Monday, November 16, 2009

CG Sesame Street

Visit the link above to see a new CG muppet short. You may be surprised to hear that I wasn't completely disgusted by it. While it doesn't look real close to the muppets we've all come to love, it does have a nice feel to it.

And when you compare it to other kids animated product (as a parent, I've had to sit through plenty), it actually has a pretty high production value.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Madagascar Christmas

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I missed the DreamWorks MvA Halloween special a few weeks ago. Lucky for me, the networks are already thinking about Christmas and DWA has a second tv special about to air.

Tomorrow night, the Madagascar Christmas special will take place. Hopefully I can remember to watch this one. And shortly, Disney will have their own called Prep and Landing.

I love seeing these high quality animated tv specials. Not only does it keep our artists busy, it opens the doors for more projects. Let's hope that they are all successful.

Despicable Me

Another trailer came out for Despicable Me a week or two ago. For those living under a rock, this is a film through the new animation arm of Universal called Illumination Entertainment. The actual animation production is being done at Mac Guf Ligne, a studio in France.

I really enjoyed this trailer. It was well done on all fronts. Upon reflection, the first trailer was pretty good as well, but I was a little wishy-washy on the character design. However, this latest one makes me want to see more. The two "villians" look entertaining enough.

IE is banking on a different production model then Pixar/Disney/DWA/Blue Sky/etc. They come up with the ideas and farm out the actual animation production. Not unlike what Sony Pictures Animation is doing with Open Season 3 (and did with OS2). Frankly, I think this is a smart decision from a business standpoint. While I hate outsourcing to foreign lands, the reasons are obvious for IE. France offers tax breaks.

As the economy straightens itself out, and if the US doesn't go bankrupt thanks to some idiotic government spending, we may see more of this as banks begin to hand out money again.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How To Train Your Dragon

This trailer came out a few days ago and for the most part, I liked it. However, a couple of things threw me off. First of all, the character "Hiccup" seems to have a voice that is hinging on the side of boring or even worse, annoying. Seems like an odd choice. I can't really put my finger on it, but something rubs me the wrong way. Second, I was a little disappointed with the dragon character designs. The human designs looked nice enough, but something about the dragon was just odd. He almost looks like a toad. With that said, it isn't enough to make me turn my back on this one. I've seen enough now, where I'm interested in seeing more. And of course, that is the point of a trailer.

The textures and lighting looked nice. There is something about it that makes it feel really warm. Additionally, the fur and hair are well done. Nice step up from MvA. The animation is also a step up from some of their previous films. Except, the mouth animation seems a little on the dry side and imo, could stand to be a bit more exaggerated.

Can't wait to see more.