Michel Ocelot Turns Two Dimensions Into Three With DRAGONS AND PRINCESSES

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Michel Ocelot Turns Two Dimensions Into Three With DRAGONS AND PRINCESSES
Oh, now this is intriguing.

French animator Michel Ocelot burst on to the international scene with his Kirikou And The Sorceress several years back, that feature being a traditionally animated foray into the world of African folklore. And while Kirikou was rightly hailed as a masterwork it only hinted at the diversity of Ocelot's style, the animator having previously worked extensively with paper cutouts and silhouettes. Some of this work is now available on DVD but audiences are soon going to get the chance to see it on the big screen.

Ocelot's next project has just been announced and it's a big one. Initially launched with the intent of getting back to the simplicity of his roots, the upcoming Dragons and Princesses is now pretty comfortably the largest project of his career, one which will exist in both television and feature incarnations with the feature screening in 3D. Using the silhouette style he developed with his earlier Princess and Princesses, the television series will feature five short films based on international fairy tales. One of these segments is due to screen at the Annecy Festival this week. For the feature, the existing five stories will be joined by a sixth, with the feature screening in 3D.

This, of course, begs the question of how you make a silhouette movie 3D, and I can only assume that they're going to use the technology to really separate the layers and create true depth of field. And this, to me, is a perfect use of the technology.
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via Variety
Find the Annecy info page here

More about Dragons and Princesses

GeneralErrorJune 8, 2010 3:23 PM

This is awesome news! You don't mention "Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest" which was his real masterpiece I think (and I first heard of it from one of the great random twitch banners above).
Being an animator myself I assume that even his newer 2D cut out animations are set up in 3D space anyway, as part of the process. Luckily for him the flatness of his characters would work well in 3D. It would be much more difficult for an anime/traditional animation to be in 3D, because the characters should not appear so flat.

Todd BrownJune 8, 2010 5:08 PM

I'm a big fan of Azur and Asmar (and Ocelot in general) as well ... he's a fantastic talent ...

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawljr1FOJzCCUOoUCK84TgBsXs3qe7htRBwJune 8, 2010 8:55 PM

Oh wow oh wow oh wow! December doesn't seem so far away now. April 2011, however, does…

One of the first stereoscopic animations, the Disney studio's Melody was done in a pop-up book/Paper Mario-like style, from what I've read (there's no way to see it in four dimensions outside of specialised festivals nowadays, despite so many more cinemas being equipped for it nowadays, if they were to convert it to digital and distribute it in a programme of shorts or before a new feature), with very angular, abstracted environments in Eyvind Earle-directed colours and flat characters that moved about within them. There are some links to artwork and stills from the film towards the bottom of this page and it's on video in the (region 1-only) "Disney Rarities" collection. There are probably others done much like this but also some that are drawn stereoscopically to some extent: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin had its starships animated with early 3D CGI which was rendered in left- and right-eye versions and used as a guide for painting the cells, while Cartoon Brew some months ago had a post of how the Disney Beauty and the Beast was having a stereoscopic version made by essentially remaking the film in wireframes and feeding this into an automated process to make left- and right-eye versions of the flat footage.

There have only been two or three films done in 3D stop-motion shot stereoscopically, and considerably more, if not a huge number, in drawn animation. Which is senseless until you think that 3D has always tended to be a commercial, populist spectacle rather than an art thing and that drawn animation used to be the most mainstream kind and now 3D CGI is – analogue 3D animation remains and has for a very long time always been relatively on the outskirts.