Disney Interviews Ben Wootten of Weta Workshop

From DisneyMovieRewards:

Disney Movie Rewards: How did you meet the challenge of bringing to life creatures steeped in mythology?

Ben Wootten: The first thing we did was look at creatures like centaurs, mermaids, and unicorns, and decide whether to take a new direction and try to create a centaur like no one has ever seen before, or stick with the tried-and-true image and make them different in another way. Instead of surprising the audience, we felt they should say, “That’s a beautiful centaur.” Our spin was in the way the creatures behaved and creating a culture that surrounds them.

DMR: So you gave the centaurs their own evolved behavior and culture?

BW: Yes. They have a well-proportioned body that is both horse and human. They are dressed in clothing and armor like French heavy cavalry with lances – beautiful, fine weaponry. Suddenly you understand these guys aren’t just wild creatures from Greek mythology. These are smart, sophisticated creatures with a culture.

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