Motorola Plans Interactive Short Film with Disney Animator

Motorola Mobility has announced that animation veteran Glen Keane will work on the third installment of Motorola’s “Spotlight Stories” series, which features short, interactive projects designed specifically for smartphones. The longtime Disney animator’s credits include “Aladdin,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Pocahontas,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” among others. The Motorola projects are being made available via the built-in Spotlight app on Moto X phones.

Motorola’s debut video, “Windy Day,” comes from Oscar-winning director Jan Pinkava, creator of Pixar films “Geri’s Game” and “Ratatouille.” Since Keane’s project will be third in the series, a second project should debut soon. Keane’s project is slated for a mid-2014 release, possibly to coincide with a new Motorola device.

In the launch title (pictured above), “users experienced the story of a mouse chasing its hat as it was whipped around the forest,” reports The Verge. “However, the user could change how they saw the environment, moving their phone around in order to control what their virtual ‘camera’ saw. While the series is clearly a promotional tool, it’s also a clever way to leverage technology while also opening up a new medium for filmmakers.”

“At Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, we believe in the power of storytelling, so we’re building new stories made specifically for mobile,” explains the Motorola blog. “Not stories made for the big screen but shown on a small one. Not flat content. We’re building interactive, immersive stories made for your smartphone.”

“Together with the engineers who unlocked the graphics technology that made our first Spotlight Story, ‘Windy Day,’ possible on the Moto X, we’re pushing new edges,” adds the post. “The raw emotion of the hand-drawn line brought to life in our technological world.”

The Spotlight Player is available in the Google Play store. According to Motorola, the player is now a pre-loaded, free app on the Moto X.

The company is emphasizing the graphics capabilities of its handsets. “The graphics chipset on the Moto X has 600 times the computation capability of that first Android device,” notes a blog post introducing the Spotlight Stories series, “and next year mobile graphics processors will surpass the computation capabilities of video game consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360.”