Friday, June 10, 2005

Open Season

For those of you that did not get a chance to see the Open Season teaser before Madagascar, it was released on the web a couple of weeks ago.

If you click on the link from above, you can check it out. Overall I was disappointed by the effort. Now, before anyone goes crazy, I know this is only a teaser and not an indication of how wonderful the film may be. But, you have to judge what you are given.

The look and animation far surpasses Jimmy Neutron or what we will see from Barnyard and the other animation properties we'll see from studios we've never heard of. However, I hold Sony Pictures Animation on another level and expect them to be the closest competition to Pixar, Disney, and DreamWorks that you will find.

So what is my problem with it? First off, the colors are completely murky and depressing. The animation is okay, but nothing to get excited about. I'm especially disappointed with the acting at the end with the bear and the deer. The lipsync lacks a crispness that makes me feel like these characters are not talking. It is obvious that the animators are using IK for the deers arms, because they forgot to animate some movement in a couple of places and reeks of some sloppy execution. It just is a few levels below what I would expect from SPA.

As far as voices? Ashton Kutcher is a horrible choice for a cartoon. The bear doesn't feel right to me either. I just don't feel a connection between the voices and the characters.

Do I have anything good to say about it? Yeah, as a matter of a fact... The story sounds promising and the bear's character design and technical execution is nice. The human character looks good (and works far better than any of the animals, imo).

Hopefully this teaser was rushed and the final product will be better animated. Right now I'm sitting back and feeling a little disappointed.


Rachael said...

Sony Pictures Animation, a division of Sony Pictures Digital, might have the most uphill battle of them all. They seem to be going the DreamWorks route of big name stars for their first movie, OPEN SEASON, set to open in 2006. Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Messing provide voices for the main characters (a bear, a deer and a human), all inspired by the humor of syndicated cartoonist Steve Moore (In the Bleachers).

Because Sony didn’t have a feature animation division to pilfer talent from, it has had to acquire artistic “free agents” from the other major studios. They’ve signed Jill Culton away from Pixar as director on OPEN SEASON. Culton was head of story on MONSTERS, INC. and worked on the story team for TOY STORY and TOY STORY 2. Anthony Stacchi, co-Director of OPEN SEASON, was recently part of the development team on the traditionally animated CURIOUS GEORGE at Universal. The next film from Sony, the mock-umentary SURF'S UP, scheduled for a 2007 release, is being directed by Ash Brannon, who co-developed and co-directed TOY STORY 2, and Chris Buck, who directed Disney’s TARZAN. Sony definitely has pilfered the top talent from their competitors, but is 2006 a few years too late?

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