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Animation Magazine - - Front Page -

With his lat­est project Blade Run­ner 2049 re­leased, it’s a great time to get re-ac­quainted with The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Vis­ual Fu­tur­ist (Ti­tan Books, $50). The 250+ page hard­cover is the most com­pre­hen­sive col­lec­tion yet of Mead’s vi­sion­ary con­cep­tual work over the past 40 years. With images, sketches and never-be­fore-scene ma­te­rial, each page gives fresh in­sight into the mas­ter’s cre­ative prac­tice.

Brush up on your su­per­hero lore with the limited edi­tion DC Uni­verse: 10th An­niver­sary Col­lec­tion Blu-ray box (WB, $300 SRP). In ad­di­tion to 30 an­i­mated DCU movies and five shorts — from clas­sic comic-book arcs like Su­per­man Dooms­day to toon orig­i­nals like Gods and Mon­sters — the set in­cludes over 20 hours of brand-new and clas­sic bonus con­tent, ex­clu­sive col­lectible coins and a 40-page adult col­or­ing book. (No, not the “I left ‘safe search’ off do­ing a Google im­age search for Har­ley Quinn” kind of adult.) Take home the in­ter­lock­ing ac­tion of The LEGO Nin­jago Movie on DVD, BD, BD 3D and 4K ($29, $36, $45, $45) from WB, and re­live Green Ninja Lloyd’s (Dave Franco) strug­gles against the forces of ul­ti­mate dark­ness — lead by his dad! The up­per ech­e­lon re­leases tack on tons of ex­tras, in­clud­ing be­hind-thescenes fea­turettes, mini-movies, mu­sic videos and deleted scenes. Feed your vis­ual sweet­tooth with the pure eye-candy of Va­le­rian and the City of a Thou­sand Plan­ets (Lion­s­gate, $40 BD). Adapted from the pop­u­lar French comics, di­rec­tor Luc Bes­son takes full ad­van­tage of cut­ting-edge an­i­ma­tion and vfx to fol­low Va­le­rian (Dane DeHaan) and Lore­line (Cara Dele­vi­gne) on a fre­netic in­ter­stel­lar ad­ven­ture. Also on 4K Ul­tra HD ($43) and DVD ($30).

5Happy 77th birth­day to Hayao Miyazaki, who is work­ing hard as ever on his “fi­nal” fea­ture, How Do You Live?

friends and has a life-chang­ing ef­fect on the lives of the mis­fit an­i­mals he meets on his jour­ney. In the film’s thrilling cli­mac­tic scene, Fer­di­nand has to face the mata­dor El Primero in a packed arena, but he valiantly stays true to his peace­ful na­ture, and in­spires all those around him as well.

The plan to bring Fer­di­nand’s tale to the big screen began more than six years ago when Sal­danha was still­ing work­ing on Rio 2. “I was very ex­cited when I found out that Fox and Blue Sky were think­ing of de­vel­op­ing a movie based on the book,” he re­calls. “I had read the book and fallen in love with the story and its won­der­ful mes­sage of ac­cep­tance and diver- sity. I thought that this was the right mo­ment to take this lovely lit­tle book and de­velop it into a fam­ily movie for to­day’s au­di­ences.”

For long-time Blue Sky Stu­dios pro­ducer Lori Forte, the film of­fered a chance to re­unite with Sal­danha, who had worked with her on the first three Ice Age movies. “Car­los had wanted to work on a movie which had a bull as its main char­ac­ter,” she re­calls. “I loved work­ing with him on the Ice Age movies, and I missed him ter­ri­bly. I knew that he was pas­sion­ate about this project, and his strong feel­ings for the story and its mes­sage also in­spired me and ev­ery­one else around him.” ‘The more re­search we did, the more it be­came ob­vi­ous to us that peo­ple can in­ter­pret the story in so many dif­fer­ent ways … Our story has a deeper mean­ing in the dif­fi­cult world that we all live in to­day..’

Glo­ri­ous Col­ors & Dy­namic

De­signs Art di­rec­tor Thomas Car­done ( Rio 2, Hor­ton Hears a Who!, Ice Age: The Melt­down) says when you men­tion Fer­di­nand to peo­ple ev­ery­one seems to re­mem­ber two ba­sic things about the story. “Ev­ery­one says, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the movie about the bull who only wants to smell flow­ers and doesn’t want to fight,’” he points out. “I found the project in­stantly ap­peal­ing be­cause it’s a big story with a few char­ac­ters, so you can cre­ate this in­ti­mate feel­ing. It is not a movie where some­one has to save the world, but it’s a story with a lot of heart.”

Car­done notes that char­ac­ter de­signer Sang Jun Lee came up with the phi­los­o­phy for

whole shape and style of the movie.”

Fer­di­nand’s in­ner emo­tions are also re­flected in the choice of back­ground lo­ca­tions. As Car­done ex­plains, the farm in Ronda the heroic bull longs to re­turn to is de­picted as a green and happy place, with lots of flow­ers and vege­ta­tion. “But the bull ranch where he is im­pris­oned is arid look­ing, which you also get in Spain dur­ing the more se­vere sea­sons,” he notes.

The re­gion’s white stucco build­ings with their terra-cotta roofs also pro­vide neu­tral back­grounds against which the artists played around with mem­o­rable splashes of color. “We placed bold col­ors, like a bright blue wheel­bar­row, a turquoise bucket or a green farm im­ple­ment, against the neu­tral can­vas,” re­calls Car­done. “We would also balance the com­po­si­tions with dif­fer­ently col­ored an­i­mals. The color red was es­pe­cially re­served for spe­cific key mo­ments, like Fer­di­nand’s fa­vorite pop­pies in the farm, or the car­na­tions in the bull ring, or the mata­dor’s cape.”

One of Car­done’s fa­vorite scenes is the cli­mac­tic se­quence where Fer­di­nand faces El Primero in the ring. “I love the light­ing and the drama of it,” he notes. “Stag­ing is very im­por­tant to us, and we worked hard to bring out the light and shadow val­ues in that se­quence. The fight is held in the af­ter­noon, so half the sta­dium is in light and the other half is in the shad­ows. Fer­di­nand is dark against the light back­ground, while the mata­dor is light against the dark. It re­ally am­pli­fies the emo­tions and re­ally makes the scene pop.” The art di­rec­tor points out that all the artis­tic el­e­ments work nicely to­gether to de­liver the heart­felt mes­sage of the movie. He con­cludes, “I think this movie has such a big heart, so I was very pleased with the way the style, the de­sign, the light­ing and all the tech­ni­cal el­e­ment join forces to serve a com­mon goal.” Fox/ Blue Sky’s Fer­di­nand will be­gin its the­atri­cal jour­ney on De­cem­ber 15.

I was so tired. I said, ‘Okay maybe it’s time to tell this story; maybe I can do it right now.’”

He turned the story into a graphic novel, then adapted it to the screen. The other two tales — A Baby to De­liver ( Un bébé à livrer), which is based on an­other comic by Ren­ner, and The Per­fect Christ­mas ( Le Noël par­fait) — were di­rected by Pa­trick Im­bert. In the for­mer, com­pli­ca­tions arise af­ter a lazy stork cons Pig, Rab­bit and Duck into tak­ing a baby to her proper home. In the lat­ter, when they break a plas­tic dec­o­ra­tion on Pig’s barn, Rab­bit and Duck think they’ve killed Santa Claus and in-

‘ I think the wa­ter­color also makes a film look warmer ... If you want a film to look like the good old days, you have to go in­side the com­puter and ‘break’ some­thing to give the art the cor­rect feel­ing.’

Fa­mil­iar Voices: Fer­di­nand fea­tures a wildly eclec­tic voice cast, led by John Cena as the charm­ing hero, Kate McKin­non as Lupe the goat, Bobby Can­navale as Valiente and David Ten­nant as An­gus.

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