Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kung Fu Panda InDepth

What made this film appeal to animators?

Here's a few knowledgeable comments: James Baxter's 2D dream sequence* (via Synchrolux) or;

Character design (via Peter Emslie: Cartoon Cave) "From an animation point of view, though, I don't think animation has ever been the best medium to show that kind of fast action, as a lot of it fails to read clearly. Which brings me to my real concern with this film, and that is action at the expense of characterization."or;

The New York Times "The screenplay by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger is ho-hum without being insulting, a grab bag of gentle jokes, sage lectures, helpful lessons and kicky fights...
It’s an animation through and through, *starting with the stunningly beautiful opening dream sequence, a graphically bold hand-drawn interlude rendered by James Baxter that looks like an animated woodblock print with slashes of black and swaths of oxblood red. This opener is so striking and so visually different from most mainstream American animations that it takes a while to settle into the more visually familiar look of the rest of the movie.", or;

Ed Hooks (Acting for Animators via Barry Purves's Forum) "The DreamWorks animators on this film should take special pride in what they have done here with the expression of emotion, especially in close-up. They also have successfully created the illusion that the characters are actually listening to one another, which is something of a hat trick. Too often in animated films, the characters seem to be waiting turns to talk."

So what did you knowledgeable animators think of Kung Fu Panda? What impressed, what grated? If you found the animation, story or design appealing, why?