Saturday, March 12, 2011

Industry: All Light & Magic...

Lights, Industrial Magic, Action...







The entertainment industry is a very competitive business...

Most of the time, it's a very hard and demanding business. The animated portion of that business is a very robust and busy area dominated by three or four studios in a world where the name Walt Disney used to dominate over all. There was a time when it was thought that only Disney animated films could make money. That was a long, long time ago.

Today you have Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation Studios and Blue Sky Studios at the top of the mountain. Several others, like the emerging companies like Illumination Entertainment are crawling closer to the peak, and start-ups like ImageMovers Digital fall off and roll back down the mountain. And then there are the lower tiered ones. But sometimes surprising contenders can be found in the most unexpected places.

Now, as I've said before, I don't do reviews anymore, but I will say that saw "Rango" last weekend and thought that it was spectacular. From the weird and quirky script, to the drop dead gorgeous animation. The CG work in this film is some of the best I have ever seen. It's stunning. Although the most stunning part of it is that it was animated by a company that's not an animation studio. At least in the traditional sense. It's an FX company, the FX company. The one that set the standard a couple decades ago:

Industrial Light & Magic.

George Lucas' effects company has branched out and this film was their first animated film. This was the first one that they weren't just doing effects for scenes, they were doing all the scenes. Everything. And they did it flawlessly. This film looks absolutely mind droopingly delicious; not in a distracting way, but in a very organic and smooth way. You would never know from watching the film that they weren't an animation company. Which shouldn't come as too much a surprise as they've been animating things for years, just not an entire story. I look forward to whatever is their second film, because they've proven that they can hang with the big boys. I just hope that they're as selective of the scripts they animated as they were with this one. It's going to be interesting to see where they go from here.

I wonder if Wingnut Films will now decide to animate films as well as do the FX for them? After all, if ILM can, perhaps they should give it a try? It's not like haven't proven to be more than competitive with ILM in effects, how about in terms of an entire story? I kind of like the sound of Wingnut Animation Studios.

Either way, the big boys have some competition...

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice pun.

Industry: All = Industrial

Light & Magic = same

ILM

Industrial Lost the Magic said...

ILM lost the magic. They had it back in the 70's and 80's. Since then Hollywood has become more competitive and you have many FX companies and animation studios running rings around them. Weta is the new ILM for visual effects.

ILM has NOTHING on Pixar. It won't last. Their animation division will be shut down within 5 years. It will be the equivalent of LucasArts, a subdivision of LFL that makes crappy video games.

Spirit of the West said...

My take is that you haven't even seen Rango yet.

Darrell said...

I loved Rango. It was brilliant. Johnny Depp rocks, he is flat-out the best actor I know. Rango is my favorite movie of the year (so far).

And Honor... you're going to see even better animation in Cars 2. You just need to watch the new trailer to know that, probably. June 24 can't come soon enough.

jedited said...

I understand that Rango is their first full length feature, but don't they also do the Clone Wars series or is that farmed out?

John Vinci said...

So much of this film was done in Singapore, this is the future of ILM!

Anonymous said...

@ Jedited The Clone Wars series is farmed out to Singapore, George saw the talent there and added a lot of of the scenes to Singapore of Rango. He has also stated that that he's making his next film all out in the Singapore studio, no American artists/workers. His next project isn't Star Wars related. He's building a huge new facility for these new artists in Singapore. This is the future of ILM. Even the visual effects studio The Asylum the visual effects studio that got the best visual effects oscar for inception had a unit in Singapore as well!

Doopey said...

The viability of ILM as an animation studio would seem to push Honor's dream of Lucas selling to Disney even further away...

Thunder McBlunder said...

"The viability of ILM as an animation studio would seem to push Honor's dream of Lucas selling to Disney even further away..."

Really? I wouldn't think so. If they can have a deal with something like ImageMovers Digital, I'm sure they could absorb having ILM doing their own collection of films. Especially if they have the quality of Rango.

Doopey said...

B/c the deal with ImageMovers has worked out so well for Disney...

But I think the issue isn't whether Disney would be interested in Lucasfilm. If they're willing to pay a gazillion dollars for Marvel I'm sure they'd love to have Lucasfilm.

The real issue is why would Lucas have any interest in selling to Disney. He doesn't need the money, he hates giving up control over his stuff, and there's nothing Disney brings to the table that he can't already do on his own. The success of Rango just further confirms that.

Anonymous said...

The majority was done in SF, not in Singapore.

James said...

Yet again we get to hear the Disnoids state how inferior anyone but Disney is. Why can't good movie making and animation be admired instead of attacked simply because it's not Disne/Pixar? Competition is good as it keeps all the animation studios pushing forward and we reap the benefits.

Anonymous said...

I saw Rango recently, and it really is an amazing motion picture. I love that the creative crew of the movie felt no debt to the usual influences in animation (Disney, Looney Tunes, Bob Clampet, UPA, etc), and were free to be as weird and unique as they wanted to be. No recent animated feature has had a seen as weird and wonderful as

SPOILER Rango's visit with the Spirit of the West. SPOILER

You watch Rango and you get excited about the potential of the medium. There's so much more to animation than just Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks!

Darrell said...

"There's so much more to animation than just Disney, Pixar, and Dreamworks!"

Another excellent example of that besides Rango was Despicable Me from last year :)

Anonymous said...

The Singapore ILM unit is also working on the visual effects film, they've already worked on Iron Man II and now the new Transformers film and Pirates film. George love their work, his new pet project will be all done in Singapore!

Anonymous said...

rango was juvenile and quite immature for a kids cartoon, with awful environment and character "design" and a script that would bore the small children for whom it was made.

Darrell said...

Uh, Rango isn't and wasn't made for kids.