An animated sci-fi fantasy, Esluna: The World Beyond is about Ruby, a teenage girl whisked away from a world of global war by one of her father’s inventions to the fantastical world of Esluna, where she is part of a prophecy that will liberate its citizens from a despotic queen and herald the return of Esluna’s god… her father. Aided on her journey by a mercenary, a monk, and a bionic teddy bear, Ruby must evade capture from the queen, and follow the clues of the prophecy to try to reunite with her father and find a way home. We envision Esluna as a modern, adventurous twist on stories like The Wizard of Oz and The Lion, The Witch and Wardrobe, married with the sci-fi sensibilities of Planet of the Apes and the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Drawing inspiration from the work of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, we aspire to evoke a terrific sense of wonder, from the world to the mythology, by utilizing a variety of unique visual landscapes, old world spirituality, and retro-futuristic technology. Tinged with pathos and dark mystery, Esluna explores themes of family, love, and being greater than yourself.

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The Style:

Influenced on the look of traditional animation along with the character design aesthetics of disney, Esluna takes on 3d and 2d animation and seamlessly blends the two mediums into one cohesive look inspired by Ghibli films. Every character will be hand drawn for every frame at 12 frames per second and all backgrounds will be hand painted. The use of 3d animation comes into play with vehicles and environment camera movement. To create the cohesive blend of traditional hand drawn animation with 3d, a technique called ‘projection mapping’ will be used. The technique involves hand painting an image and projecting that image onto a 3d model. This provides that model with a texture that blends seamlessly with its surrounding traditionally hand painted elements.



Most of the freelance work Denver has done, comes from a vfx and compositing background. This allows for his unique take on compositing 2d animation and given that he is capable at painting his own backgrounds, he can art direct to specific lighting and shadows as he knows how it will all come together.


Given that the abilities the characters have in Esluna are directly correlated to technology (nanomachines in the air), the 'powers' they disply will be visually represented by distortions that resemble digital video glitches. 

 image from: Esluna: the first monolith web series - young Bataar using his abilities

image from: Esluna: the first monolith web series - young Bataar using his abilities


From Denvers live-action film making background, all action will remained grounded as to how it would be filmed in reality. There will be no over the top camera angles or 'impossible camera' which will provide a base as to how the rest of the film will look.

 Image from the storyboards: Esluna - the world beyond

Image from the storyboards: Esluna - the world beyond

The spin off series that does not reveal any of the twists that happen in this pitch feature, was animated, storyboarded, written and edited by Denver. The hope for the funding of this film will be to help Denver hire help in these departments as well as forward his experience as a filmmaker and director.