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The Magic of “The Inventor” Film and Leonardo da Vinci by Director Jim Capobianco

Jim Capobianco & Christopher Knight attends The Inventor U.S. Premiere at Hollywood Post 43 - American Legion on September 14 , 2023
By: Nikoleta Morales| Jim Capobianco & Christopher Knight attends The Inventor U.S. Premiere at Hollywood |image: WireImage

Directed and written by Jim Capobianco (the Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter of “Ratatouille”) and co-directed by Pierre-Luc Granjon, “The Inventor” is a film about the adventurous life of Leonardo da Vinci featuring the voices of Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Marion Cotillard, Gauthier Battoue, and Matt Berry. “The Inventor,” which was created with a combination of stop-motion puppet and hand drawn animation, comes out nationwide in theaters on Sept 15th, 2023.

The curious and headstrong inventor/artist Leonardo da Vinci leaves Italy to join the French court where he can freely experiment, invent flying contraptions and incredible machines, and study the human body. Joined in his adventure by the audacious Princess Marguerite, Leonardo attempts to uncover the answer to the ultimate question: “What is the meaning of life?”

“I’ve enjoyed twenty years of experience in animation working on films from “The Lion King” to “Ratatouille”, yet “The Inventor” was the story that inspired me for over a decade. I feel lucky to have created it with filmmakers and artists from all around the world whose talents and skills are unsurpassed in storytelling. Leonard da Vinci embodied an artistic and inquisitive spirit and I believe we have captured that same essence in our film,” says Capobianco.

Cultured Focus Magazine spoke with Capobianco and award-winning filmmaker Robert Rippberger who serves as a lead producer on the film. They both shared their thoughts on the film, the process, the cast and Leonardo da Vinci’s life. Rippberger has spent the last few months in France working with Capobianco on the film that gives audiences a glimpse into the life of Leonardo da Vinci, while capturing the magic and spirit of children's cinema. Even though it took almost 12 years in the making, both Capobianco and Rippberger feel that now is the right time to show it.

Capobianco says he wanted to focus on Leonardo because he always thought of him as a genius. In his research he learned about his problems and faults and he wanted to tell his story on a human level. “We wanted a film that adults and kids would enjoy,” he said. His goal was to make a film that audiences can revisit many times and every time can get something new out of it.

Interview | Jim Capobianco and award-winning Filmmaker Robert Rippberger

The composer who worked on “The Inventor” is Alex Mendel. He has worked with Capobianco since Pixar. The incredible songs in the film do not make it feel like a musical but almost like a beautiful musical masterpiece. In addition to the music, the film is a cinematic masterpiece done by drawing and stop-motion to embody the artistry of Leonardo’s life and his genius. “It became the language of the film,” said Capobianco.

“Watching these puppets come to life was extraordinary to watch,” said Rippberger.

Capobianco’s interest and love for France, inspired him to work on projects like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Ratatouille” and now “The Inventor.” “There is something about real people and society told in a way that isn't the traditional Hollywood way,” said Capobianco who made the film in France.

Another important aspect of the film is the message. “I think it's about the legacy and what you do in your life and how you affect other people. I think we have the power in all of us to affect change and each other, and I think we forget that,” said Capobianco.

Even though this wasn’t a big budget film, Rippberger was able to bring in an incredible cast who loved working on the film. “It's about family and finding those people, those collaborators, it is something special. It showed up all on screen and it is all you can hope for as a producer,” he said.

Jim Capobianco was born in 1969 in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. He graduated from Cal Arts in 1991 with a BFA in character animation. Hired at Disney in their story department, Jim worked on various films at Disney including “The Lion King,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “Fantasia 2000.” In 1997, Jim left Disney to join Pixar. He worked as a story artist on “A Bug’s Life” and contributed story material to “Toy Story 2”. He continued to help shape the story of such films as “Monsters, Inc.” and “Finding Nemo”. In 2001, Jim helped craft the screenplay for “Ratatouille” and was a constant presence on the production, earning an Academy Award

nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Jim also wrote and directed the Annie Award winning “Your Friend the Rat” as well as the critically acclaimed end titles for “WALL-E.” Jim continues to foster his love of 2D and handcrafted animation with his labor of love, “Leonardo and the King.”

For more on “The Inventor”:


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