‘Simpsons’ producer Al Jean on new ‘Star Wars’-inspired short and the ‘Mandalorian’ cameo you didn’t see
“We wrote the first draft around January 28. It was me, Michael Price and Joel Cohen and David Silverman directed. And we really worked nonstop from late January right till the end of last week,” Jean informs CNN. “You may think, ‘Wow, three minutes. How could you take so long?’ You know, it takes a long time to make something look casual.”
The brief, which runs about 3 and a half minutes in length, is among what is anticipated to be numerous shorts to come from “The Simpsons” group, thanks to an offer struck in between Disney+ and executive manufacturer James L. Brooks back in January.
Working with LucasFilm was “great,” according to Jean, including that the only limitation put on them was their usage of the precious Grogu, likewise referred to as “the Child” or “Baby Yoda.”
“Grogu is the most popular character created anywhere in fiction in the last year, and you don’t want to overexpose him,” Jean states. “So they let us do a little tribute to him but not a big reference, which I think is great.”
At one point, the Mandalorian himself made a look in the brief, however it eventually got cut from the piece.
“There was a scene where we had the parents picking up the kids, and the Mandalorian was one of them,” Jean states. “What happened was once we hit on it as a story between Maggie and BB-8, we just eliminated everything that wasn’t pertinent to that story.”
Jean, nevertheless, would invite the chance to play in the “Star Wars” universe once again in the future.
“I would love it that,” he states. “The Phantom menace poster [in the credits], where you see like the shadow of the pacifier, that was David Silverman’s drawing. And I [said], ‘Yeah, that gives you all sorts of ideas.'”
Likewise readily available to them for future shorts is the entire library of Disney homes, from Marvel to Pixar (“I’m in animation, but I think they’re the best in animation”).
“It’s really a great set of material,” he states. “And, by the way, I subscribe to Disney+, you know. I pay. So I think it’s a fantastic package. I mean, I truly do.”
Yes, he pays.
“I did get one year free, but when it came to be renewed, I gladly did,” he states.
Future shorts will likely be connected to other crucial dates on the Disney+ calendar, Jean stated. In reality, he simply learnt that November 12 is the 2nd anniversary of Disney+, “so we might do something for that, too.”
Jean is no complete stranger to the difficult work that animation needs — brief or otherwise. However the possibility of another full-length function, he states, is something that stays up in the air.
“The feature nearly killed us,” he states. “And one side issue of another movie, which we’ve talked about, is I believe that the feature market is really backed up right now. I mean, there has to be so many terrific films and animated films already in development that somebody said, they’re going to have like a big movie come out every week in the fall. So that would certainly delay it.”
He includes: “But, I mean, we were really happy when we did the film — when we were done and could look back at it. I’m really proud of it. So, I would be happy to do another. We wouldn’t do it unless we really thought it deserved a full movie treatment and was worth into the viewer. We wouldn’t do it just for the money.”
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.