Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dragonlance Trailer

Well, a rough version of the trailer is out, and there's not much good to say about it. The motion is smooth, but it's disguised by the stiffness of all the characters involved, hand-drawn or cgi. The cgi is especially egregious, with little done to disguise its mechanical nature. The mob of draconians all clanging their swords on their shields is probably the worst offender, but the motions of the dragons, who seem to be flipping around in zero-g and not soaring through the air, or the motions of the heroes, who exhibit no sort of follow-through when they swing their weapons, or that bird at the very end, who flaps his wings without bending them... stiff, stiff, stiff.

The really bizarre thing is that the animation screams low budget and cheap, but the music and voice talent want to be high-budget. Frankly, I think the blame for this resides solely with the animation team. They don't appear at all to have worked up to the standards of the rest of the crew. But I could be completely wrong, and blame might more fully reside with the producers who failed to arrange the proper funding for this film.

I have no idea of their respective budgets, but the animation I've seen so far fails to measure up to the "Record of Lodoss War" OVA from 1990, which made extensive, sometimes painful, use of recycled animation, but didn't have the benefit of computer animation. And computer animation can be a powerful tool when combined expertly with traditional cell animation, as was seen in "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas". The creature designs are especially noteworthy in that film, and the soaring snow roc was beautiful to watch, especially after it snatched up the heroine and carried her to the top of it's mountain lair, snow drifting from its wings. By comparison, the dragons of Dragonlance, which still resemble ugly crossbreeds of snake and duck, move like spastic puppets, without any sense of weight or flight.

I'll probably rent this one when it makes its way to our local video store, but I really don't see adding it to our collection. And I'm not going to encourage the Trollwife to see the trailer, because I'm fairly certain if we do, she'll refuse to watch the movie. :(

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