Le Journal de Montréal met the super-team that built the Super Patrol! To see the full video, visit the Journal’s website.
As all parents of little ones know, the Pat’ Patrol puppies are an undeniable part of the cultural and entertainment landscape, with the world-famous franchise worth over US$8 billion. And the second animated film devoted to their adventures was made in Montreal.
For two years, a team of some 400 people worked at the Mikros studios in Montreal on the animation of Skye, Marcus, Rubble, Chase, Rocky, Zuma and, of course, Liberty, who has now joined the team headed by Ryder. This time, the defenders of Aventureville have superpowers, which Mr Hellinger and a certain Victoria Vance, an unscrupulous scientist, are trying to steal from them.
In this new episode, the “narrative will” of director Cal Brunker, who co-wrote the script with Bob Barlen, was to make Stella the main character, with her insecurities and place in the group explored when she loses the superpowers she has just acquired.
Art & technique
Nicolas Delval, Head of Mikros Studios in Montreal – who also signed off on the animation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem – makes no secret of the fact that the animation of PAW Patrol 2 presented many challenges, even though his teams had signed off on the first installment of the puppies’ adventures.
“There are a huge number of visual differences between the two films,” he told Agence QMI. “Yes, we had a basis for the second one. Our job on the first one was to build the basis for a graphic universe. At the time, there was a lot of design work and defining what the puppies were going to look like in the cinema. For the second one, we didn’t change them, we refined them.”
“Technically, we’ve taken our characters and brought them up to date. And sometimes, that requires redoing everything… always with the aim of making something better,” he added.
The “best” and the “taste of the day” that Nicolas Delval refers to, is to ensure that the film doesn’t go out of fashion.
“It’s going too fast, the animation industry is going very fast. Pixar is still a benchmark, but when you look at the Pixars of 10 or 15 years ago, some of them have aged quite a bit. And the challenge we face in our industry is to make projects where the artistic dimension comes first, and where the images are as little perishable as possible. And that’s not easy. And that’s why we tend to redo a lot of things.”
Citing both TMNT and PAW Patrol 2, the Mikros Montréal boss speaks of his “pride” in the work accomplished. And he has this to say: “Something is happening right now in animation. The historic studios – Pixar, Dreamworks, etc. – are increasingly turning to independents. In Quebec, we’re benefiting from this trend, and today it’s impossible for viewers to see any difference between an animated film made by the studios and one made by independents.”
And indeed, Pat’ Patrouille 2 is superior to the first. Mission accomplished, then, for Mikros Montréal studios!
La Pat’ Patrouille 2: La super patrouille – The film arrives in provincial cinemas on September 29.