Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Following Previous Footsteps

Regarding Blue Sky's upcoming Peanuts feature, they follow a master.

... The Blue Sky artists hit obstacles as they tried to create each smooth-moving figure. Some of them were fresh off the animated film “Epic,” which, as Craig Schulz says, is “as close to human movement as you can get” in cartoon form. And they also wanted to make sure they were rendering feelings and emotions and facial expressions that audiences could relate to.

They had studied Charles Schulz’s line. Now they needed to study the work of a man who had been in their shoes.
“We step off of a legacy of how Bill Melendez created,” Martino says of the late Emmy-winning animator. “I go back to the Christmas special,” 1965′s “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

When Melendez visually adapted the static comic strip for the screen, he had to “paint on a different canvas,” Martino says. “There’s a different way for it to work. … Our animation harks back to what Melendez had done. His style drew off of what Sparky drew.” ...

When I saw the teaser, it was clear the CG imagery was emulating what animator/director Bill Melendez had done. Whether Blue Sky Studios successfully walks that high wire for eighty-five minutes remains to be seen.

Will audiences embrace the Schulz style and approach in a CG feature? Will large doses of it turn people off? Next year's box office will let us know.


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