Guillermo visited our message board today to give some details on Disney’s DOUBLE DARE YOU production label (and other projects). I had emailed him a couple of days ago and asked if the GOOSEBUMPS brand would be a similar model.
The answer: NOT AT ALL.
GDT confirmed that although books, games and other merchandise will be part of the label, DDY will release “theatrical, high end” animated feature films. These will be “edgier” animated films that could move into “PG-13″ territory.
Here is what Guillermo had to say:
For those that know me- I am a Disney nut. One whole room in BLEAK HOUSE is dedicated to the HAUNTED MANSION and I have a huge “Altar” (complete with offerings and candles) dedicated to Disney villians. I have collected original concept art for years and own many key pieces of art by Mary Blair, Kay Nielsen and Eyvind Earle, including FANTASIA, SLEEPING BEAUTY, ICHABOD CRANE, ALICE IN WONDERLAND and about 20 perfect concepts for NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
I ahve been going to Disneyland once a year or more -many times alone- for 40 years… and I have been planning this, my new relationship with PIXAR/DISNEY for a couple of years ago> I have a plan and I have been carefully pursuing it- and, no, it didn’t start with THE HOBBIT. It predates it by a long while. I am trying to map out the next 10 years of my creative life and I’m touching the narrative forms I am interested on. That will include books, animation and games aside from films. I intend to be fluent in those languages and mediums, not as a user but as a practitioner.
Remember, on my early years, NECROPIA made make up FX and animation. I bought and rebuilt the FIRST 35 mm animation camera in my hometown (still in use) a MITCHELL NC with Berthiot optical lenses. I trained the keystone of new animators there and dabbled myself in stop motion and clay animation. This is one of the rare instances in which life follows a design.
DDY has a ratings ceiling of PG-13 and I think animation can move in that direction. With PIXAR tackling stuff like the MARS novels and other filmmakers pushing the creation of 3-D environments and characters (AVATAR, Zemeckis) I believe we can hope for animation projects that can be edgy and powerful. And, no, GOOSEBUMPS is not my model- As I said, the E-ticket rides of Yore are my inspiration, as are Chernabog or Maleficent or the Witch in Snow White, etc I am planning SCARY stuff to be part of the experience. The books will have a fantastic angle- soon to be revealed. Dick Cook and John Lasseter got excited about this precisely because the model I proposed is completely new.
This clarification rules out that the film projects would be limited to OVA’s (Original Video Animation), also known as Direct-to-DVD releases. This is great news, as this guarantees a Guillermo Del Toro-inspired Disney feature film.