King of the Elves
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Author:  veu [ Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:18 am ]
Post subject:  King of the Elves

Ralph Zondag (storyboard artist for "Pocahontas" and "Rapunzel") has written on his website that in 2007 he storyboarded an animated movie for Walt Disney, "KING OF THE ELVES", a movie actually in pre-prodution.

I don't know if this movie will be a 2D animated movie or a 3D animated movie...

I dont' know if this movie will be the same movie planned in 2001 and scrapped in 2003...

Wait and see...

Author:  singerguy04 [ Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:43 am ]
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If he story borded this film in 2007 then how could it be something that was canceled in 2003, unless it's being brought up again. I wonder if this is our first glance at the heavely guarded secret of the 50th animated classic.

This is kind of neat, i really like what you can see of the story boards from Pocahontas's Anniversary Edition. He has a neat vision about things, and I like it a lot!!!

Author:  Rumpelstiltskin [ Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:27 pm ]
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If it turns out to be computer animation, which I personally think is most likely, it will be interesting to see what kind of look they choose.

Bolt is inspired by Dennis Hopper and Rapunzel by Jean-Honore Fragonard. Will King of the Elves have a style on its own, created by Disney, or will it be based on some already existing (past or present) painting or artist, such as Boris or Hildebrandt Brothers?
And not necessary a painter, it could also be a comic book artist like Winsor McCay or Carl Barks, even if Carl Barks did some oil paintings as well.

Or, the animation style from Disney's first movies (Pinocchio, Snow White and Fantasia), only in 3D?

Either way, it will be exciting to see the result.

Author:  Luke [ Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:22 pm ]
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There's more info on this movie here:

Author:  Prince Edward [ Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:50 pm ]
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Disney NEEDS to go back to traditional animated classics. Let Pixar make the CGI-movies.

Author:  Jack Skellington [ Thu Sep 25, 2008 11:31 am ]
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Luke, you're ALIVE !!!! :P

Author:  Neal [ Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:30 pm ]
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I don't know if anyone saw the storyboard mentioned in the OP but here it is:

King of the Elves

Anyone know of any more concept art, storyboards, etc. for this film?

Author:  Rumpelstiltskin [ Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:50 pm ]
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I think he looks like an old Mexican man.

Author:  Neal [ Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:52 pm ]
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I think he's African American. He reminds me of Morgan Freeman

Author:  SpringHeelJack [ Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:17 pm ]
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Rumpelstiltskin wrote:
Bolt is inspired by Dennis Hopper

Erm... Edward Hopper, not Dennis. Dennis is entirely a different guy.

Author:  Brer Brandon [ Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:31 pm ]
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After reading a little about this film, the story sounds interesting. I've ordered the original Phillip K. Dick short story so I can read it and get a little bit better idea of what to expect.

Author:  Neal [ Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:17 pm ]
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I've gotten it confirmed that it will be animated in CGI!

Electric Shepherd Productions was founded by Philip K. Dick's daughters as a way to consult with other film production companies to preserve their father's work.


I emailed them about "King of the Elves".

To Whom It May Concern:

I am interested in the upcoming film adaptation of "The King of the
Elves" by Walt Disney Animation Studios. I was looking for some
information concerning what medium this film will be presented in.
Will it be traditionally animated ala "The Little Mermaid" or animated
in CGI ala "Wall-E"?

Thank you in advance,

Neal Patten


Hi Neal,

This will be a CG animated film.

Thanks for your interest,
Kalen Egan


Thank you very much for such a prompt response! How closely is
Electric Shepherd Productions working with Disney on the film and any
notion of when we might see some sort of visual development art or
concept pieces? I've only managed to find a single storyboard image so

I'm extremely excited for this film!

-Neal P.


We're very excited about it as well! At this time, I can't go into the creative relationship between ESP and Disney simply because the process is still in the very early stages-- they're targeting a 2012 release date. I don't know when more images will be made available for the public to see, but please keep checking our website for any updates as they come.



Alright, thank you! I look forward to future updates!

Author:  Sotiris [ Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:30 pm ]
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Walt Disney Co. and Jim Henson Pictures are in talks to produce a film based on Philip K. Dick's 1953 short story KING OF THE ELVES. The story is about a young boy who is something of an outsider. He is approached by a group of elves who declare him their king and declare he must lead them into battle against the Troll King and his army. Scribe Wally Wolodarsky (THE SIMPSONS, SORORITY BOYS) has been attached to adapt the story to film. His script is said to be leaning more towards the irreverent spirit of SHREK rather than the serious FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. The project will be special effects laden, though there are no plans for any of them to be CG. The elves themselves will be played by actors.
Source: http://www.mania.com/disneyhenson-devel ... 31889.html

The filmmaking trio responsible for guiding Disney's exciting new animated feature, "Brother Bear" -- directors Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker, and producer Chuck Williams -- have signed an exclusive deal to make their next feature for Walt Disney Feature Animation, it was announced today (10/31/03) by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, and David Stainton, president of Walt Disney Feature Animation. Under the terms of the arrangement, Williams will produce, and Blaise and Walker will direct an unspecified animated feature for the Studio. All three of the filmmakers have been key contributors to Walt Disney Feature Animation Florida since its first day of operation in 1989. "Brother Bear" marks the directing debut for Blaise and Walker.

Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, "Chuck, Aaron and Bob have done a remarkable job with 'Brother Bear' and have created an exceptional and richly rewarding motion picture experience for moviegoers of all ages. With their combined knowledge and experience in animation, they have brought a unique vision and perspective to the art and storytelling process. 'Brother Bear' has a spirit and excitement that reflects the sensibilities of these three talented filmmakers. We are looking forward to working with them on their next film."

Stainton added, "All of us at Disney are extremely proud of 'Brother Bear' and the incredible team responsible for making it. It is a great artistic achievement with a story that is emotional, funny and entertaining. Aaron, Bob and Chuck have proven to be a great creative team. They have some great ideas for future projects and we're sure that their efforts will be just as rewarding. It is truly a pleasure to work with them."
Source: http://www.laughingplace.com/News-ID10018250.asp

And movies based on more than a half-dozen other stories and novels are in the works - among them "The King of the Elves" at Disney, "The Short, Happy Life of the Brown Oxford" at Miramax, and "A Scanner Darkly" at Warner Bros.
Source: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.12/philip.html

Steve Hulett wrote:
Joe Jump and King of the Elves are two features in early development.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... views.html

KING OF THE ELVES (Domestic Release Date: Christmas 2012, Disney Digital 3-D)
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker
Producer: Chuck Williams

Legendary storyteller Phillip K. Dick's short story (his only experiment in the fantasy genre) becomes the basis for this fantastic and imaginative tale about an average man living in the Mississippi Delta, whose reluctant actions to help a desperate band of elves leads them to name him their new king. Joining the innocent and endangered elves as they attempt to escape from an evil and menacing troll, their unlikely new leader finds himself caught on a journey filled with unimaginable dangers and a chance to bring real meaning back to his own life.
Source: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=43815

WALT DISNEY’S KING OF THE ELVES, based on the Philip K. Dick story about a gas station attendant who receives a knock on the door one rainy night. It’s a group of elves. Small, maybe a foot tall each. They are all green, with leaves and foliage growing off of them. They beg him for shelter from the storm. Despite his better judgment he allows them to stay and as reward he is made king of the Elves. Directed by Bob Walker and Aaron Blaise. It’s pretty far out from release, of course, but they showed some art. The elves I described a little above. The art was very painterly and the idea is that these little green buggers live in modern day Mississippi and have been undiscovered based on their appearance. With the leaves growing on their bodies if a human enters their domain they can just ruffle their foliage, duck their heads down and be completely undetectable. There aren’t just small creatures in the forests. We saw art of huge moss covered man-like tree giants. There was no word on if it’ll be traditional animation or not. I’d assume CG animation because the only project they showed that was 2-D cell animation was THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG and they made a big deal talking about it as a return to classic Disney animation. So, Disney and Philip K. Dick. Bizarre. Looked really nice, though.
Source: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/36332

Honor Hunter wrote:
As for "The King of the Elves", well that film is truly in the embryonic state and although the story structure is being worked out and they've produced some beautiful concept art, the film is a long way away. Four years is a long way off and things on the project could go in different directions. As of now, the project is scheduled to be CGI, but that's not written in stone. But it's still likely, though.
Source: http://www.blueskydisney.com/2008/08/fu ... right.html

Q: You will be directing a new animated Disney film in 2012, King of the Elves; tell me what you can about this new feature production.

Aaron Blaise: King of the Elves is based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick. It involves a lonely man, Shadrach Jones, who runs a gas station in the middle of nowhere. Well, one stormy night, a small band of battered elves show up on his doorstep seeking shelter from a huge troll in the forest. This is obviously pretty shocking for Shad, but he lets them in anyway, and after their king dies in his living room that night, the remaining elves make Shad their new King. It’s up to him to pull himself from the safety of his secluded life to save these desperate creatures. We are currently in the storyboarding process and hope for a 2012 release date. Be prepared to see a film unlike any we’ve done before.
Source: http://fullecirclestuff.blogspot.com/20 ... laise.html

Q: And now, you’re also a visual development artist on King of the Elves. Could you describe your work as such?

Mark Walton: Sure – basically, I work with the director(s) figuring out the characters and the world of the story. Like, what do the characters look like? What are their personalities like? How do they relate to each other? Where does the movie take place – what country, what time of year, what are some cool places the sequences could happen in? What kinds of things could happen that would showcase the characters personalities, and be fun to watch? What is the movie really trying to say, if anything – what are the themes? These are all things that can be explored by writing, doodling, discussing, before the storyboarding begins (or while it’s happening). I love it – it’s at the stage where we can try anything and everything.

Q: Could you tell us something about the upcoming King of the Elves? Are you excited about it? And, since it is based on a Philip K. Dick-story, will it perhaps be more dramatic/philosophical in nature than previous work?

Mark Walton: King of the Elves is looking really cool right now. I really like the short story it’s based on, and I think the filmmakers want to bring a degree of realism and complexity that we haven’t seen before. I think it’ll be very dramatic and philosophical. But did you see The Iron Giant? I thought that had some really heavy, serious themes (in addition to a lot of great comedy) that were dealt with really well. There’s a lot of pretty heavy stuff in animation out there if you’re willing to look for it – check out Frederic Bach’s gorgeous films, or Waltz with Bashir, if you’re in a really good mood (it’s pretty dark!). Or maybe you already know about all this, huh?
Source: http://animatedviews.com/2009/bolt-on-d ... per-rhino/

John Andrew Berton Jr. is one of those visionaries who realized that potential when digital visual effects were still just the pencil sketches of madmen. His path from film experimentation to his current title of VFX Supervisor on the upcoming Disney film, 'The King of the Elves' and all the achievements in between is full of ‘right place, right time’ scenarios. But luck was only part of the equation.
Source: http://www.cgsociety.org/index.php/CGSF ... ohn_berton

Steve Hulett wrote:
Upstairs, a staffer told me that King of the Elves is going through some changes, and that one of the directors has departed.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... -hall.html

Steve Hulett: Elsewhere in the animation division, more people informed me that Joe Jump is back on the front burner development-wise, and King of the Elves is being "retooled."

Tim Hodge: Aaron Blaise (Brother Bear) is still directing "King of the Elves. I have heard they have named a new co-director, but am not sure if it's been announced yet.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... na_23.html

Honor Hunter wrote:
"King of the Elves" has been pulled off the rails temporarily as it gets retooled. As to what that means, well, it's the direction the story is heading isn't where Lasseter and the Story Trust were expecting it to be. Being as they have time before it's supposed to start animation (approximately late next year), this doesn't mean the end of the project. I've heard that there were story problems as early as a couple months ago with the departure/removal of Robert Walker. Aaron Blaise will most likely get another co-director but that hasn't been announced yet.
Source: http://www.blueskydisney.com/2009/11/wh ... -jump.html

Honor Hunter: There was no mention of "King of the Elves" as the story is evolving and may result in the film being pushed back to 2013 instead of 2012. That right there is why Snow Queen has moved up a year to fill the slot. [...] As for the release date, I was referring to the film scheduled for 2012 being changed. I wasn't making any statement about "Elves" being 2D as I presumed from all that is out about it that it's known to be CG. And the artwork for KOTE is quite striking and beautiful, the story needed work.

Q: Not having read the story, what type of Elves is it that are in King of the Elves? The tall lord of the rings type or the short santa breed?

Honor Hunter: Smaller than Santa elves even. Think a foot or so tall, green with lots of foliage so they can blend in with nature and very elvish type feminine faces. Hopefully they'll get the story worked out so we can see it in 2013.
Source: http://www.blueskydisney.com/2009/12/el ... queen.html

Q: King of the Elves was the next big CG flick, and now that that's canned, and Rich Moore's project under wraps in terms of style, who knows if there will be another CG movie.

Michael Crawford: Has Elves really been permanently shelved? I hear someone say retooling, then someone say "cancelled". Of course, six of one, half dozen of the other sometimes.

Q: "Has Elves really been permanently shelved?" Yes.
Source: http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/ ... mouse.html

Rune Bennicke wrote:
Some of my work on the now, unfortunately, cancelled King of the Elves. I was on for about 6 months in 2007 for Story and Visual Development. It was a great project, and until just last week when I found out it was cancelled, I was hoping to get back on when it would go into production. These are my first drawings of the elves. Although I quite like a couple of them, they were not what the directors had in mind, they were looking for something that would feel more real and believable as a type creature that could actually exist. I think I was stuck on the idea that it was a Disney film, trying to keep them "safe' and cute.

After I was taken off the elves, mostly for myself, I thought I'd try something that was very different and not " Disney " and pretty. they turned out to be the ones of my elves the directors liked the best. I would have loved to have kept working on them.
Source: http://flipbooksnstuff.blogspot.com/

Michael Crawford wrote:
I’ve had a couple of people tell me that King of the Elves has not actually been completely abandoned, but that it’s still in turnaround for retooling. I know this had been the fact at one point, but other informed sources have said that it’s no longer actively being worked on. If anyone can clarify this, drop me a line.
Source: http://progresscityusa.com/2010/02/10/a ... -on-comin/

Author:  toonaspie [ Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:48 pm ]
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Please dont kill me as I am a major 2D animation buff. But I think judging from the concept of this film, I think it would've been more interesting to see this as a combination of CGI and live action, with the humans of course being live action and all the elves and magical creatures being CGI.

Logically if I was asked to direct or produce this film that's how I would've approached this. Perhaps the failure of recent CGI/live action combos (eg G-Force, Beverly Hills Chihuahua was what made the decision for this to be all CGI). Then again, perhaps the story is such that it could only be told completely animated. I dunno.

My two cents peoples.

Author:  Babaloo [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:18 am ]
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Does anyone know if this is going to end up being a musical feature? With the recent Princess and the Frog being a musical, and Rapunzel and Snow Queen (if it is being made) being planned musicals, I was wondering if this was going to follow the trend? I haven't heard much about this movie...

Author:  Neal [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:37 am ]
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Nope, it's a CGI adventure movie - that one /Film writer said has an "Avatar" vibe in terms of epicness.

Author:  Margos [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:52 pm ]
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Aww... I knew it was a CGI adventure film, but I was still hoping it might have a couple songs, at least.... Oh well.

Author:  Escapay [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:25 pm ]
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Adventure films can still have some songs in them. After all, Treasure Planet had "I'm Still Here". :P


Author:  DisneyJedi [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:50 pm ]
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Escapay wrote:
Adventure films can still have some songs in them. After all, Treasure Planet had "I'm Still Here". :P


I think they mean like vocal songs sung by the characters.

Author:  Escapay [ Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:22 am ]
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In that case, there's always Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Mulan. ;)

(Well, I consider them adventure films. :P)


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