Thursday, September 28, 2006

Open Season

Just saw a screening of the film OPEN SEASON--the first all CG feature by Sony Pictures Animation. Saw this one in 3D on an
Imax screen. A fun family film with lots of fun characters and a few good laughs. I must say--this has some of the BEST animation design I've seen in a CG animated film. From the character design, to the shot layout, to the use of color and lighting... this film really exels. The film strikes a perfect balance of abstracted, exaggerated simple shapes with the painterly use of color and texture. They were fearless in the character design. A great example is the male deer herd. All neck and chest with tiny little legs formed with simple curves and straights ( they kind of reminded me of primitive cave drawings in their simplicity ) Just based on their silhouette you understand their character. The design aesthetic of the film was initially inspired by Eyvind Earle, the old Disney guy who designed Sleeping Beauty. Directed by Roger Allers, Jill Coulton, and my old compadre from ILM, Tony Stacchi. Jew-Bob says check it out!


At Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at 11:44:00 AM PDT, Blogger James Baker said...

Benton, I just saw this and really enjoyed it. I totally agree about the look; it has a great blend of textural realism (the bear's fur was amazing) and graphic simplicity (the backgrounds). It has been getting some pretty lukewarm reviews, I think on the fact that the storyline covers territory gone over by about three or four other recent cartoons, but those other flicks didnt make me laugh as much as this one. There is some really strange humour in this that caught me off guard a few times.

I recommend it to people who dont mind a film that goes for your funny bone rather than your heart-strings.

At Tuesday, October 3, 2006 at 11:09:00 PM PDT, Blogger benton jew said...

Jamie- All the animation companies seem to have a habit of copying each other since way back:
insects, fish, jungle animals, forrest animals, penguins, rats. I don't know why it works out like that, but it seems to invite comparison instead of allowing the films to stand on their own. If it was reviewed on it's own merits, perhaps reviewers would've commented more on the unique look and quirky humor than comparing it with "Over The Hedge" ot "The Wild".

Spoke with Tony a bit after the screening and it seems like the Sony folks are great to work with. They seem open to some experimentation. I like the idea of Sony's next film--doing cg animation in the form of a documentary. I think Sony Animation will be a major force if they remain innovative.

BTW, if you haven't picked it up yet, get "The Art of Open Season". NICE work with lots of little extras and in a nice slipcase. Picked mine up real cheap at at a SUBSTANTIAL discount.

At Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 4:20:00 PM PST, Blogger tadleckman said...

I haven't seen the whole film yet, but I got to see a good chunk of Open Season's character work at the Visual Effects Society award judging last weekend. I loved what I saw and even those short clips were really funny.

Annika has been requesting the "Squirrel stuck in the ice" movie non-stop for weeks, so we've been watching Ice Age and Ice Age 2 quite a bit. That movie's another CG design miracle in my I'm a sucker for prehistoric mammals.

On the subject of Sony Animation, I really enjoyed their other animated feature. Here's a link to my full discussion of Monster House.


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