Club Wild Life: Animated Feature Film

Role: Visual Effects Supervisor

Club WildLife

Wild Life was a planned animated movie by Disney studios. Loosely based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion, the movie was to tell the story of an elephant who became a hit on the New York club circuit. The project was cancelled in 2000.

Story

“Club Wild Life” is the name of a club owned by fashionista Magda, who is also the owner of the pop magazine “Magazizzi” and arbiter of what is “in” and what is “out”. When diva Kitty Glitter is pronounced “out”, she and her DJ boyfriend Red Pittstain set out to have their revenge.Intending to embarass Magda somehow, their plan involves kidnapping an elephant from the local zoo. When the elephant, Ella, is accidentally zapped by electricity, she is transformed into a “singing, dancing diva”.

Production

Wild Life went into development in the late nineties. By the Summer of 2000, the movie, to be made with computer animation, had two sequences given the green light for production. Actors considered to voice the characters in the story included Kathy Bates as Magda, Debra Messing as Kitty, and Alan Cumming as Red.

In late Summer, the producers were preparing for a test-screening of the entire movie at the storyboard level. Disney vice-chairman Roy E. Disney was in attendance, but at the end, appalled by the film’s adult humour, stormed out of the building declaring, “We can’t release this movie”.(One rumour suggests that the last straw for Disney was a joke made between two homosexual characters as they entered the city’s sewer system, involving a double-entendre with the word “manhole”.) The production was then scrapped.