By James Robert Shaw
(The Wind up Geek)
Sometimes for a con going big or go home can be dangerous. When your event makes a single guest your draw, going big can be a good thing. As in the case with Van Isle Con, Vancouver Island’s upcoming comic and cosplay convention, having Moana‘s co-director Chris Williams as your guest of honor is a very smart move. Sure, Williams doesn’t have the muscles of Dwayne Johnson (who voiced Maui), and okay, maybe he can’t sing like Auli’i Cravalho (Moana), but what he does have is a lot of talent and experience when it comes to creating films for all ages to enjoy.
William’s earliest credits are as story contributor for Disney on animated feature films such as 1998’s Mulan, The Emporer’s New Groove, and Brother Bear. More than just an ideas man, Williams also performed story artist duties on films Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Tangled, Frozen (where he voiced Oaken), and the Academy Award winning Zootopia.
But Williams came into prominence with Bolt, a 2008 animated film about a canine sci-fi/action TV star who believes his powers are real. With a cat and an overweight hamster who is an obsessed fan in tow, Bolt goes on a cross-country trek to rescue his human girl co-star from perceived dangers. The film stars John Travolta and Miley Cyrus. This was Williams’ first movie in the chair of both screenplay writer and director. In my opinion, it’s the best place to start before sampling his other directorial works.
Williams continued his success as executive producer and story creator for the Christmas animated TV special Prep & Landing, voiced by Canadians Dave Foley and Sarah Chalke, directed (with Don Hall) Disney’s box office smash Big Hero 6 (soon to become a television series), and was story creator and co-director on the aforementioned Moana (now available on DVD and Blu-ray).
The Van Isle Comic Con will take place in the beautiful seaside town of Sidney By Sea on June 11, 2017 at the Mary Winspear Centre. Door opean at 10:00am, admission is by donation. For more information visit Van Isle Comic Con on their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VanIsleCon/ or their official Twitter at https://twitter.com/VanIsleCon.