Saturday, July 30, 2005

Paramount Wakes Up

Paramount released a normal trailer for Barnyard. If you recall, they put out this dinky postage stamp sized trailer that was practically useless. Now you can find a normal sized trailer at ...continued...

First things first, that opening scene going through the dark forest was created by Blur Studios, not Omation. I realize the plan all along was to have the opening contrast the rest of the trailer to give bigger impact to the "joke". But, for some reason I can't help to think that it makes Omations stuff look even cheesier.

I said this last time, and I will say it again. I think the trailer is funny. The cow tipping thing makes for some good laughs. However, now that I've seen the higher resolution trailer, I see how Jimmy Neutron'ish this film is. Maybe Paramount wanted to keep "their" style going, since they were part of that movie too. Or maybe the few people that helped start Omation that came from DNA had a huge impact on the style of this film. I'm not sure. All that I'm sure of, it just doesn't do it for me. The character design is okay, but it just looks plastic-like and weird. Quite a few rungs below DreamWorks, Blue Sky, and Pixar projects.

The outdoor environments are nice. I think they did a good job in this area. The animation in the trailer is decent. Although some of the mouth movements looked pretty stiff. I'm not sure if that is an animation or rigging problem. It looks like some of the animation was rushed and they just tried to do too much. Sometimes less is more. You can chalk that up to budget constraints and inexperience of the animation team. Those mocapped characters in the background. I hope they don't stand out too much in the film.

I try not to make too many judgements on trailers. However, what the hell. If I were to go by this thing, I'd say that this movie will be pretty funny. Steve O is capable of some good stuff. Thumbs up on the environments, thumbs down on the character design and general look of those characters. The animation, is what it is. Serviceable, but anything but impressive.

How will this film do? That is a hard one. Jimmy Neutron was a surprise to me in its success. However, Barnyard ended up coming in over budget and won't have the luxury of Neutrons low negative cost. My prediction it will do okay. Probably around Neutrons numbers, if not a little better.

What will happen to Omation after this over? Well, they will have to hire everyone over again if they get a new project. The company has fallen into the all too familiar pattern of hiring then firing. Most of those on this crew will absorb into other productions and they will have to start over with another inexperienced group.

Somehow I don't think the management really cares.

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