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Archive for February 4th, 2012

By Bob Clark

In the past decade or so, we’ve seen a rise in animation being used to promote feature movie franchises with short works and mini-series being produced between films. Most of the time these efforts result in anthologies of featurettes being made by multiple teams of different animators lending their own distinct styles and stories to the franchise in question, the classic example being the best-and-brightest team up of The Animatrix, which saw the creators of Cowboy Bebop, Aeon Flux, Redline and others joining forced with the Wachowskis to fill out and embellish the mythology of their burgeoning sci-fi trilogy in ways that were often more satisfactory to their audiences than the resulting sequel films were, themselves. This isn’t terribly surprising, on one hand– as CGI and digital filmmaking in general have opened up the potential for directors to unleash their cinematic imagination, their work in live action has begun to resemble animation in style and technique more and more, underlining how much of an influence it has long had on sci-fi and fantasy filmmakers. It’s almost natural that some series would almost seem more at home in the realm of drawn or computer rendered imagery, without the mediating factor of live-action performers. Star Wars is perhaps one of the prime examples of a series that thrives in a fully animated environment, especially in the Dave Filoni directed The Clone Wars series begun in 2008, but before he took on George Lucas’ creation, another animator had already been given the chance to put his interpretation on the series in the form of Genndy Tartakovsky’s 2003 to 2005 micro-serials.

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