Animator Choi Young-jae On Raya and the Last Dragon
Interviewed by Korea JoongAng Daily, a Korean-born animator talks about Disney’s latest…
This story starts from the ground up.
Years ago, Disney animator Choi Young-jae was a shoe designer who kept admiring his work on the feet of others. When his girlfriend (at the time) chided him for being so focused on the ground, Young-jae set his sights higher.
“That’s when I realized I was too focused [on my immediate achievement],” he told the Korea JoongAng Daily. “I was always interested in studying CGI animation, so at the age of 30 I quit everything and went to the U.S., and I was lucky enough to land a job at Pixar, and then moved to Disney.”
And now, fast forward, Disney is about to release a film — Raya and the Last Dragon — that was completed with everyone working away from the studio at home.
Working On Raya and the Last Dragon
Choi told Korea JoongAng Daily:
Working from home had its ups and downs. While it was easy to go to work — I just had to take a few steps from my bed — doing overtime at home was tough.
Without giving too much away from the excellent interview, Choi pointed to certain moments in the film as the most memorable as his expertise is character faces, joints, and movements.
So the battle scenes stood out to Choi:
Basically, I’m responsible for all of the characters’ movements except for the effects… By effects, I mean water, fire, explosions or the movements of the characters’ clothes and hair.”
We can’t wait to see Choi Young-jae’s work.
Raya and the Last Dragon debuts simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and theatres on March 5.
More on Choi Young-jae
Read the full interview, and If you want to learn more about Choi Young-jae and Disney Animation, watch this (subtitled) YouTube video.
One heartening thing to hear (read) in the presentation was Choi’s quote:
“The spirit of Disney I felt for the last 12 years, was respect and harmony, not class or competition and the time to respect work-life balance…”