While spending the day at DisneyToon Studios, our group of bloggers were able to chat with Dan Abraham, head of story on Planes & Art Hernandez, one of the storyboard artists on Planes.
Here are a few highlights of our time together:
DA: So what happens generally speaking, the process in an animated movie is ideally the story artists get the script, right? If there’s a script that has been written, we get it, we work off of that. Sometimes, in rare cases, there actually is no script.. What we do then is we take the written word and we transform it into a visual.
AH: We’re faced with the unique task of trying to make sure that everything works. And in the world of Planes, that’s not the easiest thing to do because you have to try to cram all of these characters with wings all into one shot, and more often than not it doesn’t work… We’re also limited to get emotion, expression, personality. It’s the eyes, the mouth…
AH: John Lasseter is very much into the truth of materials. If something is made of metal in the real world, it’s metal in this. If it’s rubber in the real world, it’s rubber in Planes. so we’ve got all these characters that are like this that, and have to carry on conversations and have relationships.. They can never say, hey, would you hand me that thing? They can’t. No one can hand anybody anything except the little guys with the forklift, so we use them all the time…
DA: So Sparky and Dotty got a workout.
DA: By the end of the story process, your usually looking at about 40,000 individual panels produced, the majority of which will not get used.
AH: One of the things about this job that makes it so unique and so much fun is that just because it works in the script doesn’t necessarily mean that it works visually.
Both artists talked about how lucky they are, and how much they love what they do. Which I totally believe by the passion they displayed while talking with us. I can tell you I will never be able to watch Disney’s Planes, without thinking of these two, and the effort they both put into such a fun family movie.
They even took the time to walk us through drawing Dusty. For someone like me, who has zero drawing talent, mine turned out surprisingly good.
Click the video below and you too can draw Dusty! Thanks to Art Hernandez.
Disney’s Planes is available NOW on Blu-ray DVD, & Digital Copy. Purchase your copy online or where family movies are sold.
I worked with Disney, Marvel, and Dreamworks as part of this promotional event. They provided me with travel, food and lodging in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own.