Popeye – CGI Animation Test (Feature Film)


Last week a sneak peek at the new feature film Popeye, in development by Sony Pictures Animation; director Genndy Tartakovsky plans to develop Popeye as a newly revived CGI animated feature film in what he hopes will bring the beloved character to a new younger generation of cinema audience.

In this sneak peek we don’t get an official look at a scene from the movie, instead we are given a glimpse of how Tartakovsky plans to develop the movie’s design and how the animation will perform on screen.

I really enjoyed watching this animated short for what I hope will be how the final version will look in the years to come. However, there was some elements I was not keen with. When I first saw a still shot from a scene of this short, (it was of Popeye’s face) when I first looked at this image I wasn’t “ahh! Yes! A CGI Popeye movie…” Rather what I was thinking was “Oh boy, what have they done.” So out of curiosity I watch the clip and was immediately blown away by the animation. It really reminded me of the old classic Popeye 2D animated cartoon of back in the day.

Olive’s character, her facial expression are what I would have expected from this character. Big, expressive, overly dramatic and it was nice to see that the slapstick humour, was transitioned nicely into the CGI.

As I re-watched the clip other elements about the character of Popeye began to catch my eye, and I started questioning the design of Popeye: 1. No pipe. 2. No anchor tattos. and 3. (the most ridicules of all ) Rapper/hip-hop clothes.

When you look at the original Popeye he has baggy jeans and wears a black shirt, but here in CGI it kind of looks a bit ridiculous, in that it’s trying to modernize the character a little too much. It takes apart some materials of his clothes that would be vital to identify him as a sailor. It Just makes me feel like the character doesn’t really fit with in the stage set up. The only thing that I can identify him as a sailor is his hat.

But hey, it is still early days and this short is not meant to be a finalized scene for the feature film only a clip to show how it will be when it hits theatres in 2016. Overall, I still thoroughly enjoy it mood and humour. So I am excited for the film and can’t wait to see it in the future.

(Classic Popeye – above)

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Big Eye’s is the story of Walter Keane who in the 1950’s became famous for a serious of painting featuring people with enormously big eyes. Walter Keane was not the artist for the paintings, but claimed the paintings as his own from his wife Margaret Keane. Margaret Kenae was the true artist for the series of big eye paintings, and her husband Walter brutally forced her to keep painting her art unsder his because at the time people did not buy lady art. Walter became a national celebrity for the art. The story is about Margaret Keane trying to reclaim ownership for her work.

Tom Sito

Above is a skype chat with Tom Sito, discussing his experiences and sharing his knowledge of the animation Industry.

Above is a link to Tom Sito’s blog.

Who is Tom Sito?

Tom Sito began as a professional animator in 1975, he was a key player in the revival of the Disney Studios; in 1995 he left Disney to help set up the Dreamworks animation unit.

Animated films include the Disney classics: THE LITTLE MERMAID 1989, BEAUTY & THE BEAST 1991, ALADDIN 1992, THE LION KING 1994, WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT 1988, POCAHONTAS 1995, DINOSAURS 2000 and FANTASIA 2000. Dreamworks: THE PRINCE OF EGYPT 2001, ANTZ 1999, PAULIE 1998, SPIRIT, STALLION OF THE CIMMARON 2002, storyboard supervisor on SHREK 2001.

Tom Sito was assistant to Shamus Culhane (he was his last assistant), Richard Williams.

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