Cowabunga! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an awesome addition to the franchise becoming the definitive Introduction for a New Generation! Throughout, the film features irresistibly crowd-pleasing moments that OOZE with charm, charisma, & Turtle Power! Further showcasing that this epic film was dreamt up and created by fans. Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Brendan O’Brien and director Jeff Rowe bring love to this 40-year-old universe and characters which shows and shines through in every scene that’s enhanced with stunningly distinctive sketchy animation from Mikros Animation in Montreal and Paris, and Cinesite in Vancouver. It’s a stylistic spectacle reminiscent of oil paintings and stop-motion backed by some incredible vocal talent and a killer soundtrack from Reznor and Ross. Themes that feature are heartwarming messages about belonging, acceptance, fatherhood, brotherhood, and learning to come out of your shell a little each is impactful and central to the story of these teenage Pizza-loving Heroes in a half-shell.
“Mutant Mayhem” is another example of mainstream animation that is moving away from hyper-realistic, ultra-clean which showcases the power and ability that CGI can achieve, towards an art form that celebrates the medium’s beginnings. The eye-popping vibrant visuals are passionately imperfect as the textures, scribbles and concept art style feel distinctly human. the animation and backdrops are sketchy and misshapen which to me is reminiscent of the way anyone would draw/doodle as a child or teenager. What’s special about this project is that the film incorporates 2D traditional hand-drawn animation. Mikros Animation FX lead, KÉVIN SIMORRE talks about drawing each frame manually, at around 12 frames per second. A large proportion of the FX was created in 2D, with the remainder in 3D, this created a stylistic blend that reminded me of oil paintings and the movements of classic stop-motion animation. The film also features a technique, where every pose is held for an extra frame, giving scenes a more frantic, frenzied energy with a more gritty and edgy look.
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