Published at: March 22, 2007, 3:44 a.m. CST by headgeek
Hey folks, Harry here... I checked out Scott Green's Anime article on GATCHAMAN - and went over to the IMAGI site to look at the pics - which I've turned into jpgs for you below.
However, had that been all I could offer to the story, I would have simply placed them on Scott's story, but I have quite a bit more to tell.
AICN recently held a fantastic All You Could Eat Pizza Premiere of TMNT during SXSW with Director Kevin Munroe there to share with us his first feature film. Now, I presided over my little sister's addiction to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES - as I had discovered them from their very first issues. Which my lil sis begged me to read to her as an itsy bitsy kid.
However, Kevin's next project is more primal for me. I literally ran home from Elementary School to catch BATTLE OF THE PLANETS and STARBLAZERS. These were a pair of my favorite childhood toons that were on weekday afternoons throughout my Elementary schooldays.
I grew up knowing the characters as Mark, Jason, Princess, Tiny and Keyop... and then there was the evil Zoltar. And I really miss Casey Kasem's voice in the new GATCHAMAN dvds... but as a kid, I had no idea that there was another version... a more violent, a more adult, a more hardcore version of these toons. It wasn't until I came to college and met a fellow by the name of Storm, who told me of these harder versions.
First off - from the images below - you get the idea of how epic in scale the film is.
When Kevin walked into the screening room at the Alamo Drafthouse South - he had a portfolio under his arm filled with designs for the film. Opening it up and taking a look... You instantly got the idea of how in love with these characters that Kevin is. The CG designs take their direct cue from the Anime. Those faces - it is Mark and Jason and my favorite design was Tiny (sorry, I know for some of you, that's not the character's names - but to me they are). Tiny's face sort of always reminded me of pre-furry Hank McCoy from the earliest days of the X-MEN - and his character kinda always reminded me of the Beast. Each page was a character layout for each - with multiple heads to show the range of character emotion and looks they could achieve. They're not made to look HUMAN exactly, but a slight hybrid between animation and living beings. It was quite striking.
The pics below were a sample of the pics that I saw in the section of the portfolio labeled ENVIRONMENTS. There were many more - setting the film in a futuristic Earth. And it shows that the danger that Zoltar is going to place upon the Earth is epic in scale. The future was very detailed and beautiful.
The Phoenix - I saw rendered as being pretty close to the Anime design - perhaps a little slicker, but incorporating the designs we know and love. And yes - there was the transformed fiery Phoenix as well - and yes, it totally made me forget about the pizza I could have been eating as i was looking at it.
The weapons are all very cool. Yes, Princess has her YoYo things - which I always loved.
The most stunning character design was the Zoltar look. It was just very very badass. Very evocative in a way of the look from the toon, but the proportions were more elongated - creepier - in-human, yet humanoid. Zoltar's troops armor is again, familiar - but more fierce.
Kevin's going to make this as a PG-13 CG film. And frankly - I couldn't be happier. The look at the designs gave the film a very epic science fiction look and feel - big sci-fi. And I hope TMNT performs great this weekend, cuz it'll just mean easier sailing for this project.
Oh - and the film will definitely be called GATCHAMAN!
Oh - btw - IMAGI is also working on a CG Astroboy - here it is...