Don’t be late for Disney’s Feast!
By Mindy Marzec
If you’re planning on seeing Disney’s “Big Hero 6” in theaters this weekend, make sure you’re not running late! You won’t want to miss the adorable short film that runs before the main feature, called “Feast!” It’s only a few minutes long, but it tells a pretty emotional and savory story, through the eyes of its main star, a Boston Terrier pup named Winston.
Last month I had a chance to talk with producer Kristina Reed during a press roundtable about making “Feast.” Kristina told us, “The idea (for ‘Feast’) came from something that Patrick (Osborne, the director) had been doing, which was using a one-second-a-day app and filming his dinners, and you watch the film now and it’s just plates of food. He sat down and watched all of these meals in one sitting, it was about six minutes, and he realized he could see what was happening in his life through these meals. He could see when he was in a production crunch; he could see when his fiancé moved in with him, he could see how his feelings were changing, how his life was changing, just by looking at his food. And he started to wonder if it was possible to tell a broader story, one that the audience could figure out. And that was the genesis of ‘Feast.’”
“One of the things (Patrick) did to make it broader, was he realized dogs are creatures of pattern, so if something changes for them, they notice. So he realized that would help the audience see the changes more quickly in the story beat, so that was how he realized he needed to tell the story with a dog. Then it became an issue of finding the right dog. The first thing we did was look through all the Disney films and say, well, we want a new dog, we want a fresh dog, we want to pick a breed that’s never been done before, which is … Disney has had quite a lot of dogs. We wanted a small dog, because we wanted to show the meals are moving from the floor, to the couch, and to the table. Then when the girlfriend comes it’s back down to the floor. So you sort of see this promotion and demotion happening. And then because Patrick knew he wanted a flat rendering style, when the dog turns you wouldn’t necessarily be aware of that unless the dog had some kind of markings on their face. So that led us to Boston (Terriers) because they have that really distinctive pattern.”
In talking about the film’s unique visual style, Kristina said, “Patrick wanted to make it feel sort of handmade, and so the way we got that was, all the edges are a little bit rough. It’s really typical of CG to have really clean, really sharp edges, everything’s sort of perfect. We have these rough edges on everything and so we had to use software that would track where the edge is, because sometimes the edge is here, and then if the dog moves it’s here, and then it’s here, and that’s the Meander software that you may remember from ‘Paperman.’ This is us using it for the first time in color. It has an amazing feel about it.”
When asked if there were any challenges in making the film, Kristina told us, “The most challenging thing was finding food that’s instantly recognizable. You need to know what it is that dog’s eating, all the time. We had to constantly find food that was iconic – a slice of pizza, nachos – finding the vegetables was actually the hardest thing. (We had to ask ourselves) what can you recognize right away? We brought in a food stylist to help talk to us about how to make food look appealing, because if the food didn’t look good you definitely weren’t going to be along with for the ride with the dog. And then of course, we had to do a lot of research. The whole time we were making the short we had to be bringing in food from the short, because, we had to make sure! (Laughs) We were all gaining weight, it was kind of embarrassing.”
Personally I gained a few pounds just from watching all the food in “Feast,” but it was worth it! If you loved “Paperman,” which played before “Wreck-It Ralph,” then you are sure to love “Feast” as well! “Big Hero 6” and “Feast” are in theaters everywhere Friday, November 7!
Mindy is a lifelong Disney junkie and Disneyland Annual Passport holder for longer than she cares to mention. Since 2012 she has been using her vast knowledge of all things Disney to help guests plan their Disney vacations as a travel specialist affiliated with Fairytale Journeys Travel Agency. She also writes about her love of everything Disney at Inspired By Dis, and whatever else is on her mind at Budget Fairy Tale.