Going Deeper with the Pet Pals
The Italian property celebrates 10 years with a stereoscopic 3-D feature. By Thomas J. Mclean.
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?