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Cartoon Brew Pick

‘Nephtali’ by Glen Keane

In Nephtali, animator Glen Keane uses both film and drawing in order to depict the journey of a ballerina that is drawn towards a higher power.

The legendary Disney animator Glen Keane, who invented characters such as Ariel, Tarzan, Pocahontas and the Beast, perfectly remembers his first encounter with the Paris Opera : as he was sitting in a nearby café, he could not stop drawing “the most beautiful building I had ever laid eyes on.” Dancing has always inspired his art which circles around the creation of movement, and he was excited to lift the curtain and enter a world which seemed even more magical than the performances on stage.

His film Nephtali, which refers to Jacob’s blessings and Psalm 42, was born from the comparison between the grace of a dancer and that of a deer. In a choreography which Glen created with Marion Barbeau, he depicts the journey of a soul that is drawn towards a higher power, fights a struggle and is eventually liberated.

By using both film and drawing, Glen Keane and Marion Barbeau manage to overcome the constraints of gravity and attain the freedom towards which a dancer’s body and spirit always aspire. The film was produced for 3e Scène, the digital platform of Paris Opera.

  • TT

    ugh he has such a distinctively beautiful style. so glad that his style will be immortalized by Disney films.

  • Hal Jordan

    Absolutely lovely.

  • We all know how powerful and masterful Glen Keane is when it comes to animation, and his new short Nephtali continues to add to his legacy.

    Seeing his charcoal lines move and flow, giving us new experiences, as reliving some classic ones, Nephtali is beautiful. He is one of the main reasons why hand drawn animation is not dead, and that it can be a successful medium, when done right.

    I cannot wait for his next piece. I really cannot. Thank you Glen.

  • Aaron

    I keep forgetting he speaks French. Good for him!

  • Justin Howe

    This makes my heart soar! It is great to see the master still at work and keeping hand drawn animation alive in the digital age. Bravo, Monsieur Keane!

  • James Madison


  • guest

    The animated segment was fantastic. Too bad there wasn’t more of that and less tedious live action footage.