At the tail end of last week, Wes Anderson let it slip that a new companion piece to “Moonrise Kingdom,” a short animated film, would be dropping in the coming days, and alas, it has now arrived. And yes, it’s as charming as you might expect.
For those of you worried about spoilers, put those fears aside, as this doesn’t delve into any plot points but is merely a clever spinoff of sorts. The four-minute short is introduced by the film’s narrator Bob Balaban, and brings to life six of lead character Suzy’s favorite (fictitious) books that she steals from the library, three of which she reads from in the movie. The titles are pure Anderson: “Shelly And The Secret Universe,” “The Francine Odysseys,” “The Girl From Jupiter,” “Disappearance Of The 6th Grade,” “The Light Of Seven Matchsticks” and “The Return Of Auntie Lorraine.”
In addition to commissioning artists to create the book covers for the movie, Anderson later decided to go one step further and have each of the books get the animated treatment. “We got the artist to do key drawings, and then someone else had to take those key drawings and animate them,” producer Jeremy Dawson told EW. “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 does his work in oil painting, so someone had to kind of emulate that oil painting look in the animation.”
Remarkably, the work was done in a mere two weeks, with Anderson writing the sections of the books we hear in the short. “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” Anderson said. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.”
For now, you’ll have to click over to EW to watch it, but we’ll add an embed as soon as one becomes available. “Moonrise Kingdom” is now playing in limited release.