Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, released in 2014, is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word. However, seeing some of the film’s most pivotal scenes animated and explained by the man himself provides a fascinating look at the adored film through a completely new lens.
The film is perhaps Anderson’s most complete vision, the Grand Budapest Hotel provides a perfect gateway into his cinematic world that he has created. It’s a film full of heart that managed the rare feat of securing both commercial and critical acclaim without compromising on the filmmaker’s integrity slightly.
Visually it is as perfect as Anderson has ever produced, with bright vibrant colours that the director has become renowned for —but this animation version delivers the film in black and white, which gives the motion picture a brand new feel that still hs a completely new feel to it.
Despite being a different entity to the original, the animated short keeps that childlike Anderson charm but, instead of using a rainbow of colours to achieve it, the detailed cartoonish elements of the characters help it reach that destination instead.
The beloved film was reimagined by The Criterion Collection who created 25 minutes worth of animated storyboards that Anderson made which are then even narrated by the filmmaker himself. The clip below brings the beginning of Grand Budapest Hotel to life through Anderson’s early hand-drawn graphics and provides an insight into what he initially envisaged the Grand Budapest Hotel to look like once it finally ended up on the screen.
Considered by many to be Anderson’s best work, the film was released in March 2014 by Searchlight Pictures and quickly became his highest-grossing movie worldwide after scoring $172.9 million at the box office. Critical acclaim then followed as it went on to earn nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Grand Budapest then won the Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Costume Design.
This animated short offers an enthralling insight into the world of Wes Anderson and how his mind works, there are stark similarities between the final version of the film such as the hotel being identical to the one that the filmmaker created in his early storyboards as well. From watching this short clip, it makes it evidently clear that when Anderson takes on a project, he has a clear vision from the start that he sees out and never compromises on. A true artist.
Absorb it’s beauty, below.