moonbot studios

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Some early exploration sketches I made for a project about Usain Bolt for Gatorade. It was a lot of fun trying to capture his athleticism in a pretty simplified/flat style, and the short turned out awesome - check it The Boy Who Learned to Fly! Art & film property of Moonbot LLC

(Fun fact, I also ended up modeling teen & adult Usain. And the sweet sweet pupper who hits his head.) 

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Gatorade and Moonbot Studios made a web ad too pretty for me to click through.

“The Boy Who Learned to Fly,” a gorgeous short animated film about Usain Bolt.

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Guardians of Childhood Jack Frost

ISBN: 978-1442430433
Released Date: October 27, 2015
Publisher:  Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 48
Author: William Joyce

Discover how Jack Frost keeps the hearts of children happy in the third picture book in Academy Award winner William Joyce’s New York Times bestselling and “dazzlingly inventive” (Publishers Weekly) The Guardians of Childhood series.

Before Jack Frost was Jack Frost, he was Nightlight, the most trusted and valiant companion of Mim, the Man in the Moon. But when Pitch destroys Mim’s world, he nearly destroys Nightlight too, sending him plunging to Earth where, like Peter Pan, he is destined to remain forever a boy, frozen in time. And while Nightlight has fun sailing icy winds and surfing clouds, he is also lonely without his friend Mim. To keep the cold in his heart from taking over, he spreads it to the landscapes around him and earns a new name: Jack Overland Frost.

But a true friend always comes through, and on one particularly bleak night, Mim shines down and shows Jack a group of children in great peril. Through helping them, Jack finds the warmth he’s been yearning for, and realizes bringing joy to others can melt his own chill. It is this realization—that there will always be children who need moments of bravery, who need rosy cheeks, who need to build snowmen, and who are then eager for a spring day—that makes Jack realize why he is a forever boy, and worthy of becoming a Guardian of Childhood.

William Joyce’s Q&A

Check out some of William Joyce’s answers about Rise of the Guardians, The Guardians of Childhood and… the ROTG SEQUEL?!?!

thatbrat: Dear Mr. Joyce, I know many people don’t give him much thought when talking about the movie, Rise of the Guardians, but for me, the character I was able to relate to the most was young Jamie Bennett. I saw so much of myself in him from when I was a child, and can still relate to his wanting to believe in fantastical beings and pursuit for the truth of the supernatural. I also thought his relationship with Jack was especially endearing and significant. So, getting down to it, my question is: can we expect to see more of him, specifically in Guardians of Childhood? Also, if you’ve given any thought to it, what would he be like as a teenager? What would his aspirations be?

WJ: Jamie was our way of giving the audience a sort of identifiable every kid. So as his character took shape we just thought of the things we wanted him to embody that we all had felt about belief and imagination and that sort of fall from grace when you have to accept the fact that a lot of these things aren’t real. But the belief in them is really the most awesome part of the experience, and in the way it makes these characters real. I want to leave Jamie exactly as he is and let people like yourself imagine his further adventures.

KSClaw: Dear Mr. Joyce, where did you get your initial ideas for Nicholas St. North from your Guardian of Childhood series? How did you come up with that he started out as a Bandit King?

WJ: 1. I came up with the idea when i was in the 3rd grade when I saw my first James Bond move with Sean Connery and I thought Santa Claus must be as cool as Sean Connery and I came up with an early idea of what his life must be like: a super cool spy bandit from bandit from long ago.
2. Sort of the same thing it seemed more interesting that he started out as not a totally good guy, but became a good guy because of what happened to him. It was sort of merging Robin Hood and James Bond because Robin Hood was a normal guy and became a hero because of what was going on around him. He became a hero for the underprivileged, and kids are always treated as second class citizens and Santa Claus’ mission was to make their lives easier and inventive and full of imagination.

rareapplepie: Hello! I have a couple of questions of you! 

1. Is there going to be a book for Pitch in the Guardians of Childhood series?
2. Are we going to get a Rise of the Guardians sequel? I’ve heard whispers and rumors, but I wanted to ask you guys~
3. Will there ever be any hope of actually getting good, quality merchandise for Rise of the Guardians? Things like…Jack’s Hoodie, maybe a toy Ruby Memory box, stuffed plushie Nightmares, maybe even something cute like a Sandman Nightight? All of your fans would -love- to have stuff like that!

WJ: Maybe. I’m thinking about. I just finished the Jack Frost book. Everyone who wants a sequel to happen to call Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks studio, and not to hang up until you talk to him. Tell them how essential it is that another Rise of the Guardians film be made. As for the merchandise, call Jeffrey Katzenberg [laughs] send him telegrams, letters, fruitcakes, pints of blood, anything that’ll get them to do this very simple, profitable, and necessary extension of our global culture. And bless you all.

KSCLaw: What was the inspiration for Bunnymund from Guardians of Childhood, and how chocolate affects him (such as the transformations)?

WJ: The inspiration for Bunnymund was a play from the 1950s – and a movie – called Harvey starting Jimmy Stewart. In which Jimmy Stewart’s best friend is a six foot all knowing all powerful invisible rabbit named Harvey. Harvey is described as a Pooka a creature of Celtic mythology. I loved that play and movie as a kid and I still love it. So I made Bunnymund the last of the Pooka’s and gave them a history that amused and delighted me and I tried to do honor to the original concept of Harvey. The chocolate thing, it just made narrative sense.

JokulFrosti1: William when you were making Rise Of The Guardians do you ever planned on naming Jack’s sister? And if so what would be her name?

WJ: That’s a closely guarded secret, but if you contact Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreamworks Studios to know the answer in a sequel to Rise of the Guardians I think that’s the best shot you have to knowing the answer.

JokulFrosti1: Did Jack meet his “family” (the one we see in flashbacks in ROTG) between his (as Nightlight) battle with Pitch but before he officially became Jack Frost?

WJ: Yes, but they couldn’t see him.

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William Joyce appears at the 2011 National Book Festival.

William Joyce has put his personal stamp on all types of children’s media. His picture books include “George Shrinks,” “Dinosaur Bob” and “Santa Calls.” He has won three Emmy awards for his “Rolie Polie Olie” animated series, developed character concepts for the animated features “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life,” and made films, including “Robots” and “Meet the Robinsons.” He is currently co-directing the DreamWorks Animation release of “Rise of the Guardians,” inspired by his new series. His new book is “The Man in the Moon.”

Watch on boothrat.tumblr.com

‘The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore’

Concept Art

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He’s back! Cartoon Buster errr Morris Lessmore. This one is like an ode to Sherlock Jr. 

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The Scarecrow || CAA Marketing

From Fiona Apple’s cover of the Willy Wonka “Pure Imagination" to MOONBOT Studios’ excellent graphics and mobile/ipad game to boot, the Scarecrow multi-media campaign for Chipotle is truly impressive. Adding on to the award winning ad format from their previous Back to the Start campaign, Chipotle now has a mobile/iPad game to engage its audience. The campaign highlights once again Chipotle’s mission to provide "food with integrity” in a world filled with factory farmed meals.

P.S. You get free food from Chipotle if you capture at least three stars out of five in each of the game’s levels!

Storyboards for an animated adaptation of The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. Coming out soon through Moonbot Studios. 

“The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous family.”
“I forget your arms.”
“A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.”
“And the motto?”
“Nemo me impune lacessit.”
“Good!” he said.

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The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by Moonbot Studios. Louisiana needs to have more awesome animation studios like this.

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Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg (co-founders of Moonbot Studios of Shreveport, Louisiana) comes a short film with a mouthful of a title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011 short… here is a link). The short is influenced by a strange combination of The Wizard of Oz, the silent films of Buster Keaton, and the experiences of Louisianans after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. It is dedicated to Joyce’s 18-year old daughter Mary Katherine Joyce, who died of a brain tumor the year before.

When a hurricane strikes New Orleans’ French Quarter, Morris Lessmore finds himself in a dreary, black-and-white world that is soon punctuated by the colors made possible by a team of flying books and a lady flying along with them. Soon after, Lessmore enters a library of these flying books and an rewarding experience of a lifetime for him is only just beginning. Its fusion of both traditional and computer-generated animation styles fits with the short film’s celebration of artists long-gone and an individual and a society’s renewal after a terrible loss.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short, beating out what many saw as its closest rival for the prize: Pixar's La Luna.

On a personal note… I remember seeing this in a theater in Santa Cruz, California that was showing packages of the nominated animated and live-action short films. I attended these screenings of the nominated animated and live-action short films twice (once in 2012, again in 2013)… and this is still the only short that elicited tears from me and a gasp of “wow” when the credits rolled. If anything, it speaks to this short film’s power and its unmistakable heart and emotion.

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“Silent” is an animated short film created by Academy Award® winning Moonbot Studios. It celebrates how storytellers, inventors, and technology work together to create cinema magic.

The story follows two street performers who dream of bringing their “Picture and Sound Show” to life. When they discover a magical contraption inside an old theatre, they embark on a cinematic adventure of sight and sound to find the audience they always wanted.

The sound was created by Oscar® nominated sound designer Steve Boeddeker.

“Silent” debuted at the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards on February 15, 2014.