Go­ing Deeper with the Pet Pals

The Ital­ian property cel­e­brates 10 years with a stereo­scopic 3-D fea­ture. By Thomas J. Mclean.

Animation Magazine - - International -

AAn­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine: What did you set out to ac­com­plish that is new and dif­fer­ent with Pet Pals in Wind­land?

The first new as­pect is re­lated to con­tent: we wanted to cre­ate an “eco fairy tale” which of­fers chil­dren the el­e­ments they need to re­flect upon al­ter­na­tive and re­new­able en­ergy sources. The sec­ond nov­elty is to do with form and is the most orig­i­nal el­e­ment of the film: the au­di­ence is con­tin­u­ously called upon to take part in the ac­tion on screen by singing, dancing, clap­ping their hands and help­ing their fa­vorite char­ac­ters so that the story de­vel­ops in the best way pos­si­ble. First re­ac­tions to screen­ings have been very pos­i­tive.

Ser­gio Man­fio: fer­ent and are prob­a­bly best used to deal with dif­fer­ent themes. The fu­ture of 2D can be de­vel­oped through graphic re­search and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, which can be very stim­u­lat­ing and cre­ative, while 3D and 3DS, based on the sig­nals com­ing from var­i­ous dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions, will move bet­ter in the do­main of the tra­di­tional or not so tra­di­tional story. Has your un­der­stand­ing of the Pet Pals changed af­ter hav­ing done all the tele­vi­sion se­ries and now two movies?

No, it hasn’t changed, it has just been per­fected. The six Pet Pals have ac­quired more spe­cific per­son­al­i­ties, we were able to bet­ter de­fine the dif­fer­ent as­pects which char­ac­ter­ize their per­son­al­i­ties and which aim to rep­re­sent the char­ac­ters of chil­dren to­day. This means that ev­ery boy and girl can iden­tify with one or more of the Pet Pals, shar­ing pos­i­tive traits with their he­roes and, why not, iden­ti­fy­ing their faults.

Man­fio: fter 10 years, the Pet Pals stronger than ever.

The chil­dren’s an­i­mated se­ries, cre­ated by Ser­gio Man­fio, is back for its sec­ond big-screen ad­ven­ture: Pet Pals in Wind­land. Man­fio wrote and di­rected the fea­ture, which is due for re­lease March 27 in Italy. Pro­duced by Gruppo Al­cuni and dis­trib­uted by RAI Cin­ema Dis­tri­bu­tion, the film will be shown in both stereo­scopic 3-D and 2D ver­sions.

We caught up with Man­fio in ad­vance of the film’s re­lease to dis­cuss the evo­lu­tion of the fran­chise, the chal­lenges of mak­ing the se­quel and the fu­ture of Pet Pals.

are go­ing What was the big­gest chal­lenge in mak­ing the new film? Was there any new an­i­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy used to make the movie?

We used stereo­scopic tech­nol­ogy for

Man­fio: What do you think are the strengths of CG an­i­ma­tion ver­sus 2D an­i­ma­tion or stop-mo­tion, both of which you have used in other projects?

I think that they are two worlds, which have lit­tle in com­mon or much less than is gen­er­ally be­lieved. The tech­niques are rad­i­cally dif-

Man­fio: Man­fio: Ob­vi­ously, we wanted to re­solve the dif­fer­ent is­sues which came up in our anal­y­sis of the pre­vi­ous film. We are con­vinced that we have taken an im­por­tant step for­ward and the whole team has noted a clear in­crease in the cre­ative, struc­tural and pro­duc­tive qual­ity. There has also been con­sid­er­able in­ter­est in the film from the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket and this makes us very hope­ful in­deed. Why do you think the Pet Pals pop­u­lar with au­di­ences?

Be­cause, as I men­tioned be­fore, it is a miscellaneous group of pro­tag­o­nists in which dif­fer­ent as­pects of a child’s per­son­al­ity co­ex­ist. Al­though the group is di­verse, there is a strong bond be­tween them and this is an im­por­tant el­e­ment which is con­tin­u­ously present. In­stead of vi­o­lence, the Pet Pals use cre­ativ­ity and as­tute­ness as weapons to get the bet­ter of their neme­sis: the evil Crow Witch. All of this is de­vel­oped and re­in­forced by the in­ter­ac­tive as­pects which are of­fered to the au­di­ence.


Per­son­ally, for my role as di­rec­tor of the movie, I found it in­ter­est­ing to work on the el­e­ments which this type of tech­nique re­quires from the use of frames. This new op­por­tu­nity en­abled me, as I men­tioned be­fore, to take a fur­ther step for­ward and to be more de­ci­sive in ask­ing for the di­rect par­tic­i­pa­tion of the au­di­ence. the first time. This cre­ated im­por­tant new jobs and study op­por­tu­ni­ties within our com­pany linked to the tech­ni­cal as­pects, but more im­por­tantly changes to the forms of di­rec­tion which this tech­nique re­quires. We used stere­oscopy to high­light the mo­ments when the char­ac­ters come out from the screen to talk to the au­di­ence. As this is a film geared to­wards chil­dren and young people, the use of the tech­nol­ogy was care­fully mea­sured.

Man­fio: What’s next for the Pet Pals? Will you do an­other movie?

At the mo­ment, we are start­ing work on a new se­ries of Pet Pals which de­vel­ops our re­search in au­di­ence in­ter­ac­tion. We are pre­par­ing a new film, but more of that next time.


re­main What did you learn about us­ing stereo­scop­ics for the first time to tell a cin­e­matic story?

Pet Pals in Wind­land

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