Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"The Lion King' and "Beauty and The Beast" Animator Leaves Disney For God

By Eryn Sun | Christian Post Correspondent

When Davy Liu left behind a six-figure salary and a job most animators could only dream about, it was only just the beginning.

For the former Disney animator who worked on such classic films as “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “Mulan,” one mission stood above the rest – fulfilling God’s will for his life.

In an interview with The Gospel Herald, Liu shared about his new, God-given dreams, which were no longer centered on winning an Oscar, but on doing the Kingdom’s work, despite financial obstacles and family disapproval.

“Fulfilling the will of God is more important than earning worldly wealth because the treasures on earth are temporary, but the treasures stored in heaven are for an eternity,” Liu stated.

Having worked in Hollywood for over a decade ever since he was 19, the talented artist revealed why he chose to abandon such an illustrious and highly coveted job, during what appeared to be the very pinnacle of his career.

“When I worked in Disney, deep down in my heart, I was always discontent. At that time, I thought to myself, ‘Why is it that movies and artworks produced by Christian film are oftentimes made with low budgets or made in an unattractive manner?’”

“[I] asked God in my prayer and God told me that it is because good artists have given their best to the world.”

Desiring to offer his best to God instead, Liu decided to quit his job and dedicate himself to producing inspiring, character-based animated stories of faith.

“I hope to inspire young souls to experience life through faith,” he explained in a statement. “There is more to life than meets the eye.”

At 31, Liu founded Kendu Films, a unique media company dedicated to producing inspiring stories of faith. Adopted from Philippians 4:13, which states, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength,” he created the name “Kendu,” which is pronounced like “can do.”

The Taiwan-born animator, with inspiration from “The Lion King” and personal devotions spent in Scripture, developed the idea to create a series of Bible-themed animations, with each story depicting a Bible story from the perspective of an animal.

From script writing to background drawing, there is no detail that Liu is not thoroughly responsible for.

Entitled the “Invisible Tails” series, Liu plans to complete 12 stories over 12 years, culminating in an animated movie based on all 12 books. The first four books have already been published in a condensed form, hoping to garner attention for potential investors. The works include: “Giant Leaf,” “Fire Fish,” “Jordan’s Guest” and “The Royal Feast.”

“My vision is that our animated films’ final measure of success will not be the volume of Happy Meals or toys sold, but that we inspire and instill into our future generations more courage, truth, honesty, and integrity,” he relayed in a statement.

Although some of his stories have been published as children’s books, the Herald explains that Liu actually produced the animations for adults.

“The truth is that grown-ups really enjoy watching animations – little children do not understand the hidden message. The recent box-office hits such as ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Up’ produced by Pixar all have very touching messages.”

“Most people have misconceptions of Jesus and don’t understand the culture from within, let alone, understand the Bible,” he added. By watching the Bible stories in theaters, Liu hopes that audiences everywhere will be able to relate to the characters and experience the power of God.

With no regrets about giving up his Hollywood career, having also worked with George Lucas, the Warner Brothers Animation, and other notable corporations, Liu finds every day joyful.

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