To introduce the second feature at D23 Expo during Disney Animation panel, Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter was brought back on stage to announce the development of a new feature-length film, Gigantic. The story is based on the classic tale, Jack and the Beanstalk. “When Disney does a fairy tale, it becomes the definitive version of that story,” said John Lasseter. The studio aims to be the end all be all for this tale.
Production is already underway, with Nathan Greno (Tangled) directing and Dorothy McKim (Get a Horse!) producing. The crack team behind the music of Frozen, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, will be teaming up with Disney once again to write the music for Gigantic. All four were present on stage during the big presentation.
Set in Spain, Gigantic is not aiming to be or will be your traditional Jack and the Beanstalk fare. I can only assume that it wants to distance itself as far away from 2013’s Jack the Giant Killer as possible. It’s the Age of Discovery and upon finding the magic beans, Jack soon uncovers a whole new world of giants. Yes, this sounds very similar to the fairytale we know, but when Jack meets Inma, a “feisty” young giant girl, that’s when the new tale truly begins.
Inma was named after a little girl the filmmakers met in Spain while doing research for Gigantic. In the animated feature, Inma at first believes Jack is a toy. Being at the mercy of her size, Jack is helpless to stop her, but soon the two develop a bond that brings adventure into their lives. Of course it wouldn’t be a Disney movie if they didn’t learn something life changing about themselves as well.
Greno went on to tease the existence of Storm Giants, the big bads in the giant world who cause havoc for all and a force Inma and Jack try to stop. The director describes Gigantic as a “tearjerker,” saying “If we do our jobs right, we hope this will become the definitive version,” he stated. Does Inma fall out of the clouds? They’re really adamant on making audiences forget about Jack killing giants and returning with golden eggs.
A theory I have is that Jack and Inma try to stop the Storm Giants and in the process of doing so Inma falls out of the sky and when Jack arrives back on the ground he is declared a hero. Thus, the fairytale we know is told from the perspective of those who do not know the true story of Jack and Inma. If that’s the case, I’d be really on board for this kind of tragic tale told as an animated story.
A pre-visualized clip of Gigantic was shown at the end of the presentation that depicted the beanstalk sprouting up into the sky. Jack was shown climbing, eventually reaching the land of giants, with what appears to be Inma chasing after him. Skipping ahead, the two are shown enjoying each other’s company.
To cap off the presentation, a clip of the latest song from Anderson-Lopez and Lopez was played with the duo singing it for the D23 Expo crowd. The lyrics go as following:
I love my little man, I love my little man, you can make him do this, you can make him do this.
You can wash him in a dish, be care he gets ticklish, my teeny little man.
In a life that’s kind of lonely, I thought if only, I had a little man.
Here’s the official production notes on Gigantic courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios:
“GIGANTIC” TAKES ROOT – Things are looking up at Walt Disney Animation Studios – way up. “Gigantic,” Disney’s unique take on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” will feature music from Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who greeted D23 EXPO fans in signature style—in song—alongside director Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and producer Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”). Set in Spain during the Age of Exploration, Disney’s “Gigantic” follows adventure-seeker Jack as he discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds. He hatches a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl, and agrees to help her find her way home. But he doesn’t account for her super-sized personality—and who knew giants were so down to earth?
And here’s the official plot plot synopsis:
DOWN TO EARTH — Adventure-seeker Jack discovers a world of giants hidden within the clouds, hatching a grand plan with Inma, a 60-foot-tall, 11-year-old girl. Directed by Nathan Greno (“Tangled”) and produced by Dorothy McKim (“Get A Horse!”).
Gigantic hits theaters on March 9, 2018.