In Wes Anderson’s indie mega-hit Moonrise Kingdom, 12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward) packs an unusual set of items for her runaway adventure with her pen-pal boyfriend, Sam (Jared Gilman): A half-dozen (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the library, three of which she reads aloud over the course of the film. Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers, but initially the director wanted to take the artistry even further. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” he says.
Anyone who’s seen the film knows Anderson ultimately chose to simply hold on the faces of his cast as they listen to Suzy read, but with his experience making the stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox still fresh in his mind, Anderson never quite let go of the idea.
So in April, the idiosyncratic filmmaker decided to animate all six books anyway, as a supplementary treat to the film itself. “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” he says. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.”
You can watch the result exclusively below. (They contain no Moonrise Kingdom spoilers, so feel free to check it out even if you haven’t yet seen the film.) READ FULL STORY