Monday, July 06, 2009

Disney's Other 2009 Animated Feature

Most of the animation community has been focused on The Princess and the Frog, which the House of Mouse releases this holiday season. But there's another feature coming out this November, currently in production in northern California.

Not much of the picture has been rolled out yet, but a few snippets have been screened:

New York press and movie critics got their first glimpse at an animated Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge in a presentation of 3-D footage from Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” at the Regal E-Walk Theatre this week.

Two scenes were shown from the performance capture-driven film, directed by Robert Zemeckis (”Polar Express“), along with a montage of clips and a teaser trailer ...

... [One] scene shown sees Jacob Marley’s ghost crashing in on Scrooge during the night. It is here that the film shows off its high tech special wizardry. Thanks to the 3D effects work, Marley’s ghost hovers off the screen and glows with incandescent color ...

Image-Movers Digital, Disney's San Rafael animation studio in northern California, has been hard at work on Christmas Carol for a couple of years now. (I went up there a few weeks ago and talked to part of the crew about union pension and health coverage, also about how the picture is going. The answer: "Pretty well".)

DIsney has a small unit working on the feature here in L.A., and I've walked through it chatting people up, admiring the artwork on the walls. I've got no idea about the overall quality of the movie, but the London scenics are top-notch. People are going to be immersed in 19th century London, in Victorian staircases and alley ways and candle-lit sitting rooms and shops like they've never been immersed before.

But how it performs at the box office? I've no idea.

9 comments:

Iszaham said...

This movie look amazingly, they make like the brilliant movie Polar Express. Can't wait!

Best Regards,
Iszaham

http://iszaham.blogspot.com/2009/07/christmas-carol-international-poster.html

Anonymous said...

the brilliant Polar Express????

Anonymous said...

Many people don't know this, but Zemeckis himself was the first CG cyborg director in LA, created by Steven Spielberg at USC in the early 80's. Originally looking much like Max Headroom, his human likeness has become more believable as microprocessors have become more powerful. Today, because of the influence of blockbuster popcorn bullshit movies launched by Steven, the differences between real directors and these AI directors have become nearly impossible to detect, save for the that creepy dark soulless stare of their eyes. However, you can still detect AI directors in Hollywood - their films have absolutely nothing to say.

r said...

Polar Express a brilliant movie??!?

what, are you like three years old, Iszaham?!?

That movie was awfull!! You need to set your standarts a lot higher than that.

R.

Anonymous said...

I saw a trailer for The Christmas Carol in front of Ice Age 3. It's either going to be really good, or really, spectacularly, amazingly bad. If Zemeckis is going to fail, he's going to fail in the most grand, over-the-top fashion imaginable.

So yeah, I'm interested.

Hugh Hogwarts said...

Yeah, what I want to do is sit there for an hour and a half and watch footage from a video game, which is what the trailer felt like.

Yuck. I wish Zemeckis would go back to live action films, but that probably won't happen because he has to spend so much less time with actors this way. And he's tired of working with them even though he won't say so publicly.

Anonymous said...

The movie is being made in Novato, not San Rafael. The new space is really great looking; I just wish you could say the same for the movie.

Steve Hulett said...

The movie is being made in Novato, not San Rafael.

Right, Novato. My bad.

If I was allowed in the place I might remember where it was.

Anonymous said...

I've seen a lot of what's done, and while I cannot fault the artists hard at work on this film, it is a complete mess, and very hard to watch. It's busy, muddy looking, and has "uncanny valley" all over it. The character "designs," if you can call them that, are slightly (and badly) tweaked versions of the actors. What a shame. I'd rather see these great actors than the motion captured/blanded down versions. What is Robert Zemeckis doing? Has he lost his mind?

Whatever it is, it certainly is not animation, and oddly doesn't even take advantage of motion capture very well! No wonder the press sneak peak garnered a lot of negativity.

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