Breaking the Ice

Last evening was open house and a screening at the “Hat Building” in Burbank. You probably know the building as the home of Walt Disney Animation Studios. The screening was, “Frozen,” the newest animated feature film from the mouse house that will be released this month. Don’t expect a film review from me because I do not review feature animated films and for good reason.

You see, creating a feature length animated movie is an incredibly daunting task. Should you be making your film within the system of a large mainstream studio, the task is even more so. I do not exaggerate when I speak of the enormity of the job. There is pressure sufficient in this job to destroy one’s health and one’s sanity. I do not joke when I say directors have been hospitalized while making a movie. Some soothe their pain with alcohol while others have wept at their desk. I’ve often joked that directing a feature film is not a job anybody should want. Foolishly enough, I’ve wanted the job myself. However, you already know how crazy I am.

With this in mind, I have to compliment any filmmaker who brings his or her film in on time and on budget. And, that includes a movie that is pure crap. If you can manage to finish the damn thing then you’ve earned my congratulations. I’ve shaken the hands of directors, and even knelt before others. I honestly have that much respect for the men and women who toil to bring an animated movie to the big screen.

Naturally, most animation artists are not aware of these things because their job is to sit in their office and create this magical content. If you’ve ever worn the director’s hat - or worse, the producer’s hat - it’s even more of a challenge. I’ve had the opportunity to do both in years past. Of course, these were only what I would call, very small films. As much as I would like to take on the task of a feature film, my partners and I knew there was little chance of that ever happening. However, that didn’t stop us from creating several scripts, taking meetings and pitching to every movie boss we could contact in Hollywood. We created our own independent company because we knew this was our only possible way in the door.

I’m sure “Frozen” will delight audiences when it opens this month. The motion picture is amazing in so many ways and has its own aura of Disney magic. It’s hardly the kind of film the Old Maestro would have made because it has it’s own contemporary take on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. I initially feared the film would leave me cold, but it only took the marvelous opening sequence to warm me up.

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