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ENCHANTED

First Stop...Andalasia
In the reality of filmmaking, animation takes longer to create than filmed images. So, as the hand-drawn animation would require more lead time than the principal photography, work on the classically styled animated portions of ENCHANTED (about 10 minutes total) was begun about nine months before cameras rolled.

The director explains, "One of the reasons I really wanted to work with James Baxter is his history with the company [the animator worked on five full-length Disney features plus a short]. He's immersed in what it is to be a Disney animator, and he knows what those iconic ideas mean. On top of all of that, he's a phenomenal actor with the pencil, making a character come across on the page. And we basically started working on the design process of the characters together—the storyboards were pretty much done by the time he came aboard.”

The collection of "development art,” images used for reference by animators, was started a year prior to the first day of shooting. It became fairly clear to Lima and his crew that their early idea to include an array of recognizable structures from animated films past (this castle, that house) would make the creation of a cohesive design scheme a challenge. And while separate heads were pondering what Andalasia would look like, a common style emerged…this "condensed dose of Disney” would feature a strong sense of Art Nouveau design, which is a style of decorative art and architecture popular at the turn of the 20th century, distinguished by fluid lines derived from nature. This soft, curve-heavy style would contrast markedly with the strong horizontal and vertical lines of New York City.

A key to the success of ENCHANTED—all agreed—was that the animated and real worlds should blend seamlessly. To necessitate this, designers for both Andalasia and Manhattan had to work in tandem, as Lima explains: "Amy had already been cast when we began animating— so James went on and designed all of the characters, and we started to create the hand-drawn world. He had to also work with our costume designer, to make sure that whatever he drew could be re-created in fabric…also, we wanted the costumes to help establish the iconic individuality of each of these characters. We knew that Edward, for instance, had to share the same costume between both worlds. Typically, an animated character never changes his costume, so we used that idea. By the time animation began, all roles were cast…except for Pip, which wasn't that crucial, because we didn't have to cast a real chipmunk to resemble him!” Additionally, live-action reference was shot on those actors in the film who inhabit both worlds (Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Timothy Spall and Idina Menzel), so that the animated versions not only look like them, but also move and act like their live-action counterparts as well. Animators could then incorporate the actors—their looks, their mannerisms—into their animated versions.

Veteran Walt Disney feature animator Baxter ("Beauty and the Beast,” "The Lion King”) assembled a first-rate team of traditional animation artists guaranteed to make Andalasia (and its inhabitants) stand out, most of them with histories at Disney. Animators Andreas Deja ("Lilo and Stitch,” "Fantasia”) and art director Lisa Keene ("Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” "The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” "The Lion King”) joined the Baxter team, along with animation producer Ron Rocha ("Beauty and the Beast,” "Oliver & Company”), animation production supervisor Todd Popp ("Clifford's Really Big Movie”), background painter Christophe Vacher ("Shark Tale,” "Treasure Planet”), layout artist Craig Elliott ("Chicken Little,” "Shark Tale”), conceptual consultant Troy Quane ("Osmosis Jones,” "Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World”) and storyboard artist Kevin Farrell ("Herbie Fully Loaded,” "I Robot”).

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