The Animated Stories of Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom’


The books Suzy carries in Moonrise Kingdom

The books Suzy carries in Moonrise Kingdom
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Unfortunately Entertainment Weekly doesn’t allow for their videos to be embedded so you’ll have to click over there to watch what I’m talking about here, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Last week, Wes Anderson revealed a short animated companion piece to his new film Moonrise Kingdom would be coming soon. In the film 12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward) carries with her a collection of six books from which she used to read to her younger brothers before running away with Sam (Jared Gilman) on the adventure that guides the rest of the film. Those books she kept with her and even reads to Sam later in the film and now she reads them for us with accompanying animation and narration by Bob Balaban.

Anderson considered animating the stories for the film, but ultimately decided to hold on the characters’ faces during these scenes, but after the film was made he decided to go back and animate a short passage from each anyway.

Bob Balaban - Moonrise KingdomAnderson tells EW, “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too. So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.”

The books include “The Return of Auntie Lorraine”, “The Disappearance of the 6th Grade”, “The Light of Seven Matchsticks”, “The Girl from Jupiter”, “The Francine Odysseys” and “Shelly and the Secret Universe”.

The jacket art done by David Hyde Costello, Juman Malouf, Sandro Kopp, Eric Anderson, Andrea Dopaso and Kevin Hooyman and producer Jeremy Dawson told EW, “We got the artist to do key drawings, and then someone else had to take those key drawings and animate them… One of these guys I believe was in Sweden, one in Paris, and one in L.A. They were all over the world and we did it all by Internet. For instance, the one with the hydrogoblin, ‘The Girl From Jupiter’ — that artist [Sandro Kopp] does his work in oil painting, so someone had to kind of emulate that oil painting look in the animation.”

As I said, I can’t embed the video here, but you can watch it right here and I’ve included a few images from the video directly below.

Moonrise Kingdom is in theaters now and if you haven’t yet read my review from Cannes you can do so right here.

Animated Moonrise Kingdom screen captures

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures