Most filmmakers still hope their works will be seen on the bigscreen when they’re evaluated by awards voters, though by now they’re certainly resigned to home viewing of screeners. But for one animated short on the Oscar shortlist, it’s actually preferable to watch it on a mobile device. There’s just one catch — the interactive version of Glen Keane’s “Duet” is only available on Motorola’s Moto phones through Google’s Spotlight Stories project.
The hand-drawn toon has been available online since May, but the interactive phone version just appeared automatically on Motorola phones on Tuesday. Former Disney animator Keane, who now works with Google’s ATAP group, worked on “The Little Mermaid” and “Pocahontas” and brings that sensibility to the sweet story of a boy and girl growing up. The interactive aspect, which is activated by moving the phone around, includes choosing whether to follow the boy’s story or the girl’s story — something that won’t be available to those watching on screeners.
Two other animated films have launched on Spotlight Stories, but the potential of the interactive medium will expand even more when Justin Lin’s live-action “Help!” launches next year. At that point, will the Academy have to send out Motorola phones to Oscar voters?
Watch the non-interactive of version of “Duet” below.