USA-based animator and illustrator Julian Glander’s latest project is for Disney, which asked him to create a series of short-form animations, called “mircocontent”, for its new app, Disney LOL. “There wasn’t much of a formal brief – just that they were looking for approximately 15-second things that were funny, fresh or eye-catching,” explains Julian. “I pitched three concepts and, to my utter surprise and delight, got the go-ahead for all three of them.”
The first series is The Cutest Dog in the World, which is about a day in the life of “the cutest dang pooch in the darn universe” and follows his destruction of a ice cream-coloured house. The next compilation of shorts is Songwich, a series of song snippets “from the pastel bedroom of the world’s coolest teen witch”. Some of the songs have been inspired by Disney TV Shows, others from Julian’s imagination and include gems such as, “My Best Friend’s My Cat”. The last video is a collection of slapstick shorts that embrace the surreal and even Julian “can’t really explain” what they’re about.
“I spent a lot of time thinking about the things I liked most about cartoons and animation and what I’d want to see if I was a kid thumbing through content on my phone,” Julian says of his inspiration. “Each series honed in on a different subject matter and style within my limited range of interests; really cute animals, bizarre slapstick and cool pastel teen stuff.”
Once the treatments were approved, Julian had a month to create all 24 shorts and divided it up into chunks to make it more manageable. “Each series got one day to make 3D models, two days to animate, a day for music, a day to play around with renders and all that under-the hood stuff, and then a final relaxing day to tidy things up,” he explains.
The result is three different series of hilarious, engaging and imaginative content that epitomises Julian’s sense of humour and creativity. “Because Disney is such a massive company, I had a preconceived idea that it would be really hard to get things approved and we’d have to water some things down, which didn’t end up being the case at all,” the animator explains.
“The team at Disney was so cool and supportive and even offered some notes to make the work a little crazier.” A highlight for Julian was creating the rooms and furniture for The Cutest Dog in The World, which takes place in Julian’s dream house. “When VR technology gets advanced enough, I’m going to live in the rooms of this 3D house forever,” he says.
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