Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Lion King Raises The Bar for Animal Animation

Lion King (2019)
MPC have raised the bar for animal and creature animation with Disney's release of The Lion King, the re-make of the Disney classic which I was fortunate enough to work on back in 1993.

I went to a preview of the film last night fully prepared to dislike it - how could anyone top the original? And why bother with a re-make, other than to please the shareholders?

But the Lion King is a triumph not just of technology but of great storytelling, as the film-makers kept most of the original film but wove in new elements to keep the story fresh.


Director Jon Favreau and Chiwetel Ejiofor, voice of Scar
The animal animation feels so believable that you forget you're watching animation; as you slip into a David Attenborough world so realistic that you are seldom aware the entire film is just pixels.

During the Q&A one young audience member asked "were the animals real?" - to general audience laughter. But the question is a fair one; the animals feel so real that it's easy to get confused. 

Director Jon Favreau explained that the entire film is digital - every blade of grass, every whisker. Apart, that is, from one shot, which was filmed with a camera; this is Favreau's cheeky (and very confident) challenge to audiences to see if they can spot the one element of the film which isn't created with CG magic. 

Chan Sagoo
Chan Sagoo
And congratulations too to Escapee Chan Sagoo who took our 12 week animation course at Escape Studios, and then worked on The Lion King at MPC as a junior animator. 

After leaving Escape Studios, Chan joined the MPC Technicolour Academy, and then went on to become a junior animator at MPC.

Chan got the job after completing 12 week animation course at Escape Studios; Chan worked hard on her demo reel, polishing and perfecting her skills, and making dedicated use of our studios to make sure her demo reel was industry-ready.

You can also see an interview with me about The Lion King at Huff Post here.


The Escape Studios Animation Blog offers a personal view on the art of animation and visual effects. To apply for our BA/MArt in 3D Animation, follow this link.  To apply for our storyboarding evening class, visit this page here.  For the next 12 week animation course, click here.


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