Strange Worlds Animation Chiefs Talk About ‘Poop Pickles’ And Other Weird Creatures They’ve Created [Exclusive Interview]
I know you had some parameters of [director Don Hall] on what weird world creatures shouldn’t have – no bones, no faces, always moving – but that obviously leaves plenty of other options. Do you have any favorite examples of specific creatures that were inspired by items you might not consider inspirational?
Smeed: I don’t know if it was a direct inspiration, but I remember very early on that Don was talking about the documentary “My Octopus Teacher”. I feel like we were looking at underwater creatures and others whose names I can’t even remember, because those are things I’ve never heard or seen.
Sklar: I remember having a conversation with David about the big 10 tentacle monsters that hunt Clades. They’re chasing them and we need some progression there, but they obviously don’t have a face, so how are we going to communicate that? And we were talking about this idea – you see it kind of in Beauty and the Beast, but there are other movies where every time the wolves hunt anything, you get this idea of tongues and drool and stuff like that as the scene progresses. And we worked to bring that idea into these creatures by making them feel messy and wet.
I know there are a lot of funny creature names. Do you have a favorite creature name?
Smeed: Flatty Patty or Shit Pickles.
Sklar: 90% of these creatures, we did not know what to call them. And then someone was coming up with a name in a meeting, and then there were 30 people suggesting names in a Slack channel. And then the funniest thing is usually what we ended up calling them.
Disney Animation‘s “Strange World” will hit theaters on November 23, 2022.