This picture shows the partnership between one of my all-time favourite human beings, Mr John Stevenson, and PO, a character designed by one of my all-time favourite artists, Nicolas Marlet. As I write this, John is currently wowing them in Cannes with his new movie, KUNG FU PANDA, which he directed (alongside John Osborne).
The look of the movie is based on the ever-elegant animal designs of Nicolas Marlet. Although he is very highly regarded by all who have ever worked with him and seen his drawings in person, it can be very hard to find samples of his work. The ART OF KUNG FU PANDA book will be a pretty good consolation prize for all of Nico’s many fans, who have been waiting in vain for him to start a blog or website, and it will certainly be on the must-have list of many artists in the animation community.
Kung Fu Panda is one of the movies that I am most looking forward to seeing this year, and that is really saying something, because 2008 is shaping up to be one of the best cinematic years to be a nerd. The last time I went to the movies (to see Ironman) there were an almost overwhelming number of trailers (or coming-soon posters in the lobby) for movies coming out this year, all of which built-in have nerd-appeal. Starting with Ironman, the nerd-friendly film roster continues with Speed Racer, Narnia, Indiana Jones, Kung Fu Panda, The Happening, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart, Wall-E, Wanted, Hancock, Hellboy, The Dark Knight, The X-Files, The Mummy and Tropic Thunder. I am not interested in ALL of those films but I am certainly looking forward to quite a few of them.
And even if most of them suck then we movie-nerds will have even MORE stuff to complain about (which is almost more fun than actually liking stuff). Verily we live in the Golden Age of being a nerd.
4 thoughts on “Kung Fu Panda”
Congrats on the Giant-panda achievement on John Stevenson! He looks pretty sleek on this photo. I was really really looking forward the film too!
I just saw the movie tonite. Uber cute! Great character design! Great animation. Great action! You’re gonna love it.
I just saw it myself, last night and absolutely loved it. I wasn’t able to see the movie on opening weekend, due to work pressures, but I have been getting e-mails and calls about KUNG FU PANDA all week, telling me how good it is.
And they were all right; it is absolutely fantastic! So good, in every way. It was gorgeous to look at, and beautifully animated, with some of the best action sequences that I’ve seen in years…
It was funny without being flippant or snide, or drenched in pop-culture wise-ass-ery. The laughs are not at the expense of the story and heart. Po the Panda is a very funny, likeable and believable character.
The biggest surprise of all is how charming it is. The story is told with a sincerity that I wasn’t prepared for, it really sneaked up on me and delivered some pure, sweet moments that weren’t at all saccharine. I think that is one of the hardest things to do in any movie…
Kung Fu Panda is the best Dreamworks movie by far, and one of the best animated movies I’ve seen in years. I recommend that everybody see this movie.