Wes Anderson Takes Us Deeper Into the World of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ With Animated Short

By  · Published on June 7th, 2012

In Wes Anderson’s latest film, the incredibly charming Moonrise Kingdom, young lovers Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman) run away together into the woods of the fictional New Penzance Island – already a fool’s errand (and only fools fall in love), but one made even harder by Suzy’s insistence on bringing along a suitcase filled with stolen storybooks. While the sci-fi-tinged tales are not actually real, their beautiful covers (crafted by six different artists) sure look real, and they fit right into the decidedly Andersonian world of the film.

Anderson originally wanted to include the books in an even bigger way than how they appear in the film – when young Kara reads aloud to Sam during their camp-outs, Anderson wanted the stories to actually come alive. The filmmaker said, “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation.” While that didn’t come to pass (and Anderson certainly knows from animation, based on his wonderful stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox), the director couldn’t let go of the idea, and decided to craft an animated short as a special treat for lovers of the film (as first reported by ComingSoon last week).

Moonrise Kingdom supporting actor, Bob Balaban narrates the new animated sections, which have been made by professional animators working from the original art. Producer Jeremy Dawson explained, “We got the artist to do key drawings, and then someone else had to take those key drawings and animate them…They were all over the world and we did it all by Internet. For instance, the one with the hydrogoblin, ‘The Girl From Jupiter’ – that artist does his work in oil painting, so someone had to kind of emulate that oil painting look in the animation…People got excited about it because it was a creative thing rather than if they were making a Snickers ad or something.” The results is a charming and inventive supplement to a film that’s already pretty damn charming and inventive on its own.

You can check out the short over at Entertainment Weekly. And, don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

Moonrise Kingdom is in limited theaters now and will continue expanding throughout June.