legs on the side of that. One drawing that we had and what might be muscle and where the bony parts are. As we were starting to draw, some of the Story Artists were drawing the hump on his back, kind of like a cat might have, like that arched back.
Others are drawing it more like a Bison so we had to say All right, enough with the differentiation. Let’s come up with one solid type of Animal that we’re dealing with here.
We got a lot of inspiration from a Porcupine tail. You know, they can curl up and wrap onto things. They can grab onto a log and and hang on. For awhile, we thought we might just keep his tail curled up underneath his body and just reveal it at times but it looked a little weird and looked more like he was a shamed dog so we just decided to leave it hanging out. It would be kind of like an Opossum and he would just drop down as far as he could, and then drop to the ground or he’d use his tail like hanging and just pick up rocks and put them together.
The third important part that his tail brought to the table was for motion because we designed this big glass eye for him that Fawn could look into and it was almost emotionless. You didn’t know what was going on back there. She just saw her own reflection and a way to get emotion out of him would be through other body parts and one big one was his tail. If you’ve ever had a cat that gets angry, you know that their tail just starts twitching and has little odd mannerisms like that. We wanted to make him feel somewhat menacing in a way so that when Fawn first met him, he was a little scary.
What were some of the challenges you had creating the Neverbeast?
Mike: The big challenge for Animation was to make him seem believable. Even though he’s a Fantasy Creature, he had to feel like he was living and breathing in an Animal. Our first challenge was to just make him move like an Animal. So you know, we looked at Rhinos and Buffalo just to look at big heavy Animals, and just see how do they move. What makes them feel heavy? We studied that and just applied it to a walk. We knew he had this big tail that he sort of held in a curl so it’s like how do you make that feel natural?
So we just did exploration until we got to a walk here that just felt like a very old Creature. Um, it’s very heavy. And then from there, we went to a run and same idea, like we’d look at a Rhinoceros and like how do they charge? They’re — they’re very, very heavy, very, very big but they can move very fast so you know, how do they do that? So we looked at that but then also we knew we had a sequence where he’s chasing Fawn through the Forest and he’s almost like a Puppy loping after its Master. So we wanted to put just a little bit of that playfulness into this run.
Isn’t it crazy to think of how much time and effort these guys took making sure everything from his eyes to the tip of his tail was both real looking and whimsical? I think they did an awesome job! At Disney Toon Studios they even had a life size Neverbeast so of course I snuggled with him for a picture!
***Disclosure: I attended #NeverbeastBloggers Event My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***