Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Michel Ocelot's "Princes & Princesses"

Beautiful silhouette animation. The technique certainly looks similar to Lotte Reiniger's cut-out animation work back in the 1920s, but a Wikipedia entry suggests this was done with computer. (I'm suspicious of that claim, given the time it was made). Anyways, YouTube does not do it justice -- the twilight effect is quite lovely particularly when projected in a theatre.

The director, Michel Ocelot, is the President of ASIFA-International, and also the director of a full-length animated feature called Azur and Asmar which just got bought by the Weinstein Company.

I first saw this short at a Spike & Mike Animation Festival years ago, but had not found it on any DVD compilation until now. You can find it (with 5 other shorts in this style) at Hong Kong Flix for about $12! Unfortunately, the extras are in French with only Korean subtitles.

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posted by Brian at 1:06 AM


Blogger Elchinodepelocrespo said...

the french dvd got english subs.

August 16, 2007  
Blogger J.R.D.S. said...

So does the Korean but both only have it for the feature, not the extras. The main difference between them is that the Korean is the original 4:3, while the French DVD has the theatrical version which was tilt and scanned to 15:9. The Korean is also region 0 and NTSC (so will work on all North American players) while the French is region 2, so better suited to Europe.

As for the technique you're right, no computers were involved (other than for the music) this was 1988. The animation was mainly done in the same cutout format as Lotte Reiniger, but with particularly filigree parts of the clothing and foliage painted onto bits of cel, and lots of seamless switching between armatured cutouts and cels. There was even some plasticise animation, for the slug in Prince et princesse, and 3D live-action for the children's hand and a spinning satellite dish.

Though interestingly, he has now done a CGI silhouette animation (a promo video called "Earth Intruders") and is planning do some more to accompany a second feature-film compilation of his earlier work.

February 11, 2008  

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