Check out Wes Anderson’s storyboard sketches from The Grand Budapest Hotel

The pastel-hued hotel of dreams as you’ve never seen it before.

by Frankie Dunn
05 May 2020, 10:49am

Wes Anderson fans rejoice. Clearly busy tidying up his home office during lockdown, your favourite filmmaker has unearthed the original storyboard for The Grand Budapest Hotel, his 2014 movie centred around a pastel-hued Alpen auberge of dreams. Seeing the early stages of the Oscar-winning film like this -- simple line-drawings, devoid of the building’s graded pinks and the mauves of the forested mountain backdrop -- is pretty special. Like being let in on some kind of secret.

Drawn and narrated by Wes himself, a newly-released animated five-minute video lays out the opening scene: the stag on the mountain top, the cable car, the pan over to the hotel itself, the symmetry. Shot by shot, we’re briefly introduced to the guests, the staff, the rooms where the misadventures of Zero and Monsieur Gustave H are fated to unfold. You’ll even find Wes voicing the conversation between hotel proprietor Mr Moustafa and Jude Law's unnamed "young writer" across the hotel's bathhouse.

The director shared the storyboard, it seems, to celebrate the film being added to his beloved Criterion Collection -- a series of key classic and contemporary films re-released on special edition home video. The special edition release of The Grand Budapest Hotel also features an extended 25-minute-long storyboard video. Naturally, Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket, The Darjeeling Limited, The Life Aquatic, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, Rushmore and Fantastic Mr. Fox also feature in the Criterion Collection. Perfect lockdown watching.

Wes Anderson
The Grand Budapest Hotel