Last month we reported that the very busy Guillermo del Toro had joined DreamWorks Animation. The director is expected to write and direct the movie Trollhunters, as well as consult on various other DreamWorks projects including Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots, as well as many more unnamed films.
Today, it sounds as though one of those films might be a full-length version of the striking, and rather creepy, animated short, Alma.
The LA Times reports of del Toro's involvement, bringing the full-length version of Alma to the big-screen. The short (which you can watch below) "tells the story of children facing the specter of dark forces" and was produced by a former Pixar employee, Rodrigo Blaas. Blaas will also direct the full-length version at DreamWorks.
In much the same way as the animated short 9 was extended into a full feature, Blaas and del Toro (who will produce and "godfather" the adaptation) will take the concept behind Alma and expand on it. If you watch the short below it's easy to see why there would be doubts about whether or not the filmmakers could stretch the idea into a full length movie -- but if anyone can do it, it's del Toro.
Check out the Alma animated short below:
There's certainly a kind of Toy Story meets Coraline vibe from the short, combining a sense of youthful curiosity with real creepiness. As I said, it's quite hard to see how the short can be extended (to about 15 times its original length). Personally, the extended 9 didn't really work for me - as it felt like they were straining for places to take that particular story (after a certain point). But hopefully the filmmakers will be more successful with Alma.
On top of directing Alma, Blaas is also reportedly in negotiations to co-direct Trollhunters with del Toro, a film based on a book del Toro wrote (DreamWorks declined to comment on whether or not Blaas is in talks). Since the two stories share a lot of similarities - innocent children interacting with dark forces and creatures - it's not difficult to see how Blaas could be up for co-directing Trollhunters. Del Toro typically directs his own movies - so he must be pretty impressed by Blaas.
Del Toro and DreamWorks are a strange mix to begin with, as the director is usually all about the dark and macabre, while the studio is more preoccupied with light family-friendly animations. However, bringing the two together may just produce an enjoyable blend of the two extremes.
More on the full-length version of Alma, Trollhunters, and the rest of del Toro's many projects as more news is announced.
Source: LA Times