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Chris Williams On The Most Difficult Thing To Animate In The Sea Beast - Exclusive

Chris Williams is no stranger to animation. In fact, he's responsible for some of the best animated movies to come out in the last decade. After working as a story artist for various Disney properties, he soon moved up the ranks to become the director for 2008's "Bolt." He then moved on to directorial roles for the likes of "Big Hero 6" and "Moana." But after several decades with Disney, he's moved over to Netflix for his next project — the immensely anticipated "The Sea Beast."

The film follows a young girl who stows away on a sea monster hunter ship so that she can be a brave warrior just like her heroes. Of course, not everything goes as planned, and it's not long until she and Jacob Holland wind up on a monster-inhabited island. It's a great deal of fun for the entire family, and it shows just how far the filmmaker has come. 

However, just because he's been in the industry for years doesn't mean everything goes off without a hitch. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Williams spoke at length about the one thing that's still a pain in the butt to animate just right.

The ropes were the hardest thing to animate

At first glance, it would seem like the hardest thing to animate in "The Sea Beast" would be the water. After all, going out to sea brings all sorts of new physics to take into consideration, and there's also the matter of getting the ocean to look realistic. While Chris Williams admitted that animating that much water is always going to be a challenge, he also delved into another matter that most viewers may not pay much attention to: rope. Those darned ropes.

Those ropes have been challenging him for a while, as he stated, "I remember, in particular, the ropes on Moana's boat were one of the big technical challenges of 'Moana.' Those ropes were the bane of our existence, and she only had a handful of ropes on her boat. Here we are making 'The Sea Beast,' and there's literally hundreds and hundreds of ropes on these tall ships, but we wanted it to feel really realized and authentic. We had to figure out how to manage all those ropes." With ropes, there are certain mechanics at play that have to work just right, or else the whole thing comes across as wonky. 

Overcoming the ropes was merely a matter of putting in the effort to make them work, as Williams concluded by saying, "Fortunately, our crew knew that was a potential pitfall, so [we] spent a lot of time developing the technology and figuring out how the artists could deal with something as challenging as ropes." Their hard work is evident from the finished product, so if you plan on watching "The Sea Beast" soon, make sure you notice how all the ropes function.

"The Sea Beast" is now available on Netflix.