Glen Keane: Duet

It’s rare that something stops me in my tracks and pulls me in the way Glen Keane’s “Duet” did.

Over the course of about three minutes, we see two people grow from infants through adolescence and into adulthood, destined to fall in love. Keane’s experience with Disney (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Tangled) certainly shows through in his fine craftwork and the un-ironic expression of human emotion.

It’s genuinely touching in an earnest way that’s hard to find these days.

(Okay, maybe I’m just getting old.)

The short was revealed at Google’s I/O conference for developers, mostly because it will be installed on select Android devices as the third installment in Google’s innovative Spotlight Stories campaign. Each Spotlight Story is an interactive film that uses the device’s gyroscope and accelerometer to create interactive narrative experiences, allowing the viewer to “pan” around a virtual set as the movie plays out.

“Duet” is the first hand-drawn film in the series. The brief presentation that prefaces this version of the short explains Keane’s process and philosophy behind the project:

When I draw, I see my drawing… as a way for me to connect to you. I see drawing as a kind of seismograph of the soul, the lines representing how I feel, kinda like [how] the eyes are the window to the soul.

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