Though Pixar arguably remains the dominant Hollywood studio in the realm of animation, their friends at Disney Animation Studios have slowly but surely emerged as a leading contender for that title. In recent years, the Mouse House’s animation branch has released several well-received hits such as Big Hero 6, Wreck-it Ralph, and of course, Frozen. This spring, their hot streak continued with the acclaimed Zootopia (which grossed $1 billion worldwide), and they have Moana coming in November. Starring box office juggernaut Dwayne Johnson, that film is expected to be one of the most successful of the fall.
Disney Animation will sit 2017 out, but they’ll be back with another double feature in 2018. That March sees the release of Wreck-it Ralph 2, followed by Gigantic over the Thanksgiving holiday. Announced back in the summer of 2015, the latter of those two projects is a retelling of the famous Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, with the twist being that Jack befriends a female giant named Inma. Tangled helmsman Nathan Greno has been in line to direct Gigantic, and now it’s been revealed he will receive some assistance in that department.
THR is saying that Meg LeFauve, writer of Disney vehicles Inside Out and the upcoming Captain Marvel, has been tapped to co-direct Gigantic. According to the report, she was working on the Gigantic script, and her input and contributions led to her official capacity with the film being increased. It is similar to what happened with Frozen, where writer Jennifer Lee was promoted to co-director during the production. Though LeFauve’s filmography is brief so far, she has obviously made a strong impression with the higher-ups.
For those not in the know, Gigantic will be set in Spain during the Age of Exploration. Jack discovers a secret world in the clouds populated by giants, which is where he meets Inma. Like any good Disney story, there will be intimidating villains for the heroes to face in the form of the 120-foot Storm Giants, who will probably want to turn Jack into one of their meals. Robert Lopez and Kirsten Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the songs for Frozen, are also working on tunes for this movie. Given that they found a great deal of success with the Frozen soundtrack, many will be excited to hear what they come up with for Gigantic. Perhaps “Fee-fi-fo-fum” could be the next “Let It Go.”
All in all, this is a positive development for Gigantic and bodes well for its potential quality. LeFauve is one of the rising stars at the studio, having already earned one Oscar nomination for the Inside Out screenplay, and this will give her a great opportunity to showcase her talents and grow as a filmmaker. Additionally, Disney Animation has frequently used the co-director system for their movies; Rich Moore and Byron Howard called the shots on Zootopia, while Ron Clements and John Musker are being joined by Don Hall and Chris Williams for Moana. Gigantic is following the established Disney template, which has a great track record thus far.
Gigantic will open in U.S. theaters November 21, 2018.