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Talent Spotlights

Behind The Glitter ✨ Guillaume Arantes – Co-Animation Director

Behind the Scenes of Thelma the Unicorn: Interview with Guillaume Arantes, Co-Animation Director at Mikros Animation

6 May 2024
Behind The Glitter Guillaume Arantes – Co-Animation Director

Explore the pivotal role of Guillaume Arantes in the making of Thelma the Unicorn. As both animation supervisor and co-director, he provides insights into the artistic and technical challenges faced during the production of this captivating film.

  • Could you introduce yourself and explain your role in “Thelma la licorne”?

Initially, I was the animation supervisor, responsible for interdepartmental coordination to facilitate technical decisions related to animation, organizing the floor, teams, and providing the right tools for the artists.

Then, midway through production, I became co-animation director, taking charge of the teams in Paris and Bangalore, knowing that the film was animated for the first time at Mikros across all three sites in coordination from Montreal.

Thelma The Unicorn Animation Mikros team
  • Had you read the book before working on the film?

Yes! Even though I’m not much of a reader, it was handy. It’s mainly children’s drawings, and the book must be about 28 pages!

  • What was the main artistic challenge on the film?

The main artistic challenge was transitioning from a cartoon animation style to semi-realistic, even naturalistic, depending on the desired expressed emotion, and maintaining an appealing design on the characters because, just like with regular people in photography, even animated characters have their best profile!

  • And the main technical challenge?

The biggest technical challenge was transitioning from quadruped acting-out to biped… with the same rig. As we say at the end of every film: “there are a lot of things we’ll do differently for the next one!”

And then, from a logistical standpoint, being able to review animation plans from Montreal, with 6000 km separating us from Paris and almost 10000 km from Bangalore!

  • What references were used to make Thelma La Licorne?

The animation style of Illumination was a Netflix reference, and Denis and I were more old school with old Disney Xerox films like “The Sword in the Stone,” “101 Dalmatians,” “The Rescuers”…

  • What were the directors’ briefs?

“More shimy!”, “Be fun“: they were pretty open for us to explore and have fun with the development of the characters. It was a great relationship from start to finish.

  • Do you believe in unicorns? 🦄

I believe in the fact that some people really can be hidden unicorns.

thelma the unicorn Netflix Mikros animation
Vic Diamond & Thelma
  • What is your favorite character and sequence?

Vic diamond and the 3 C’s of success song, but also the driving sequence with crusty trucker ;)

Thank you Guillaume Arantes – Don’t miss Thelma the Unicorn on Netflix!