This is a phenomenon that I hope never leaves me. I find something, end up becoming enthralled by it, and then I instantly felt the need to share it with everyone I absolutely could, not really paying attention to whether they actually cared about the same subject or not. It’s a feeling that happens constantly. When it does happen though, you know it. The joy overloads and you just can’t keep this thing you found to yourself, no matter how private it may seem that it wants to be, if at all.
That happened today.
I was doing some searching on Tumblr (yes, I use the site, and it’s an absolute blast. Not only is it great for fandoms and art, but it also has a huge activism base, too) and ended up coming across a storyboard sequence I’ve never seen before.
For those that don’t know it, this is for a specific scene and song in the Broadway musical Wicked, based on the book by Stephen Schwartz. It is a parallel story, telling the years before, and then a side story of the original The Wizard of Oz, which was written by L. Frank Baum. The story is that of Elphaba, who we all know as the green-skinned Wicked Witch Of The West in the original Oz story. She may have not been as wicked as we were all lead to believe, though.
The book is great, the music from the Broadway musical is outstanding, and even just short of ten years later, I’m still listening to it. I haven’t had a way to see the musical, sadly, but I’ve heard nothing but great things. I’m hoping to see it at one point, but I’m thinking more and more that a film adaptation is going to be the only way it will happen. Live action has been how Universal has been talking about the project, and for now, that’s the only way I was thinking about it. Tonight, I’ve made a complete one-eighty on that front. Now, I’m having a hard time seeing it any other way than a traditionally animated film.
Heidi Jo Gilbert released the storyboarded sequence two years ago. It was right around the time of me working in my final classes at university, so I must have missed it. This was her pitch to Schwartz to do the film as an animated picture. Were I Schwartz, I would’ve dropped everything to have this project moved. The choices in the shots and actual movement of the camera is stunning. The character designs are incredibly Disney-esque, which shouldn’t come as a surprises as Gilbert was (and as far as I know, still is) an animator for Walt Disney Animation Studios. She captured some magic in these storyboards, but sadly nothing came of them. It’s sad to see that be the case, but I’m still so incredibly happy the video is still online for the public to see.
It reminds me of my love of animation, and then still reminds me that I can still get excited about things. I can still feel that pull to tell everyone I know that this thing exists and is absolutely worth their time. You forget that from time to time, and those spots can be relatively dark. Finding something to share gives you a chance to share a bit of yourself with your love of someone else’s work. I’m absolutely thanking Gilbert for that. It felt good to need to share again.