Sunday, January 04, 2009

Astro Boy’s Makeover

Ken Tsumura executive vice president of Imagi Animation and Tim Cheung, Vice President of animation talked little bit about Astro Boy’s Makeover when they were in Siggraph Asia 2008 computer graphics exhibition and conference.

"WHEN they saw the initial designs for Astro Boy in the upcoming computer animated flick, the one thing that the Japanese owners did not fancy was the size of his rear end.... “We had discussions of how round and curvy his body proportions are and we designed him more lean.” read full article

The StarOnline website has another article "What's Gettinng Made?"
It listed out anime is going to be adapted into Hollywood movie, the majority of the films are currently in production or only proposals.
Dragonball: Evolution, AstroBoy, Akira, Gatchaman, Robotech, Ninja Scroll, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell. read full article


~ tOkKa said...

-->> the compromise difficult when issues like this come up, i mean how long do these type of things take to resolve in the final design of the character ??

How often do they come up ??

felix ip said...

hi Tokka, we respect all the comment from Licensor, usually take few months or longer back and forth to balance design between western market and original design... that depends depends on the how much freedom we have. I think thats is important that the final design can fit both western and Eastern market.

Al said...

When taking a 2D drawing of Astro Boy and transferring him into the 3D world, I can understand that certain changes are needed/required.

The foremost problem in applying 3D rules into a 2D drawing of Astro is dealing with his distinct two point protruding hair style. In the drawings, Osamu doesn’t set a fix structure on the two hair points, similar to how Mickey Mouse round ears always stays the same, no matter what angle you look at this head. Depending on which side of Astro’s face is frontal, a hair points will stay at the up & front position at the frontal side while the other hair point will recede at the side & back. I notice in the teaser, Astro’s hair points shifts around according to how his head is position. One may argue Astro’s hair is supposed to be a solid metal piece but for me, I don’t mind the hair points having articulation to accommodate this problem.

For the face area, I thought it was a good move on Imagi’s part in omitting the curly eye lashes to make him less feminine. I would like to see the eye brow get thicken a bit to make him more “boyish”, even if its not from the original design but that’s just my personal taste. The oval shape and the proportion of his eyes are faithful to the original design as well as the button nose and his chubby cheeks.

In most of the promotion we seen so far, Astro Boy is shown fully cloth rather than his trademark black Speedo and red rocket boots. If the majority of the time, we see Astro in these clothes, I wouldn’t complain because I think it makes logical sense. Only when Astro is in a situation that calls for some destructive condition, then I think the half naked appearance is appropriate. Astro’s body is able to withstand whatever beating or firepower that comes his way except his clothes so it will probably get torn out during a fight. Maybe Osamu’s intention to have Astro going around half naked was for the Kawaii effect but I believe there is also a symbolic significance. Its told in the manga that Astro is the most advance robot, capable of having human emotion so by exposing/presenting him with human physical qualites, it really drive home the point that Astro is indeed a real boy whereas if Osamu was to design Astro with mechanical features, it may deter us to empathize Astro as a character with a heart and soul. Or maybe I’m way off on my theory.

The movie definitely needs to retain the heavy themes of tragedy (Tobio’s death) and abandonment. I feel it’s a critical plot point in the story. I know it’s a family movie but to sugarcoat it in anyway or remove it out entirely will kill the emotional impact.

Anonymous said...

"The movie definitely needs to retain the heavy themes of tragedy (Tobio’s death) and abandonment. I feel it’s a critical plot point in the story. I know it’s a family movie but to sugarcoat it in anyway or remove it out entirely will kill the emotional impact."

Well said Al. So long as they stay true to the story, then I won't mind some of the tweaks in character design. From what I have seen of Astro in the promos he still looks very faithful to the original anyway, just updated and 3D.

Anonymous said...

I actually have a question about something in the synopsis for the film. It says that Astro is powered by "positive blue energy" as opposed to being atomic powered. I was wondering why that change was deemed necessary? I realize that it must tie into the main plot, but any insight would be appreciated.

felix ip said...

the "positive blue energy" is the key element of the story point. I believe you will understand if you watch the movie. :}

Anonymous said...

That's fair enough. I'll definitely be there. ;]

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