In celebration of the DVD/Blu-Ray release of The Book of Life, we bring you a news report about a Mexican animated project with some strong ties with the director of said film.
Cartoon Brew recently reported that Mexican animation studio Anima Estudios (Top Cat: The Movie) has released a trailer for their new upcoming film Guardianes de Oz (retitled for English audiences as Wicked Flying Monkeys). You can watch the Spanish trailer here:
A co-production with Indian animation studio Discreet Art Productions, this is Anima’s eleventh feature film since launching back in 2002 and their first CGI-animated film. It is also their most expensive film, costing $55 Million pesos ($4.5 million USD) to make.
Taking place in the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz universe, the film follows Ozzy, a friendly winged monkey who recruits the help of the ‘Champions of Oz’ (The Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow) to save Oz from Evilene, the wicked witch of the story (and Ozzy’s boss, who he rebels against).
Now, what does this project have to do with Jorge Gutierrez? While he’s not behind the camera (Alberto Mar sits in the director’s chair for this one), he’s had a pretty heavy hand with the creation of the movie.
First off, the film is based on a story conceived by Gutierrez. He’s also the executive producer of the film in addition to being credited with the screenplay along with fellow screenwriter and frequent collaborator Doug Langdale and TV animation writer Evan Gore. He also designed the characters along with his wife, Sandra Equihua (also a frequent collaborator). So literally, his presence can be felt all over this film, and anybody who loves Jorge’s work will have immediately recognized his art style by now.
This isn’t quite unusual for Jorge, as he regularly makes no secret of his love for his home country and its culture.“Working with the amazing Mexican artists at Ánima studios was a blast!” Gutierrez told Cartoon Brew. “This film is yet another encouraging sign of the endless talent currently brewing in my beloved Mexico.”
While his fans await his second feature film, Jorge has been busy elsewhere. Asides from this film, he also serves as the Executive Consultant for DreamWorks Animation’s The Adventures of Puss in Boots, with Doug Langdale having written the first two episodes.
Lastly, the experience of working with CGI animation also seems to be another positive for Anima: “We believe the ideal medium for this ambitious story was the use of 3D, hence the effort to use this technique for the first time in one of our movies,” said José Carlos García Letona, vice-president of Ánima, in a press release. “The experience has been very satisfying and we want to repeat it for our next project.” The studio is now working on a CGI Top Cat feature.
So far, the film has been picked up for distribution in Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Columbia. US and Latin American distribution for the film is currently in active process.
The film will release in its home country on April 10, 2015.
Are you excited for another Jorge Gutierrez project?
Edited by: Kelly Conley