Production company We Are Royale (WAR) created a series of trailers for Disney Lorcana, an immersive trading card game by Ravensburger. 

The trailers, Into the Inklands, Ursula’s Return, and Shimmering Skies, which launched on June 12th, 2024, were produced to promote the release of three new card sets featuring characters from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Little Mermaid, Mulan, Encanto, Wreck-It Ralph, and more.

WAR's creative team approached the project through the pillars of worldbuilding, character development, and cinematography, incorporating animation techniques ranging from 2.5D and cel to 3D animation, all unified by a painterly aesthetic. 

Tasked with translating the game's characters, called glimmers, as well as the gameplay into beautiful living images, We Are Royale leaned into the lore and aesthetics of Ravensburger’s world guide for Disney Lorcana. 

Ravensburger – Shimmering Skies

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“It was important that the game’s ‘modern storybook’ aesthetic permeated every detail,” remarks Elleyce Pahang, Associate Art Director at We Are Royale. “We worked closely with their creative team and hand-painted every glimmer and background to ensure that their world’s look and feel was infused throughout the animation.”

WAR's objective was to animate a variety of Storyborn, Dreamborn, and Floodborn glimmers from the realm of Lorcana. This was achieved by subtly demonstrating character intent and movement. Additionally, they applied a design sensibility to the motion language, utilising character silhouettes. 

“We wanted to create a sense of the glimmers inhabiting the space and interacting, to feel the dappled moonlight of the Bayou cascade across their poses, or their shadows on the floor grounding them in the space,” adds Jared Norby, Animation Director at We Are Royale. 

Into the Inklands tells the story of Venturo, an Illumineer, and his journey beyond the Great Illuminary to find the Lucky Dime from DuckTales, along with glimmers of Tinker Bell, Prince Eric, and Audrey from Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Ursula’s Return continues the story of the Illumineers venturing out with Mulan, Ariel, and Mickey Mouse glimmers to Ursula’s lair to get back the stolen Hexwell Crown and King Triton’s trident. However, they are confronted by Ursula's army of entangled glimmers, which includes Bruno from Encanto, Magica De Spell from DuckTales, Jafar, and more.

After defeating Ursula, the Illumineers celebrate their victory in Shimmering Skies, a spectacle of a festival full of glimmers like Wreck-It Ralph, Vanellope, Merlin from Sword in the Stone, Bruni from Frozen 2, Gazelle from Zootopia, Basil from The Great Mouse Detective, and more.

“To see these characters from Disney’s rich history reinterpreted as beautiful glimmers is exciting,” says Pahang. “You really get to see them with fresh eyes.”  In serving Disney Lorcana's international audience, with players across Italy, Germany, and France, WAR aimed to convey different character traits and emotions through silent storytelling, honing in on universally understandable body language whenever possible.

For the environments, WAR's biggest task was to paint a picture of the game experience. The environments are largely derived from the visual language and lore of Disney Lorcana. 

“The environments are imaginative, as we had the creative reins to come up with some really beautiful backgrounds,” says We Are Royale Art Director Angelica Baini, who helmed the environments. “There are also some backgrounds that, if you're a huge fan of Disney, you would definitely recognize.”

WAR collaborated with a music composer to enhance the stories, incorporating a wide variety of musical genres and styles, from modern to quintessential Disney-inspired sounds. The music and sound not only highlight the narrative more effectively but also amplify the emotional resonance of the glimmers. 

“Storytelling remains at the heart of the game and our trailers,” concludes Norby. “And we continue to delve into new animation techniques collaborating with the team at Ravensburger, translating their beautiful game design and world building. Many of them are animators, designers, and illustrators themselves, and they've just been excellent partners.”