While I haven’t seen it for myself yet, I received a number of texts and tweets from people that saw Puss in Boots and found themselves surprised by how decent and fun it apparently is. Even more surprising to them was the big fat “Executive Producer” credit given to Guillermo Del Toro (and a small vocal part if they were paying attention). This is of course the first fruit of Del Toro’s deal with Dreamworks that he made some time ago, and will eventually empower him to make an animated feature film Trollhunters (no connection with the found footage mockumentary). Well, Del Toro’s deal with Dreamworks is not finished, and next time he’ll be putting his considerable weight behind a project more in line with his darker sensibilities.
Called Alma, the project will be a feature-length adaptation of Rodrigo Blaas’ animated short film, which he actually produced independently after leaving a position at Pixar. Dreamworks / Del Toro snapped the film up last year with the latter planning to shepherd the project as it became a feature-length studio animation. Now, Megan Holly (Sunshine Cleaning) is joining on to help Blaas expand the script, indicating that the studio is continuing movement on the project.
Take a look at the original short here…
Word is that the short will be adapted into something mainstream (duh), but I wouldn’t be surprised if the obvious conundrum little Alma faces in the short doesn’t become the central conflict in the motion-picture. Instinctually it’s a bummer to think of Blaas vision being diluted, but the short is a concise little bit of dark storytelling with very rich subtext, that’s not something that you can simply expand to 90+ minutes. To make so much out of so little requires a complete reengineering, so ultimately this fun little short will just be inspiration. The visuals are stunning though, so I’m excited to see what Blaas can do with the computerized toolbox and resources of a major motion picture, especially with Del Toro whispering in his ear.