Acclaimed animator Glen Keane’s highly anticipated short film Duet — recently chosen to be among the 10 films shortlisted for Oscar consideration in the Best Animated Short category — is now available globally to users of Motorola’s new line of Moto X mobile devices, with a wider launch planned for early next year.
Animated in its entirety and directed by the former Disney animator and creator of such beloved characters as Ariel, Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan and Rapunzel, Duet tells the story of Mia and Tosh and how their individual paths in life weave together to create an inspired duet. The unique, interactive nature of the story allows the viewer to seamlessly follow the journey of either of the two characters from birth to adulthood.
As part of the launch, Keane shares what it was like to work on Duet on Motorola’s official blog:
Again and again, we were surprised by the freedom this interactive storytelling provided. Jan Pinkava, who pioneered and directed the first Spotlight Story, “Windy Day”, continually encouraged us to put the camera into the hands of the audience. However this is not an easy or natural thing for a filmmaker to do. The tendency is to want to control the visual composition, but with Duet we learned to coax rather than control. Because of the nature of this virtual world technology there were no individual shots cut together. It is all one continuous living moment. I think of it less as a traditional film and more as a visual poem.
Duet is the third in a series of Spotlight Stories, which feature interactive short films made exclusively for mobile devices. The project is part of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group (ATAP), led by Regina Dugan. The stories blend world-class artistry with innovative rendering and interaction technology for mobile to create a new canvas for the next generation of storytelling.
Duet is the first traditionally animated, hand-drawn film to debut as a Spotlight Story, offering a glimpse into what’s possible on mobile devices, a rich, modern canvas for creative expression and immersive works of art and technology.