An animated movie co-produced by Spain and China opens the Malaga competition | Culture | EUROtoday

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It has value near 25 million euros. The work, between coordination and conflict, of two nations, Spain and China, with reverse methods of approaching the intricate processes of animation. It has gone by way of pandemics, reluctance, escapes and antagonistic visions to finish up reaching the display screen because the opening movie of the Malaga competition, which in its twenty seventh version has burst on the seams with an official part of 37 movies, 19 of them in competitors. So in that gargantuan path, opening the virtually 250 screenings that will probably be within the Andalusian metropolis in 10 days with Dragonkeeper, It makes full sense.

Why Dragonkeeper, which will probably be launched in industrial theaters on April 19 in Spain, and later in China, has been a Homeric effort. It reaches its finish co-directed by Salvador Simó (Buñuel within the turtle labyrinth) and the Chinese filmmaker Jianping Li, who served “exclusively,” says the Spaniard, to “maintain the historical and cultural fidelity of the era in which the story takes place,” that of China 2,500 years in the past, through the Han dynasty. “We didn't want to end up with some Sevillian fallas like those that appear in a delivery of Mission Impossible”. But Simó was not the director initially chosen, however Ignacio Ferreras. (wrinkles), when the intention to convey the primary of the novels within the saga written by Carole Wilkinson to the display screen discovered a Spanish-Chinese co-production in 2016. Simó, at the moment, after working in London in Maleficent 2, I used to be in command of character growth.

How was it going to be completed? Through China Film Group, the state manufacturing firm, which along with offering half the finances, would maintain the modeling of the settings and historic accuracy, the consequences, lighting, rendering (means of finalizing a digital picture utilizing software program)… The most technical. Spain? The design and visible composition, the pure animation… The artistic. All for the widespread good: giving life to a lady, Ping, protector of the final dragon egg on Earth.

An image of 'Dragonkeeper'.
An picture of 'Dragonkeeper'.

Ferreras, exhausted, left in 2018. Simó, satisfied by producer Manuel Cristóbal (who would later additionally go away the undertaking), was promoted. “You have to understand that the film has been changing. I remember when recording the voices in London that I rewrote the script right there,” explains Simó in Málaga, who additionally doesn’t delve a lot into his relationship with Li. Furthermore, issues started to come up… greater than translation, however custom. “For example, when they didn't understand something, they didn't ask questions, but rather they assured us that it couldn't be done,” says the filmmaker. “Then, there is his fight against the implicit. They believe that everything must be explained, given in detail to the public, because if not, they will not understand anything. I refused. Just like with the hugs, like the one Ping gives at the end: they told me that it was impossible, how was that going to happen. “I also fought for my vision: it is the most emotional moment in the film.”

Then covid arrived. “This film has experienced two pandemics, because the confinements in Europe and China have been at different times. That led us not only to abandon the study, to work remotely, but to great difficulties of not being able to travel, neither the Chinese part that had planned to come to Spain, nor us to China, for a long time,” remembers Simó. And what appeared like the good benefit of animation, distant work, grew to become one other impediment as a result of huge variations. “In animation, progress is made by overlapping different tasks so as not to waste time; This is how you develop the sequences at different speeds. In China they refused, and did not move on to a task if they had not finished the previous one. The staggering of tasks was blown up. And suddenly, before the pandemic, the most talented Chinese technicians left.” Simó doesn’t go as far as to say that it was a nasty crew, though he factors it out. “The work that they should have done in three years was piled up in one. I have spent 2023 and 2024 coming and going from China. The thing is that the film was going to end much earlier, and the premiere has been delayed,” he remembers. “I also take everything very personally, and that has crushed me these months, because I finished the mixes very, very recently. I respect their way of working and their philosophy, it will work for them, but…”

Anything else? “Well, we used English as a bridge language, and there they didn't always understand it, or understand what they wanted. And his work supervisors were… lax. They approved works thinking that the director, that is, me, would correct them, and for the West those elements would never have made the cut. He overloaded us with work on this side,” he says. What has labored? “I think we have succeeded in finding a middle point in the narrative, one that is acceptable to both audiences. I didn't want there to be a chain of gags, like some American films, or fall into their detailed explanations… Let the story flow and for the Han dynasty to be well portrayed. And that animation is once again confirmed as the appropriate technique to tell fantastic stories, of worlds that intersect without the viewer feeling like they are being lied to with enormous digital effects.”

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