Veteran Disney animator Glen Keane shows how VR and art mix

Glen Keane, son of Bil Keane, is an American animator who, among other things, is a Disney veteran who helped bring us movies like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. In a beautiful video, Keane takes us through many things: he touches, briefly, on his own father's animation, then his art and what it means to him, his time at Disney, his process and more. He narrates the video with wonderful candor, but then takes it one step further and dons a VR mask.

Virtual reality is exciting, and when we hear about it, it's almost always in the context of gaming or entertainment. To a lesser degree we see it as a pure experience machine — a way to experience something and, depending on who you're talking to, a way to escape reality. Rarely, though, do we see it talked about in the realm of art.

Keane shows us what is possible when art and VR mix — he puts on a VR mask, holds a drawing wand, and uses the two to create Ariel the little mermaid in real space, even if it is only space he can see. Said Keane:

Even if you take the goggles off, I'm still remembering [that] she's right there, she's real! That doorway to the imagination is opened a little wider. The edges of the paper are no longer there, this is not a flat drawing. This is sculptural drawing. Making art in three dimensional space is an entirely new way of thinking for any artist. What does this mean for storytelling?