One of my favorite Disney animated sequences as a child was Hercules fighting Hydra, the three-headed dragon summoned by Hades to destroy Hercules. I was blown away by how this monster who was all-powerful and fearsome was created by pencils and computers, whisked away to a world where gods and monsters roamed the earths and the skies. I was enthralled by how a pencil, creativity and piece of technology could transfer me to a world that once just lived in someone’s imagination.
But isn’t that the goal of Walt Disney Animation Studios? To create magic. To experience life in other cultures; whether as a mermaid or a lion, an ice princess or a girl called to the ocean.In Disney’s Frozen and Frozen II, we’re transported to a world of ice and snow, the beauty of autumn protected by love with a side of betrayal. As an audience we get to build a snowman, watch magic fire burn, plan for a wedding or even unite two kingdoms as we search for our parents.
For Marlon West, creating these worlds and countless others as head of Effects Animation at Walt Disney Animation Studios is what he does best. From The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Princess and the Frog and Moana these are movies we carry with us even when we struggle to keep believing a dream is a wish your heart makes when your fast asleep.The Koalition spoke with West about creating these magical worlds, diversity in animation, his impact on the field and more.
Disney’s Frozen II has just released on digital and Blu-ray.
Check out our interview below.